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HRW finds evidence of torture in Turkish prisons

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[JURIST] Turkish prisons are committing torture and disappearing citizens, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said in a report [press release] Thursday.

The report, entitled In Custody: Police Torture and Abductions in Turkey [text], alleges that even though Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ordered a moratorium on prisoner abuses, they still occur.

In doing months of investigation by speaking to lawyers and survivors, HRW estimates thousands of individuals have undergone abuses while in police custody while the government cracks down on terrorism [JURIST reports]. Many of the survivors spent weeks facing psychological and physical torture as well as sexual violence.

Human Rights Watch heard accounts of detainees stripped naked, and in some cases of detainees being threatened with sexual assault, or being sexually assaulted. In many cases, the torture appeared to be aimed at extracting confessions or forcing detainees to implicate other individuals. Detainees who alleged torture were brought before doctors for routine medical reports, but either the doctors showed no interest in physical evidence of torture or the presence of police officers inhibited them from conducting proper medical examinations and made it hard for detainees to describe their injuries or speak about treatment in custody.

HRW is calling on the International community to pressure the Turkish legal community to enforce the international prohibitions on torture and enforced disappearances

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