‘Even the Judge Had to Append Torture Allegations to Record’

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  • May 27, 2019
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Visiting the ones detained in Halfeti, lawyer SAlzen has stated that though they requested referral of the detained to Forensic Medicine Institution to identify torture marks, their request has not been responded. Their period of detention has been extended.

Speaking to bianet regarding the allegation that the ones taken into custody in Halfeti in Urfa were subjected to torture, lawyer Ergin SAlzen has indicated that the period of detention of 20 people has been prolonged.

The related ruling of prolongment given by the Penal Judgeship of Peace also refers to the allegations of torture, SAlzen has further indicated:

"Counselling the Prosecutor's Office, the judge stated that the suspects should be sent from the Anti-Terror Branch of Urfa Security Directorate, where they are currently held, to another place. Torture is so obvious that even the judge had to append the complaint to record."

Investigation launched into allegations of torture

Meeting both with the detained and their lawyers, Contemporary Lawyers Association (CHD) Antep Branch Chair Ergin SAlzen has stated that an investigation has been launched into the allegations of torture.

"For the soundness of this investigation, we requested that the suspects who declared that they were tortured be immediately referred to the Forensic Medicine Institution so that the marks do not disappear; however, our request has still not been responded", SAlzen has also indicated.

Underlining that they met with five of the detained and the marks of torture on their bodies were visible, SAlzen has added, "A woman suspect that we visited told us that she cannot recount the torture she was subjected to. 'I recounted it to the woman lawyer before you', she said."

'Everything is lawful'

Referring to the allegation that the detained were also given electric schock as a method of torture, SAlzen has said that the ones taken into custody in Halfeti were also made to depose by force.

"The lawyers met with the prosecutor and law enforcement authorities regarding this method, but the answer they were given was 'Everything is lawful'," SAlzen has further indicated.

Referral to another police department rejected

Making a statement regarding the issue, the Human Rights Center of Urfa Bar Association has stated that 22 people, including three children, have been released as part of the investigation and one person has been arrested due to his or her social media posts.

The period of detention of 20 people has been prolonged for the second time. The request of the Judgeship for the referral of the detained to another police department has not been granted by the Prosecutor's Office.

'82 bullet marks on the raked vehicle'

Lawyer Ergin SAlzen has indicated that there are currently three separate investigations into this incident:

"At around 2 a.m. on May 18, an operation was launched against a house in the Neighborhood of Dergili (Derto) in Halfeti upon receiving the intelligence that there were members of the illegal organization at the house. Authorities announced that a conflict erupted during this operation and two members of the organszation were killed.

"Afterwards, everyone in the house as well as the guests were taken into custody. They told that they were battered by law enforcement officers until 6 in the morning.The marks of torture were also detected by the lawyers who met them. At the Urfa Anti-Terror Branch, there were even practices that went so far as to giving the detained electric shocks.

"Next day, people from the neighboring villages were also taken into custody. The first investigation has been launched into these allegations of conflict.

"The second investigation is related to the raking of seasonal workers in Suruc. While they were on their way to the cropland, their vehicle was stopped and the moment the driver got off, they opened fire. There are seven people who are seriously wounded. 82 bullet marks have been detected on the raked vehicle. The workers said that when they were referred to hospital, they were told 'We are sorry, we have martyrs'.

"The Urfa Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has been conducting a second investigation into the arbitrary raking of workers. And the third investigation is into the allegations of torture."

Source: English Bianet