One of the world's largest human rights organizations, Amnesty International's Turkey office called for emergency action against members of law enforcement who sexually abused students they detained during protests against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's appointment of a rector to Boğaziçi University.
Students who were detained during the violent clashes with police on Jan. 4 reported being strip searched, beaten, and sexually abused by law enforcement while in police custody, later proven by medical examinations.
Police violence against Boğaziçi protesters continued after the first day of demonstrations on Jan. 4, as law enforcement brutally detained protesters in home raids for two days that followed.
"Students were pushed, forced onto the ground, and handcuffed in the back, and forced to stay in this position for an hour and a half," Amnesty International reported in the emergency action letter to Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Şaban Yılmaz.
Students also reported to the organization that police officers held them at gunpoint, threatened sexual assault, and even subject them to mistreatment at the hospital, with one doctor taking a photo of one of the detainees.
"We urge an immediate investigation into the treatment of the detainees, and for law enforcement to be held accountable as needed."
The police intervention within the Boğaziçi protests is a violation of the right to peaceful assembly, which is protected by the Turkish Constitution, the organization also noted.