Turkish police deny torturing villagers while investigation continues

Turkey’s General Directorate of Security on Thursday denied torturing thirty-six villagers who were detained on July 5 as part of an operation by Turkish security forces against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists in a village in Hakkari’s Şemdinli district while inspectors are still investigating the case.

Denying allegations of police torturing villagers while in custody, the directorate issued a statement that said inspectors were assigned to investigate the allegations. Even though the investigation is not complete, the statement said social media posts and media reports accusing police of having beaten the villagers are an attempt to create a negative perception and do not reflect the reality of the situation.

The villagers were taken into custody after the operation on Sunday in the village of Altınsu in Şemdinli over their alleged links to the PKK. Twenty of the villagers were released on Monday morning, while 16 are still in custody at the district police department.

However, the Hakkari Governor’s Office said on Thursday that a police officer was suspended as part of an investigation into an incident of villagers allegedly tortured by police in the Şemdinli district of the province.

According to the Habertürk daily, the governor’s office said a police officer was suspended over a “strong suspicion” of his involvement in torturing the villagers after victims filed complaints with the Şemdinli Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The Dihaber news agency, which published pictures of the villagers, claimed they were tortured while in custody. The report said more than 100 people, including women and children, were gathered and beaten in a square after their houses were raided and doors were broken at night.

The residents of the village, who were threatened with death, went to get a battery report from a doctor, who refused to provide it, saying they were responsible for what happened to them since they did not support the Turkish government.

One police officer was killed and one security force member was wounded during the clash between security forces and the PKK. (turkishminute.com)

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