The families of several Turkish police officers, rounded up as part of the crackdown on the Gulen community, have sought help from human rights activists in a rare example of willingness to speak out on torture allegations that have been rife since the coup attempt last year.
“By sending these three men suspected of links to Fethullah Gülen back to Turkey, the Malaysian authorities have put their liberty and well-being at risk. They have already suffered a harrowing ordeal, being arbitrarily detained and held incommunicado. Now, they have been extradited to Turkey, where they could face arbitrary detention, unfair trial and a real risk of torture.”
Hanım Büşra Erdal was subjected to a strip search at the police station and humiliated by police officers when she was taken from her prison cell as she was preparing to leave the prison. A strip search is allowed only if circumstances so warrant. “She is a journalist and was taken from the prison. She was already going through routine checks and searches in prison,” her lawyer said.
Three Turkish nationals who were recently detained over controversial charges in Malaysia have been deported to Turkey. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia earlier called on Malaysian officials to refrain from extradition as the detainees are affiliated with the Gülen movement.
“I feel totally ashamed as a jurist for gross human rights violations and heavy torture practices I have come to know while I was practicing my [lawyer] profession”. The lawyer asks not only his name be kept confidential but also his client for fear of their lives and negative repercussions for sharing details of torture.
“I heard all kinds of curse and swearing against my family during the interrogation. They threatened me with raping my family members. I saw one man who had a black eye on his eyes. I witnessed another man as having difficulty in walking because police shoved a baton into his anus. So many victims have marks in their bodies from abuse and torture.”
There appears to be a systematic and deliberate campaign by the government of Turkey to dissuade doctors from writing up reports that prove abuse and torture cases detainees and prisoners went through or that verify serious health risks for jailed suspects.
Against the background of massive crackdown on critics and opponents in Turkey and widespread torture practices in detentions and prisons, 54 people were reported to have lost their lives, most under suspicious circumstances and under lock-up in the last eight months.
“The day I was detained, five police officers took me to a mountain and beat the hell out of me. I have been kicked in the head and genital area tens of times. I managed to identify two of the torturers. One of them was called Nejdet and the other one was Battal. Yet, maybe they use nicknames…. I do not have strength to tell you about all the humiliating sexual torture I faced that night,” a victim said.
Tuğba Y., a teacher who lost her sanity due to alleged torture during weeks of interrogation, was arrested and has been kept in prison since late January despite doctors’ reports showing her deteriorating mental condition.