MA reporter Sezgin tortured under custody: This is a state policy

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  • 12:34 3 August 2021
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İSTANBUL - Our reporter Enes Sezgin battered by a racist group in İstanbul following a press release said: "This torturous process people, especially the journalists have to go through is a state policy."
 
A racist group attacked the youth after the statement they made in Taksim Tünel Square to protest the racist massacre in Konya upon the call of the Istanbul Labor, Peace and Democracy Forces, and battered the journalists. Many people were injured in the attack, especially Mesopotamia Agency (MA) reporter Muhammed Enes Sezgin and Özgür Gelecek reporter Taylan Öztaş. The police, on the other hand, detained 6 people, including Sezgin and Öztaş, not the attackers. Journalists, who were beaten by the police while in custody, were released by the court.
 
Our reporter Enes Sezgin, who was attacked by the racist group and then detained and beaten by the police, spoke about the ordeal he had to go through.
 
HANDCUFFED FROM THE BACK
 
Stating that he was targeted by the racist group while he was following the press release, Sezgin said, “I was following the news there, I was just taking pictures. After attacking the mass, they  attacked the press too. A policeman and 4 people from a racist group attacked me and other female press workers. After the aggrassive group left, I sat in the park and started writing my story. One of the racist group pointed me to the cops and the cops started to walk towards me. The police have surrounded us. The racist group grew more and more. The police attacked the young people who were exposed to racist attacks. One of them then looked at my ID and handcuffed me from my back and forced me to lay on the ground. Even though I said I was a journalist, the police insulted me by saying 'shut up and don't talk'.
 
TORTURE CHAMBER
 
Stating that he was taken into custody on the grounds that there was a complaint against him, but no information was given about the complaint, Sezgin explained what he experienced in the police station where he was taken: "They put me in the car and took me to Kasımpaşa Police Station. As soon as I went to the police station, the 4 people who were caught with me were taken to a room at the back of the police station. We were taken to a room that we could call the 'torture chamber' of the police station. There were no cameras there and it was a very small room. They beat and tortured us all in the room. A large group of police officers attacked us and hit us in the face and on our arms. He took us one by one in that dark room. A strip search was imposed on me, but I did not accept it and I was subjected to police violence again. Then they put us in line at the police station. They were telling us, 'turn your face to the wall'. After that, they took us to the hospital for a checkup.”
 
TORTURE AT THE HOSPITAL 
 
Sezgin stated that he was beaten by the police while he was being taken to the hospital for examination and said, “Then they took us to another police station from the hospital and beat us again there. When I was at the police station, I was saying that I was a journailist, and they inflicted even more violence on me. This is unacceptable. There, a policeman came and said to his friend, "The chief has a special order, we will not even let them wash their faces." The police take their power from his superior and apply violence, but from whom does the superior gets his power? How are they so sure they will not be punished whatever they do?"
 
POLICE BRUTALITY
 
Sezgin said that they were tortured by the guards and the police and that they had bruises all over their bodies. Sezgin underlined that they will file a criminal complaint against these police officers.
 
STATE POLICY
 
Stating that they were repeatedly insulted by the police, Sezgin said, “This torture of journalists and citizens is a policy of the state. While we were being taken to the hospital in the police car, the police told  us, 'You will not send these dogs in prison. Don't let them eat government food. The best thing to do is to take them to an empty field and shot them in the head. They said, 'No one will realize they are gone'. 
 
 

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