Human rights activist remains in police custody
The detention period of IHD member Ferhat Berkpınar, who is being held in police custody on terror charges, has been extended by four days. The reason given was that the taking of evidence had not yet been completed.
The police custody of the Kurdish human rights activist Ferhat Berkpınar has been extended by four days. The chief public prosecutor's office in Adıyaman justified the measure on Monday, saying that the taking of evidence had not yet been completed. Berkpınar is still being held at the police headquarters' anti-terror centre.
Ferhat Berkpınar is a member of the board of the branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD) in Amed (Diyarbakır). On Thursday, he was arrested at his home in Amed and transferred to Adıyaman. The chief public prosecutor's office there is investigating alleged terrorist charges. It is still unclear what Berkpınar is specifically accused of. His legal counsel has not yet had access to the investigation file.
Berkpınar's arrest drew sharp criticism from human rights organisations. This was also because the IHD's premises had been searched by the police and important association documents had been confiscated. The board therefore filed a complaint with the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK). It argued that the search warrant was unlawful because the IHD's activities are carried out on a voluntary basis and the association therefore does not qualify as a regular place of work. The IHD accused the Turkish security and judicial authorities of trying to criminalise important human rights work by taking action against the organisation.