The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has submitted an inquiry to the parliament on claims of torture after photographs surfaced of a man lying naked on the floor while in custody in a police station in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
The photographs belongs to the suspect referred to as M.E.C. who was arrested on the suspicion of killing police officer Atakan Arslan on May 30.
Emre Soylu, an advisor to a deputy from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), shared the photos of M.E.C. in a tweet and wrote “a traitor, in the compassionate arms of the police.”
The first photograph shared by Soylu shows M.E.C. sitting between two police officers in a van, while the second photograph shows a person stepping on the back of M.E.C. who is seen stripped naked. The second photograph also exposes a police baton lying on the ground.
Diyarbakır police department claims it used 'proportional force' against suspect
The Diyarbakır police department issued a statement claiming that "proportional force" was used against M.E.C.
In its written statement, the department said that M.E.C. tried to attack a police officer with a razor blade hidden in his mouth as he was being taken into custody.
The department said that after the razor was confiscated, for the purpose of ensuring the safety of the officers, M.E.C. was stripped naked, and another razor blade was found in the elastic lining of his underwear.
After the controversial photos received widespread criticism on social media, Soylu closed his Twitter account.
Meanwhile, the Diyarbakır Bar Association released a written statement saying that it would initiate a legal process into torture claims once they get hold of more detailed information.
Bugün itibariyle kamuoyuna yansıyan fotoğraflarda, Diyarbakır Emniyetinde meydana gelen işkence vakasına ilişkin Diyarbakır Barosu olarak detaylı bilgiler elde edildikten sonra hukuki süreci başlatacağımızı ve işkence vakasının takipçisi olacağımızı kamuoyuna saygıyla duyururuz. pic.twitter.com/Uv8G1TeuoG— Diyarbakır Barosu (@Diyarbakirbaro) May 31, 2020
HDP's Diyarbakır lawmaker Remziye Tosun on June 1 took the issue to the parliament's agenda and directed a question to the government asking an investigation to be undertaken.
“If claims of torture and maltreatment are correct, as per the European Human Rights Convention's article saying 'inhumane or derogatory treatment against people is not acceptable,' will an investigation be undertaken concerning those who are responsible for this action?” Tosun asked.
Tosun also asked who sent the two controversial photographs to Soylu and for which purpose. The HDP deputy also demanded to know the current health situation of M.E.C.