The Human Rights Organisation (IHD) in Turkey announced its annual report on kidnappings, threats and being forced to be informants for the state. MA reports.
According to the report, between January and November 2021, at least 66 people were asked or forced to become “informants,” for the state. Many of these offers and threats were made in detention centres, prison cells or other places, the report reveals.
Outside of any formal procedure, thirteen people were kidnapped and released in 2021 according to the report and 65 people were physically and psychologically threatened for political reasons, mostly by state law enforcement officers. Twelve people were also threatened on social media.
Most of the threatened people are either members of political parties, university students or press members.
IHD co-chair Öztürk Türkdoğan also stated that members of minority groups also experienced these threats often because of their minority identities.
Türkdoğan said these forced ‘offers’ and threats were carried out by law enforcement agencies or prison guards who identified themselves as Turkish intelligence officers.
He noted that the victims were reluctant to apply to the prosecutor’s office or human rights organisations and so IHD could not ascertain the actual numbers of people and that the real number might be a lot bigger.
Türkdoğan also added that such practices have become much more common after the July 2016 so called coup attempt and following the period of state of emergency in Turkey.
“Complaints about these issues are not investigated effectively and a “general policy of impunity” is applied in many of these cases,” he said.