Amnesty International on Monday called on Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül to open an investigation into the abuse of prisoners in the country’s southeastern Kurdish majority Diyarbakir province.
The human rights group made this request following the case of Mehmet Sıddık Meşe, who was detained in Diyarbakır Prison on fraud charges, who was allegedly tortured by guards on Dec. 1. His case was investigated by prosecutors but the case was dropped based on a report produced by the prison’s doctor on Dec. 9.
“According to the statement Meşe gave to his lawyer, he was taken by four guards from his dormitory on the morning of December 1 to a separate place called “Aquarium”. Meşe said that for about 40 minutes, at least four guards had been hit by the falanga method under his feet and on various parts of his face and body with wooden batons,” the letter to Gül said.
After this abuse and a meeting with his lawyer, Meşe was not sent to an outside hospital for care despite the severe beating. Instead, he was sent to an in-house doctor who treated his injuries through ice and cold water only.
His lawyer alleges that during the investigation that followed up on a criminal complaint made to prosecutors, he was not permitted to attend the hearing with his client and only partial video evidence was used to make their final decision to drop the criminal case.
Amnesty requested that Gül make it possible for Meşe to receive adequate medical care, conduct an independent forensic investigation of his beatings, and hold his abusers accountable.
According to the group, Turkey does not do an adequate job at preventing torture or punishing perpetrators despite domestic and international laws that provide a framework for doing so.