A man taken to Turkey from Lebanon by Turkish intelligence in April over alleged terrorist links is recorded in his case file as having been arrested in the province of Muş in Turkey in July. He was also subjected to severe torture for three months, Artı Gerçek said in an exclusive report on Monday.
Savaş Çelik’s arrest in a foreign country by the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MİT) was first reported by Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu in July. The agency called Çelik a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), for whom there was a blue-code arrest warrant. According to the Anadolu agency, Çelik had been active in areas around the eastern province of Muş since 2014 and was responsible for murdering a Turkish gendarme commander.
However, Anadolu’s report was news to Çelik’s family who had not been able to reach their son for three months. According to the family, Çelik was arrested by the Lebanese authorities, who had confused him with another man with a similar name.
His lawyers claim that Çelik was arrested in Lebanon in April, handed to Turkish officials on 24 April, brought to Turkey on the same day and taken blindfolded to a place unknown where he suffered 87 days of torture.
“They used torture and inhumane treatment on him, and he was detained for a longer period than is longer than accepted in the Constitution and laws. The officers knew that there was no legal basis for having kept him so long, and they prepared a fake arrest report which they included in the Muş Chief State Prosecution file numbered 2022/4572, indicating that our client had been arrested during road checks on 20 July 2022 inside the country,” Çelik’s’s lawyers told Remzi Budancir from Artı Gerçek.
The lawyers filed complaints against related public officials on charges of “torture and inhumane treatment”, “deprivation of liberty” and “forgery of official documents”. They have also applied to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Based on Çelik’s statements, the complaint includes a list of the forms of torture he was subjected to, including continuous beating, being kept blindfolded with hands bound, electric shocks to hands, feet, kidneys and genitals, squeezing of testicles, anal penetration with batons, and being squirted with pressurised water. According to Çelik, the people holding him gave him minimal food and water, denied him use of the toilet and told him that his wife and children had also been detained, .
The lawyers said that Çelik, who weighed 71kg when arrested, weighed only 49kg after 87 days. “For 20 days he had to use nappies because of having been raped with batons. He still sometimes defecates in his underwear as he cannot feel his bowel movements,” they said.