Former public servants in custody threatened with sexual abuse: report

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PHOTO: Amnesty (illustrative)

Former public servants who were detained on Wednesday over membership in the faith-based Gülen movement were subjected to ill treatment and threatened with sexual abuse, according to an opposition deputy, the Euronews Turkish service reported.

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said relatives and lawyers of the detainees have reached out to him with complaints.

“They say the detainees were stripped naked and beaten. In a dark room [at the detention center] they were also threatened with sexual abuse,” Gergerlioğlu told Euronews.

Meanwhile a group of lawyers from the Ankara Bar Association went to the detention center to speak with the detainees and officials investigating the claims.

In May the bar association issued a report revealing that a group of former public servants were subjected to torture in an Ankara detention center for suspects charged with terrorism.

On Wednesday the Ankara police detained 18 former public servants who were dismissed from their jobs by government decrees in the aftermath of a 2016 failed coup after the chief prosecutor’s office ordered the detention of 27 over Gülen links.

Turkey accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating the coup attempt, although it strongly denies any involvement.

According to the Bold Medya news website, the detainees were former employees of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

A detainee’s wife told Bold Medya that her husband was among those who were threatened.

“[Police] displayed greased glass bottles, implying the threat of sexual abuse to the detainees. They intimidated the detainees and signaled that they would start torturing them in further interrogations,” the wife of H. Ç., a former MİT employee, said.

The former civil servants are still in detention, reports suggest.

Recently, a new court was established in Ankara to hear trials specifically of former MİT staff members.

Since the failed coup more than 130,000 public servants have been dismissed from their jobs on allegations of terrorism.

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