Amnesty International has collected credible proofs that people arrested in relation to last week’s failed coup attempt in Turkey are facing ‘severe’ torture in detention, while being deprived of lawyers and basic human rights. The detainees arrested over alleged links to the foiled coup attempt are being arbitrarily held, sometimes in informal detention places such as sports centres and stables. They are also not properly informed about the charges against them, Amnesty International said in a statement, published on its official website. Amnesty also obtained “extremely alarming accounts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees” from their lawyers, doctors and a person on duty in a detention facility.
According to these reports, police held detainees in stress positions for up to 48 hours, denied them food, water and medical treatment, verbally abused and threatened them and subjected them to beatings and torture, including rape and sexual assault.
Based on the information given by a person on duty at Ankara Police Headquarters’ sports hall to Amnesty, a detainee suffered severe wounds after apparently being beaten by police. He could not stand up or focus his eyes and he eventually lost consciousness. Police refused to allow this detainee to receive basic medical treatment and a police doctor reportedly said: “Let him die. We will say he came to us dead.”
According to the evidence obtained by Amnesty, 650-800 male soldiers were being held in the Ankara police headquarters sports hall. At least 300 of them had signs proving that they were beaten, with some of them even having broken bones. About 40 were unable to walk because of serious injuries sustained in custody. Amnesty also collected accounts of police officers saying that the detainees are being beaten so that “they would talk.” Many detainees are also handcuffed behind their backs with plastic zip-ties and forced to kneel for hours or are blindfolded. At the same time, Amnesty stressed that the worst treatment in detention was reserved for higher-ranking military officers. Two lawyers in Ankara told the NGO they saw senior military officers in detention being raped with a truncheon or finger by police officers.
Amnesty International interviewed more than 10 lawyers in both Ankara and Istanbul who gave information about the conditions of their clients’ confinement. The lawyers represented up to 18 detainees each.
Most of their clients are soldiers but there are also judges, prosecutors, police, and other civil servants among them.