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RIGHTS > Alleged police torture against music group

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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Grup Yorum ‘s lead singer Selma Altın is allegedly beaten by the police.

Grup Yorum ‘s lead singer Selma Altın is allegedly beaten by the police.

Two members of the music group, Grup Yorum, which is known for its leftist political tendencies, were detained and allegedly subjected to police violence, with police officers breaking the violinist’s arm and rupturing the lead singer’s eardrum, reports claim.

The band’s lead singer Selma Altın and violinist Ezgi Dilan Balcı were subjected to torture by police after they were detained during incidents that broke out while the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) member İbrahim Çuhadar’s corpse was being removed from the Forensic Medicine Institution. Çuhadar was killed in a bombing at a police station in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district earlier this month.

Taylan Tanay, the lawyer for the two musicians, said Altın’s eardrum was intentionally ruptured since she is the group’s lead singer, while Balcı’s arm was broken as she plays violin, daily Taraf reported yesterday. Tanay said the band members were tortured by police while they were handcuffed.
 
Tanay said his clients were tortured in an effort to deprive them of producing and performing their music. “They were forced to lie down on the ground while they were detained and kicked by many police officers for several minutes. The torture continued in the police car. Since police officers know that Altın is the lead singer of the band, they intentionally ruptured her eardrum by repeatedly hitting her ears. Altın became completely deaf in her right ear, while her left ear now has only partial hearing. A doctor from Forensic Medicine also verified this. The police hit Dilan since she plays the violin. Currently one of her arms is broken. We demanded medical treatment for them, but they were not treated since there is no doctor in Haseki,” Tanay said. He called the incident “police terror.”

According to Tanay, the manner of torture was specifically aimed at Grup Yorum members. He said 28 people were detained in front of the Forensic Medicine Institution on Sept. 14 and subjected to torture, adding that they had filed a criminal complaint against Sedat Selim Ay, the deputy police chief of the anti-terrorism department and other officers involved.

Since Ay has returned to work in Istanbul the number of incidents of police violence has increased, Tanay said. “This incident is not a surprise since the prime minister supports Ay and his [violent] methods. It showed the ineffectiveness of the ‘zero tolerance to torture’ policy,” Tanay said.

September/19/2012

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