Pro-Kurdish party official beaten, tortured by Turkish authorities - HDP members

A member of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) was beaten and subject to hours-long torture by Turkish police in her home in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, HDP officials said on Saturday.

Sevil Rojbin Çetin, an HDP local government board member, was detained on Friday after hundreds of law enforcement officers surrounded her house in Diyarbakır, said HDP’s Group Vice President Meral Danış Beştaş and Women’s Council spokesperson Ayşe Acar Başaran in a press release carried by news site Bianet.

Beştaş said that rather than follow standard detainment procedure, where neighbours and local officials accompany the process, counter-terrorism police released two dogs into Rojbin Çetin’s home before themselves entering.

“Diyarbakır Police have started a new era in the use of dogs in torture,” she said, noting that the dogs bit into both of the HDP official’s legs.

Beştaş said the told Rojbin Çetin’s neighbours not to leave their apartment flats nor to communicate with the outside world.

“Rojbin Çetin was subjected to torture under her eyes and his lip was torn,’’ Beştaş said, sharing photos of the HDP official’s wounds to journalists.

“Law enforcement officers deliberately organised and monitored this attack.”

Rojbin Çetin was the co-mayor of Edremit district in eastern Van province before she was replaced by a state-appointed trustee.

Başaran said that Rojbin Çetin was stripped half-naked and photographed with her eyes closed, and questioned the reasoning behind the actions.

“We ask, what are they going to do with the photos, where are they going to post them, which (internet) troll are they going to hand them to? They're going to turn this into another form of torture,” she said.

The HDP Women's Council spokesperson accused the Turkish government, run by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), of carrying out “various attacks against women for a long time”, citing the closures of several women’s institutions earlier this week, such as the Rosa Women's Association and the Free Women’s Movement.

“These attacks are an attack on the will of women,” Başaran said.

Beştaş called for an immediate explanation from government officials over the incident.

“Whoever did this, if necessary, special operations, whoever the police chief is, today we want these torturers to be dismissed immediately," she said.