Turkish refugee woman beaten by Greek police, Amnesty reveals
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
A Greek flag flutters on the top of the parliament as the moon rises in Athens May 23, 2013. Amnesty International (AI) has shared the story of a Turkish refugee who fled to Greece last year recently and was beaten by Greek police while in custody. REUTERS/John KolesidisAmnesty International (AI) has shared the story of a Turkish refugee who fled to Greece last year recently and was beaten by Greek police while in custody.
The 47-year-old Turkish national, identified by AI under the pseudonym “Deniz,” settled in the Greek capital Athens after leaving her homeland last year to escape political persecution, according to the AI’s annual human rights report 2013.
Amnesty said Deniz worked to support political prisoners who were on hunger strike – actions which earned her several arrests by the Turkish police, who reportedly subjected her to torture in custody, back in Turkey.
Less than a year after her arrival in Greece, police in Athens arrested Deniz in February this year, after the Turkish authorities issued an extradition request for her. She was soon released on bail, according to the AI.
Two months later, on April 22, she and her lawyer reported to Athens’ Exarheia police station in accordance with her bail conditions. Upon arrival there, she was informed there was a warrant out for her arrest, and she was promptly detained.
After around three hours, police transferred her by car to General Attika Police Directorate (GADA as it’s known by its Greek initials) because there was no cell for female detainees at the station. Deniz was taken to a room, apparently to be searched. She described the ill-treatment she then received.
Initially there was only one policewoman in the room with her. Although Deniz cannot speak Greek, no translator was provided.
According to Deniz, the policewoman searched her initially with her hands. When the policewoman asked her to strip naked, she refused, saying she was a refugee and did not want to take her clothes off.
Two policemen in civilian clothes were then called in to the room. “One of the male police officers was pulling me and the other, I believe intended to tear my clothes off,” she explained.
“I understood that they were swearing at me. The female police officer was holding my hair…. One of the male officers punched me in my face…. My beating went on for approximately five minutes. Then the guard from the Exarheia police station heard my screams, entered the room and tried to take me away from [them]….. I was then transferred again to the Exarheia police station where I spent the night,” Deniz was quoted as saying by Amnesty.
After her ordeal, Deniz filed a criminal complaint and had her injuries treated in a hospital.
She had visible signs of bruising on her face and arm when she recounted the incident to Amnesty International two days later.
At the end of April, the Council of Appeal Judges in Athens rejected the Turkish extradition request, meaning Deniz can remain in Greece. During the same week, the country’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal by a public prosecutor against a decision of the Council of Misdemeanor Judges which refused the extradition of two asylum-seekers of Turkish nationality.