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Sexual Assault of Women in Turkish Prisons

Amnesty International has documented numerous cases of women being sexually tortured while in police and gendarmerie detention in Turkey. One such case documented by AI is that of S.Y.:

“S.Y. was detained at Istanbul Police Headquarters between [September 24th and 27th 2002]. She was reportedly blindfolded and subjected to torture, which included sexual assault. One police officer reportedly made her open her mouth and spat into it. Grabbed by the hair and thrown to the ground, beaten and insulted, she was then made to strip. A police officer also stripped and rubbed his hands and penis against her, after which she was taken naked to the toilet and sprayed with cold pressurized water. S.Y. reported that on the last day she was in custody, she was stripped naked and sexually assaulted again...”

It is extremely difficult for survivors of sexual violence to obtain justice because lawyers who represent them are subjected to official, media and peer persecution. This only contributes to the silence surrounding sex crimes in Turkey. Furthermore, when court sessions are held, many are adjourned at the request of lawyers for the police officers. Reasons for this adjournment included the non-attendance of the defendants and their failure to provide photographs of themselves for identification purposes.

The apparent pattern of impunity for the perpetrators of these crime must be brought to an end.

AI INDEX: EUR 44/009/2003 26 February 2003


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Copyright © Laura Rowe.