Turkish soldiers arrested after raping Afghan refugee woman

Turkish soldiers arrested after raping Afghan refugee woman
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Two Turkish soldiers were arrested after raping an Afghan woman seeking refuge in Turkey’s southeastern Van province

Two Turkish soldiers in the Saray district of Van province in Turkey’s east were arrested for allegedly raping a refugee woman on Tuesday night, Turkey’s news web site T24 reported.

The two contracted privates, identified by their initials as O.K and A.C.D allegedly detached a 24-year-old Afghan woman identified as Leyla M. from a group that they were taking to the Iranian border for deportation, and took her to a toilet nearby.

Other military personnel realized the incident when Leyla M. started to scream and came to her rescue, T24 said.

Consequently, a lieutenant who was the commander in charge, reported the assault to the prosecutor's office after the woman identified the two soldiers. The suspect, O. K., who was taken into custody, denied charges and held the other suspect responsible for the attack, while A. C. D., admitted to the charges and said they committed the crime together. Both soldiers were arrested and sent to jail pending trial.

Turkish officials’ brutal treatment of the Afghan refugees seeking asylum in Turkey was highlighted in a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published in October.

HRW said that Turkish authorities are summarily pushing Afghan asylum seekers crossing into the country from Iran back to Iran, in violation of international law.

Afghan refugees interviewed in the report told the HRW that the Turkish army beat them and their fellow travelers – some to the point of breaking their bones – and collectively expelled them in groups of 50 to 300 people as they tried to cross the border to seek safety in Turkey.