Target: President Recep Erdogan
Goal: Ensure that people detained for plotting a coup are afforded basic human rights.
In the wake of an attempted coup, Turkish authorities have detained more than 10,000 people, holding them in police stations, courthouses, and sports centers. Many have been kept in pre-trial detention without any due process. There have been reports that prisoners are being tortured, beaten, denied access to water and food, and in some cases sexually assaulted. Allegedly, detainees have been forced into stress positions for up to 48 hours, and beaten with the goal of eliciting confessions. Further reports describe prisoners in severe emotional distress, with some even attempting suicide.
While the European Convention on Human Rights has been suspended, torture remains illegal in Turkey. Furthermore, torture has been proven time and time again to produce unreliable information. The widespread use of torture methods can only undermine attempts to prosecute those who plotted the coup, and may well result in false confessions from people who are innocent, all the while undermining the right to a fair trial. Sign our petition and demand that Turkey open its detention centers to independent monitoring, and works to uphold the human rights of detainees.
Dear President Erdogan,
I was alarmed to hear reports of the widespread torture of those placed in pre-trial detention following the recent coup attempt. Detainees are reportedly being forced to undergo stress positions for more than two days, some have been sexually assaulted, and many have been beaten. There have been reports of torture being used as an interrogation technique. While it is true that many of those detained were participants in the coup plot, their mistreatment can only undermine efforts to bring those involved in the coup to justice. Information and confessions gained through torture are unreliable.
In this time of crisis I believe it is more important than ever that Turkey upholds the rights and values that the coup would have destroyed. I urge you to allow independent monitors to access those detained in unconventional detention centers, and to do everything in your power to ensure detainees have access to food and water, and are free from torture. The European Convention of Human Rights may have been suspended, but torture remains against both Turkish and International law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Tim Yancey