Turkish detainees tortured after failed coup, Amnesty International says

ANKARA, Turkey, Amnesty International claims credible evidence shows detainees in Turkey are being beaten, tortured and, in some cases, raped in the aftermath of a failed coup.


The organization wants independent monitors to have access to the detainees in all facilities.

Amnesty International says more than 10,000 people have been detained since the failed coup that began on July 15.

The rights group said, “Turkish police in Ankara and Istanbul are holding detainees in stress positions for up to 48 hours, denying them food, water and medical treatment, and verbally abusing and threatening them. In the worst cases some have been subjected to severe beatings and torture, including rape.”

A Turkish official, who asked to remain anonymous told Middle East Eye, the allegations are untrue.

“The idea that Turkey, a country seeking EU membership, would not respect the law is absurd,” he said. “Just yesterday we released 1,200 military personnel because all we care about is concrete evidence of complicity in this grave assault against our democracy.”

Amnesty International’s Europe director John Dalhuisen says he is alarmed by its findings.

“Reports of abuse including beatings and rape in detention are extremely alarming, especially given the scale of detentions that we have seen in the past week,” he said. “The grim details that we have documented are just a snapshot of the abuses that might be happening in places of detention.”

“It is absolutely imperative that the Turkish authorities halt these abhorrent practices and allow international monitors to visit all these detainees in the places they are being held,” he said.

Amnesty International said detainees have been denied access to lawyers and family members. They didn’t even know what they are being charged with, Amnesty International said.

“These are grave violations of the right to a fair trial which is enshrined in both Turkey’s national law and international law,” Dalhuisen said.

Dalhuisen said the country hasn’t responded to the allegations.

“Despite chilling images and videos of torture that have been widely broadcast across the country, the government has remained conspicuously silent on the abuse,” Dalhuisen said. “Failing to condemn ill-treatment or torture in these circumstances is tantamount to condoning it.”

Amnesty International wants the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture to conduct an emergency visit to Turkey to monitor condition.

The unnamed Turkish official conversely wants an “unbiased account of the legal steps that are being taken against people who murdered nearly 250 civilians in cold blood,” the official said.

Since the failed coup, 13,165 people have been detained, including 8,838 soldiers, 2,101 judges and prosecutors, 1,485 police officers and 689 civilians, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told rallies across the nation by video Saturday night.

Turkey’s government is setting up an inner cabinet to oversee the state of emergency it declared after last week’s botched coup.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will lead the council, which will include ministers from justice, interior, finance, foreign, education, defense and labor.


By Allen Cone