Detained Armenian-Turkish activist says she was strip-searched in custody

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Natali Avazyan, an Armenian-origin Turkish human rights activist, on Friday said that she was strip-searched in police custody in Istanbul.

Avazyan was detained over a social media post following a police raid in the southern province of Adana on Tuesday.

“I was detained unlawfully. I was subjected to a strip-search,” Avazyan said in a tweet.

Tens of thousands of women have been subjected to undignified naked searches in the last three years, Avazyan said, calling for “an end to the arbitrary practice.”

“My body belongs to me,” Avazyan said in a video she posted on Twitter. “The person I give permission to can touch me, the person I give permission to can see me naked.”

The activist, famous on Turkish social media for sharing photographs of daily life and significant events in Turkey over the decades, was detained briefly in October last year for allegedly insulting Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in a tweet.

Turkish authorities have intensified a crackdown on alleged support of terrorist organisations or insulting officials on social media following the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016.