AFP reports: Many thousands of Turks massed on Sunday for the first cross-party rally to condemn the coup attempt against the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, amid a purge of suspected state enemies.
Istanbul’s Taksim square was transformed into a sea of national flags as Erdoğan’s ruling Islamic-conservatives and the opposition secular camps briefly set aside their differences in a show of national unity.
But in stark contrast to the broadly celebratory mood in Istanbul, human rights group Amnesty International in London claimed it had “credible evidence” of the beating and torture of post-coup detainees.
The official number of those in custody since the 15 July putsch has surged above 13,000 soldiers, police, justice officials and civilians in a wave of arrests that has alarmed Nato allies and European leaders.
Despite the high tensions since the coup attempt, the mood at the Istanbul rally was strongly patriotic.
“We defend the republic and democracy” read one sign in the vast crowd, while others declared “sovereignty belongs to the people alone” and “no to the coup, yes to democracy!”
A few banners also protested against the post-coup state of emergency, with one proclaiming “no to the coup, no to dictatorship”. [Continue reading…]
Amnesty International has gathered credible evidence that detainees in Turkey are being subjected to beatings and torture, including rape, in official and unofficial detention centres in the country.
The organization is calling for independent monitors to be given immediate access to detainees in all facilities in the wake of the coup attempt, which include police headquarters, sports centres and courthouses. More than 10,000 people have been detained since the failed coup.
Amnesty International has credible reports that Turkish police in Ankara and Istanbul are holding detainees in stress positions for up to 48 hours, denying them food, water and medical treatment, and verbally abusing and threatening them. In the worst cases some have been subjected to severe beatings and torture, including rape.
“Reports of abuse including beatings and rape in detention are extremely alarming, especially given the scale of detentions that we have seen in the past week. The grim details that we have documented are just a snapshot of the abuses that might be happening in places of detention,” said Amnesty International’s Europe director John Dalhuisen. [Continue reading…]