Prosecutor finds no grounds for legal action against policemen who mistreated Kurdish family

The Diyarbakır Public Prosecutor’s Office said there were no grounds for legal action against policemen who beat and injured a Kurdish family during a narcotics operation in May, Artıgerçek news website reported.

Süleyman Demir was forcefully detained on May 18, and his mother Kevser Demir tried to stop the police from beating her son. The police broke Kevser Demir’s arm and teeth in the struggle. Süleyman Demir’s sister Fatma Demir was also lightly injured by the police. Both women were given a hospital report confirming their injuries.

Lawyers from the Diyarbakır Bar visited the family after the incident and said witness testimonies and hospital reports confirmed mistreatment and police brutality. The Bar filed a complaint against the policemen, however the prosecutor’s office said the police had used proportional force against the family.

According to the bar, the prosecutor’s office did not take notice of the extent of Kevser Demir’s injuries and interpreted them as “superficial injuries that did not require medical attention”.

The Diyarbakır bar will appeal to the Diyarbakır Penal Court of Peace.

Turkey has experienced a marked resurgence of torture and ill-treatment in custody over the past five years, and especially since a coup attempt in July 2016. Lack of condemnation from higher officials and a readiness to cover up allegations rather than investigate them have resulted in widespread impunity for the security forces.

According to a report released by main opposition Republican People’s Party deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu  in January, a total of 27,493 people were victims of torture and maltreatment between 2002, when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power, and 2020 and that 86 others had died from such mistreatment.

While 988 cases of torture or maltreatment were reported in 2002, this figure rose to 3,534 in 2020, the report stated.

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