.. they put a loaded gun against my head and said they would now kill me and made me say the “shahada.*”
Police stripped my clothes and then threatened me to rape with baton
Today, we publish the second torture incident (against Turkish lawyers) after our news entitled “The Scream of Tortured Turkish Lawyer.”
The Arrested Lawyers Initiative have just received a petition sent to the judicial authorities by another arrested Turkish lawyer who had been subjected to days of torture and ill-treatment by the police following his arrest.
We understand that our fellow Turkish lawyer had surrendered to the police when he found out that a warrant for his arrest had been issued. Then what he had to suffer is something of a nightmare; he was kept in a 9m2 room with 14 (some days 18) other suspects for some twenty days where it was impossible to sit let alone sleep.
He was arrested after 30-days in police custody; in his petition to appeal against decision to arrest he gave a detailed account of torture he had to suffer at the hands of police officers during his time in custody.
We share some parts from his petition written to judicial authorities as follows:
“Being subjected to torture at the hands of law enforcement officers has made me question my commitment to the profession as a lawyer…
..While being driven to the police headquarters following my arrest, I was severely beaten by the police officers before the very eyes of the representative of my local bar association who was a fellow lawyer..
Victim lawyer continues as follows : “After I was put in police custody, at around midnight, a few police officers took me to an interrogation room where they put a loaded gun against my head and said they would now kill me and made me say the “shahada.*“ (*muslim profession of faith which executioners traditionally offer to the condemned just before they are put to death.)”
They interrogated me by swearing and torturing.. Police stripped my clothes and then threatened me to rape with baton. It continued every night…”
The petition also shows the inadequacy of the medical examination, which is necessary to prevent torture from being made to the suspects and to prove it if done.
The victim lawyer says in the petition “Due to torture, bruises were formed in my body; I could not report these bruises to the doctor because the torturer police officers had taken me to the medical examination.”
Despite the victim’s detailed description of the torturing police officers and the torture itself, no investigation has yet been launched yet and our fellow Turkish lawyer remains in detention.
Since 15th July 2016, there has been a relentless campaign of arrests targeting fellow lawyers across the country. In 77 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, lawyers have been detained and arrested on trumped-up charges as part of criminal investigations orchestrated by the political authorities and conducted by provincial public prosecutors. As of today, charges have been brought against 1315 lawyers with 522 of them currently in detention.
On the other hand there is a systemic and widespread torture and ill-treatment of suspects. The police officers as part of the state of emergency have been offered (DeFacto and DeJure) (Emergency Decree Law No. 667) impunity by the government for any crime they may commit in performance of their duties including torture.