Police torture of earthquake volunteers in Adiyaman confirmed by medical reports

Official medical reports confirmed the torture of 5 volunteers by the Turkish police in Adiyaman province.

The Diyarbakır Bar Association, the Human Rights Association (IHD) and the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) branches in Amed (Diyarbakır) released a report regarding the police torture against 5 people from the Çinar district of Amed who went to Adiyaman as a volunteer aid team after the Maraş-centred earthquakes on 6 February.

The report said: “Since the second day of the earthquake, images circulated on social media have shown that crimes such as 'theft' and 'looting' have been committed in the earthquake regions and those claimed to be involved have been tortured by the police, gendarmerie and local people.”

The report pointed out that: “After the media coverage of the torture suffered by 5 earthquake relief volunteers who went from Amed to Adıyaman on 11 February with permit certificates from Çınar District Governorate, Amed Bar Association, the IHD and the ÖHD contacted the people in question, who denounced the torture, inhuman and ill-treatment they suffered, as well as threats and insults. Bruises caused by physical attacks in violation of the ban on torture and ill-treatment have been confirmed by medical reports.”

According to the report, Amed Bar Association, İHD and ÖHD have filed a criminal complaint with the Adıyaman Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, demanding that the perpetrator(s) be identified and prosecuted.

The report emphasized that torture or inhuman or degrading treatment are prohibited under all circumstances by the Constitution and international conventions to which Turkey is a party. It said: “An effective investigation should be conducted by the Chief Public Prosecutor's Offices in the earthquake-hit areas against the cases of cruel torture, deliberate inhuman treatment and practices perpetrated in violation of fundamental rights. Necessary measures should be taken to prevent and prohibit torture and to prosecute those responsible.”