Human rights report on Turkey’s southeast reveals military torture, increased violence against women

A semi-annual human rights report by the Diyarbakır branch of Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD) has revealed cases of civilian torture during military operations; restrictions on freedom of expression as well as an increase in violence against women and children in the country’s predominantly Kurdish southeast.

IHD Vice Chairman Raci Bilici shared the findings of the report for the first six months of 2018 with the public during a press conference in Diyarbakır, noting that the organization is threatened by the Turkish government for exposing the human rights violations in Turkey’s southeast.

İHD’s Diyarbakır Chairman Avukat Abdullah Zeytun noted that Turkey’s state of emergency rule, which was implemented following the July 2016 coup and lifted on July 19 of this year, was used a vehicle for pressuring opposition groups in the country and practices implemented during the two-year-long state of emergency rule have become the norm in the region.

 Some of the findings of the IHD report include the presence of 700 children below the age of 7 in Turkish prisons alongside their mothers.

A total of 1154 sick inmates, 402 of which are in critical condition, have been virtually ‘’abandoned to deaths,’’ the IHD said.

Zeytun stressed the use of force against residents in the region during curfews and home raids as part of the state’s ongoing war against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for over 30 years.

Turkish government launched security operations against PKK and declared curfew in four southeastern districts in 2018.

The report indicated an increase in cases of violence against women and shared that a total of 44 children were detained as part of investigations in the region.

Conditions for labourers in the region have not fared well, the IHD noted. Nine workers died while on the job and 10 workers were injured during the past six months.
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