On 26 June, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) accused Turkey of systematically violating the UN Convention against Torture. Citing statistics from the Ministry of Justice for the year 2022, the HDP revealed that in cases of torture and ill-treatment, the numbers of decisions not to prosecute and acquittals exceeded the number of convictions.

Turkey systematically violates the UN Convention against Torture, said the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Monday, marking the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

According to the statistics of the Turkish Ministry of Justice for 2022, in cases of torture and ill-treatment, the numbers of decisions not to prosecute (at the investigation stage) and acquittals (at the trial stage) outnumbered convictions.

The HDP condemned the judiciary’s approach in protecting the perpetrators of crimes of torture, especially when they were committed by state officials. They argued that such a stance not only encouraged and empowered the offenders but also incited them to commit similar crimes in the future.

The HDP further argued that the judiciary’s decisions to shield the perpetrators, particularly in cases involving Kurdish victims, normalised the act of torture. Additionally, the party pointed out that journalists who report on these incidents of torture often themselves face arrest and detention.

Drawing attention to the human rights violations occurring in Turkish prisons, the HDP highlighted a range of abuses, including the obstruction of access to healthcare and the imposition of arbitrary disciplinary punishments. These practices, which can escalate to torture, are reported to be worsening with each passing day.

The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, observed annually on 26 June, aims to raise awareness about the crime of torture and extend support to its victims and survivors worldwide.

The day holds significance as it marks the date when the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect.

As a signatory to the Convention, Turkey, along with other participating states, bears the responsibility of effectively combatting all forms of torture, cruel treatment, and inhuman or degrading punishment.