At least 20 people have been detained by Turkish army in Halfeti village of Şanlıurfa province over their alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is classified as a terrorist organization by the EU, the US and Turkey.

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a prominent human rights activist and a deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), posted a picture late on Monday in which a dozen of  people handcuffed from the back and lying on the ground.

“What is happening in Halfeti?

Which problem can be addressed when people are collectively punished like this.

We could not get rid of deadlocks that come with such collective punishments.

This will take us nowehere. Stop violating human rights,” Gergerlioğlu twitted.

 

Cihan Özgür, a Kurdish reporter and an activist, tweeted that eyewitnesses said Turkish army bombarded a house in the village with a helicopter from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Monday. Lawyers also said that 60 people have so far been detained by the army and many of them have been subjected to heavy torture.

UPDATE

Ahmet Yildirim, one of the suspects who were forced to lay down with their hands cuffed from behind back, as seen in the picture above, was released after some time in detention.

Yildirim said he was subjected to torture with electricity.

“They shocked us with electricity at the Anti-Terror Unit. They put a black sack onto my head and took me from the custody cell. Then they started to beat me. I wouldn’t see anything neither did I see how many people were attacking. They stripped me naked and forced me to lay on the ground by hitting on my head. They tied my arm and leg. They applied electric shock to my genital area. They cracked my head. I still got some scars on my head. And there was Omer Gul alongside me. They tortured him a lot too,” Yildirim told Mezopotamya news agency.

Ruken Deniz, another detainee who was later released confirmed torture allegations in an interview with Mezopotamya and said: “Police officers were talking to me like: ‘She doesn’t get affected with the electricity. She is like a pig. …Let’s give her 200 volts.”

Deniz said police accused her of aiding terrorists by hiding them at her home.

Mezopotamya said 29 out of 53 people who were initially detained were still under custody at the time of writing on May 26.