Turkish police mistreated, beat 13,935 people while detaining them between 2018 and 2021: TİHV

Turkish police employed unlawful tactics including mistreatment and beating while detaining 13,935 people between 2018 and 2021, according to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV).

A total of 3,997 individuals in 2018, 4,253 in 2019, 2,014 in 2020 and 3,071 in 2021 faced mistreatment while being detained by police, TİHV said.

Riot police in the southern province of Adana on Sunday sparked outrage when they employed batons, plastic bullets and pepper spray in what many said was a disproportionate use of force to disperse members of the anti-government Furkan Foundation who wanted to hold a peaceful demonstration in Seyhan in protest of the continued pretrial detention of eight foundation members who were arrested in January.

Video footage circulating on social media showed police officers randomly hitting the protestors, which included women and children, with their batons.

Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), praised the excessive force used by police officers, saying the officers did their job properly.

Turkish police had also used excessive force during Nevruz celebrations on Monday in southeastern Diyarbakır province. In 2017 a police officer fatally shot Kurdish university student Kemal Kurkut during Nevruz celebrations in Diyarbakır.

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