Migrants tortured for month in basement
Police on Nov. 27 rescued dozens of migrants who had their hands and feet chained in the basement of a building in Istanbul’s Arnavutköy district and detained three for human smuggling.
The migrants, who agreed with human smugglers to go to Italy, said their money was taken from them at gunpoint and were chained subsequently.
“They beat us every day and left us hungry,” the migrants said, daily Habertürk reported yesterday.
Describing how they ended up in the basement, the migrants said that they reached Turkey via Iran.
“We agreed with the gang members to go to Italy. In order to come to Turkey, we paid between $4,000 and $5,000. We went to Ağrı’s Doğubayazıt [in Turkey’s east] through Iran. After staying there for a night, we reached a bus terminal in Istanbul.
The smugglers who greeted us took us to that basement and said, ‘We are going to the meeting point,’” they also said, adding that their nightmarish days had started after that.
Saying that they were tortured every day, the migrants noted that more Pakistanis and Afghans started to arrive in the basement as time passed.
The migrants said that one of their friends inside got a hold of the keys on Nov. 26 and freed them from their chains.
“We attacked the gang members inside and broke the windows to ask for help. Police arrived and detained three people.
Those detained are gang members and are among those who beat us,” they also said.
While the rescued migrants were delivered to an immigration department after receiving treatment, the gang members were arrested after interrogations.