The wave of protest after the death of demonstrator Metin Lokumcu in Hopa (eastern Black Sea coast) reached the capital of Ankara on Tuesday evening (31 March). 54 people were taken into police custody in the course of a demonstration against the massive police force used in Hopa earlier the same day; four of them were released later on.
Lawyer Sevinç Hocaoğulları told bianet that the people in police custody were exposed to maltreatment and beating.
Dilşat Aktaş, member of the Community Centres Central Steering Board (MYK), got her hip bone broken during the police intervention against the protestors in Ankara. She underwent surgery the same night and will not be able to work for six months. Aktaş announced to lodge a criminal complaint against the police officers involved.
Second encounter with police violence
Serhat Savaş, member of the Community Centres MYK, said in a statement made to bianet that Aktaş had beating marks at several areas of her body.
Aktaş experienced police violence before when the police had intervened against her installing an information booth in Ankara on 25 May. A police officer hit Aktaş in her face with his fist. The assault was confirmed by video records and caused an outcry of protest.
Women in Ankara filed a criminal complaint against the police officer at the Ankara Public Chief Prosecution and requested an investigation.
Maltreatment and beating in custody
Savaş reported that four out of the 54 people taken into police custody in Ankara were released. Lawyer Hocaoğulları, legal advisor of three of the released people, said that one person was mentally disabled and taken into custody by mistake.
Savaş explained that the protestors wanted to place a black wreath in front of the building of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the capital. The police intervention started after the way of the demonstrators had been blocked.
"Gas bombs were thrown to the Kızılay square from every direction", Savaş recalled and added that a group of plainclothes policemen clashed with a group of civilians in a nearby park.
Hocaoğlulları announced that the people taken into custody had been handcuffed for a total of five hours during the transport and at the Police Directorate. He claimed that they had been exposed to maltreatment and beating.
The lawyer was not able to speak to his clients in custody for a long time. "The eyes of two women were completely swollen; the wrists were sore after the handcuffs had not been opened for five hours. Everyone I talked to had beating marks; one person was injured at the eyebrow", Hocaoğulları declared.
He said that the people who were beaten were taken to hospital and, as far as he was told by his clients, they received medical reports that confirmed the beating.
"Lawyers were insulted"
In a joint statement made on Wednesday (1 June), the Human Rights Association (İHD), the Contemporary Lawyers Association (ÇHD), the Confederation of Trade Unions of Public Employees (KESK) and the Ankara Bar Association condemned the violence used against the demonstrators who protested against the incidents in Hopa.
The President of the ÇHD, lawyer Selçuk Kozagaçlı, announced that the people in custody at the Çankaya (Ankara) Police Directorate experienced insults and beating. "Two managers of the ÇHD Head Office and one manager of the Ankara Branch were taken into custody with their hands cuffed at their back which is an inhumane procedure", he criticized and continued that the lawyers were insulted by Kenan Kabak, Deputy Chief of the Police Directory, and then chased away from the police station.
İHD President Öztürk Türkdoğan claimed that an investigation should be launched about the police forces that applied violence during the incident. (AS/VK)