Lawyers: Clients in disaster area tortured by the police
An association of lawyers in Turkey said on Sunday that the police's special task forces have started torturing people in the streets as they have taken advantage of the extraordinary circumstances created by the earthquakes on 6 February, and that three people were recently severely beaten up in the quake hit city of Antioch by police officers.
The Association of Progressive Lawyers (CHD) said:
"A person named O.T. and his two nephews were approached in the street and beaten up near their house in the city of Antioch in Hatay province on late 24 February by police officers from a special task unit. The state forces have taken advantage of the earthquake and feel free to torture people in the public. The special task division of the police that has turned into a security threat should be reined in. The practice of subjecting people to torture should be stopped."
The lawyers added:
"Our clients were repeatedly hit with pistol butts, tortured in the street for several minutes, and their mobile phones were seized without any legal ground. They were eventually released. O.T. is observed to have suffered a brief lapse of memory because of the torture he was subjected to, and he still suffers a partial loss."
The victims filed criminal complaints against the police officers who targeted them.