Turkish watchmen batter quake-victim, say ‘we are the state under emergency rule’

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In quake-torn Hatay’s Defne district, two watchmen battered an earthquake survivor when he wanted to take the belongings of his relative from a damaged building, online news outlet Bianet reported on March 18.

The victim filed a criminal complaint for the charge of “intentional injury” about the violence he was subjected to and shared the details of the moments.

He noted that the watchmen started to shout at him and his friend while they were taking the belongings from the damaged building, even though they shared proof of residence.

The watchmen shouted by saying, “There is a state of emergency (OHAL); there is no state. We are the state and the judiciary here.”

Accordingly, the watchmen battered the earthquake victim, used pepper spray on him, and put him in reverse handcuffs.

“In the meantime the citizens around reacted, they let me go and removed the handcuffs from my hands. The watchmen walked away without issuing an official report,” the victim said.

Previously, incidents of the security personnel’s violence against quake victims have occurred because they were blamed to be “looters.” On Feb. 12, a man, who was taken into custody for allegedly being a “looter” in Hatay with his brother, lost his life while under detention.

After the Feb. 6 earthquakes, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued the state of emergency rule for three months with a presidential decree. Erdoğan said that the new state of emergency for the 10 quake-stricken provinces will help the state to intervene against the reported plunders in the region. Erdoğan also referred to the criticism of the government over its response to the deadly quakes as “political abuse,” signaling that the new state of emergency would help the authorities to take an action against critics.

Source:Duvar English

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