After being alerted to the torture of 20 inmates by guards at a correctional facility in Elazığ, the prison administration instead investigated the tortured inmates for disciplinary breaches, the Diyarbakır Bar Association claimed on Friday.
Reports indicate that allegations of systematic torture of inmates held at Elazığ No. 2 Prison were simply ignored and instead the inmates were investigated.
Speaking at a ceremony commemorating the 189th week since the death of Tahir Elçi, the former head of the association, lawyer Muhlis Oğurgül said 20 inmates who were allegedly subjected to torture had not undergone medical examinations for 12 days after their complaints were lodged.
The lawyer claimed that investigations had instead been launched into 40 inmates by the authorities.
Oğurgül said the prison commission of the association had interviewed two of the tortured inmates, N.B. and M.K., on August 10, 2019.
“During the interview the [two] inmates reported that a group of jailers tortured 20 inmates on both July 25 and August 4. They claimed that the torturers were acting in a group led by the head guard, A.E.,” he added.
The spokesman announced that the association had submitted a criminal complaint to the Elazığ Public Prosecutor’s Office over the torture allegations, demanding that the allegedly tortured inmates immediately be sent to a hospital for medical examinations. He claimed that the authorities had not done anything in that regard.
“Instead of approving our demands and investigating the torture claims, they [the authorities] launched disciplinary investigations into 40 inmates. If the authorities and the judiciary remain silent about the torture claims, the officers who allegedly tortured the inmates will do more harm,” Oğurgül said.
In addition to the torturers, people who closed their eyes to the torture claims and did not investigate the incidents would be party to the crimes, he stated, adding, “As the Diyarbakir Bar Association we will do our best to determine who committed the offenses.”
Earlier in May Tayyip Temel, a lawmaker from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), had submitted a parliamentary inquiry addressed to Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül regarding the systematic torture of inmates at the same prison.
In the parliamentary question Temel voiced the complaints of the inmates who alleged that the prison’s newly appointed assistant director, E.İ., gave an order to the guards to carry out the systematic torture of inmates.
Despite the complaints, no investigations had been launched into E.İ., who also gave similar instructions in his previous post at Sakran Prison in Izmir, the lawmaker claimed.
Last week similar torture claims were raised by Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD), which said tens of inmates were mistreated by 30 guards in the newly opened Maras Turkoglu Type L Prison.
According to the İHD, the prison guards raided the ward and attacked the inmates who refused to be counted by the prison administration. (SCF with ipanews)