Kurdish inmate brutally assaulted by soldiers at Turkish hospital

Kurdish inmate brutally assaulted by soldiers at Turkish hospital
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Zekeriya Muhammed, a Kurdish inmate from Northern Syria, was violently attacked by soldiers while seeking medical treatment at a hospital in Urfa, Turkey. The soldiers allegedly beat him with rifle butts, resulting in fractures to his head.

A Kurdish inmate from Northern Syria in Hilvan district of Urfa, Turkey was subjected to a brutal assault by soldiers while seeking medical treatment at a hospital, Mezopotamya News Agency reported on Saturday.

The assault against Zekeriya Muhammed occurred during his visit to a hospital, with soldiers allegedly beating him with rifle butts. The incident has sparked outrage and concern over the treatment of political prisoners in Turkish prisons.

Muhammed, who has been detained on charges of "membership in an organization" for the past two years at Hilvan Prison, was brought to Mehmet Akif İnan Education and Research Hospital, located in Urfa, due to discomfort in his tonsils. According to the allegation, the soldiers accompanying Muhammed assaulted him in the cell designated for prisoners at the hospital.

Mustafa Vefa, Co-Chair of the Human Rights Association’s (IHD) Urfa Branch,said the assault took place last Tuesday and explained that Muhammed was at the door of the doctor's office.

Vefa said that during the handcuffing process, the handcuffs were tightened excessively and Muhammed objected to it. After a while, 15-20 military personnel entered the cell and started beating Muhammed.

"The gendarmerie personnel hit Muhammed's head randomly with the butt of a rifle, resulting in his head being fractured in two places. They then took him, put him in a military vehicle, and returned him to the prison. However, the correctional did not accept Muhammed in this condition. Another group of soldiers took him to hospital where doctors stitched his head. Then, the doctor issued a report on the assault. The military personnel on duty there also tried to pressure the doctor not to issue this report.”

Afterward, Zekeriya Muhammed was taken back to the prison. The correctional officers present there admitted Muhammed with a record. They prepared a record stating, 'Zekeriya Muhammed had no problems while being sent from here to the hospital. However, with visible injuries on his head and face, we accept him inside.'

“After preparing this record, the prosecutor initiated administrative and judicial investigations into this incident," Vefa said.

Vefa emphasized that both the prison staff and the security forces harbor a hostile attitude towards political prisoners. He further stated, "Once a person enters prison, their physical and vital safety must be protected by the state. According to the contracts the state has signed and its national laws, no detainee should be subjected to different treatment based on the reason for their entry into prison.

However, unfortunately, we constantly come across situations where both the security forces and the prison staff treat political prisoners differently. Particularly in Urfa, the attitude towards political prisoners from Northern Syria sometimes exhibits elements of racism. Due to the absence of their families and possibly their lack of knowledge of the laws, they can easily be subjected to arbitrary treatment and suffer from widespread human rights violations."