Jailed Kurdish deputy says police officer expressed pleasure at harassing her

Jailed Kurdish deputy says police officer expressed pleasure at harassing her
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"When I told a police officer to stop harassing me, the police officer responded, 'I do it because I enjoy doing it,'" Semra Guzel has said.

Jailed Kurdish deputy Semra Guzel, who had been arrested on 2 September over "terror" charges in Turkey, said to Duvar that when she told a police officer to stop harassing her, the police officer responded by saying, "I do it because I enjoy doing it."

Replying to the questions of Duvar's Haci Biskin from prison, Guzel said that she was subjected to mistreatment when she was arrested and while she was taken to the hospital for a health check.

She said:

"The political administration has begun to consider this kind of treatment as a regular thing, not as a violation of human rights. I was handcuffed although I'm still a member of the parliament. The second day in custody, I was handcuffed behind the back. They did not open the handcuffs in the transfer vehicle and during the medical examination in the hospital. They also spent a lot of effort to force my head down as I was entering the hospital, and when I was leaving."

She added:

"We filed criminal complaints regarding these rights violations; both over my hands being cuffed behind the back and the way they tried to force my head down, and also over the insistence to examine me with my hands cuffed although I reminded them, as a doctor, of the Istanbul Protocol. The doctors are supposed to know that a patient should not be examined with hands in cuffs. Nor should the doctor go on to examine the patient when there are police officers or soldiers in the room."

Asked about the prison conditions, Guzel said:

"We are under isolation here, as it is the case in all other prisons (...) Frankly, while families are handed the remains of their children in bags, while many Saturday Mothers are still waiting to be delivered the remains of their children, I don't think it is appropriate for me to talk about my conditions. I can only say that we will continue to struggle even under confinement, to stop the suffering of people."

About Semra Guzel

Guzel was elected to the Turkish Grand Assembly as Diyarbakir deputy for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in 2018.

Her immunity was lifted on 1 March in the context of some photos taken in 2014 with a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who she was engaged to before she was elected to the parliament.

During and after her arrest on 2 September she was roughly manhandled by the police, who cuffed her hands behind her back, grabbed her hair and forced her head down as they frog-marched her away.