HRW: Turkish police abuse rebel detainees

HRW: Turkish police abuse rebel detainees

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] accused [news report] Turkish police of “disturbing abuse” Wednesday for their actions towards detainees in the renewed conflict with the Kurdish rebel forces [BBC backgrounder]. The abuses include cases in which men were severely beaten, kicked, forced to remain in kneeling positions for hours, and threatened with torture and execution. The three men who reported on the police treatment were detained during a security operation in the predominantly Kurdish town of Silopi, near the Iraqi Kurdistan border on August 7 and have since been released. Another case reported that police detained a 17 year old boy who had a severe gunshot wound and denied him the medical treatment he needed. HRW said it made efforts to discuss the abuses with both the governor of Şırnak province and the district governor of Silopi with no response. The rights group continued to encourage Turkish authorities to ensure that its policing and security operations comply fully with human rights law and to hold those who do not comply accountable.

This isn’t the first time Turkey has been cited by rights group for severe treatment of terrorism suspects and other detainees. In July HRW warned [press release] that Turkish authorities’ response to a suspected IS terrorist attack threatened human rights in in the country. In March, the Turkish Parliament approved [JURIST report] controversial security bill giving police more powers to search, arrest and use firearms. In November Amnesty International said Syrian refugees in Turkey face abuse [JURIST report] and other harsh conditions. In March 2014 the European Court of Human Rights condemned [JURIST report] Turkey for violating the rights of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).