Turkish soldiers arrested after video shows horrific beatings and abuse of Syrian refugees

أخر تحديث : السبت 5 أغسطس 2017 - 12:16 صباحًا
Turkish soldiers arrested after video shows horrific beatings and abuse of Syrian refugees

Turkish soldiers arrested after video shows horrific beatings and abuse of Syrian refugees

Golan Times

By: Suhad Alaawar

Rights groups have consistently criticised Turkey’s army for inhumane treatment and shooting people trying to cross the border The Turkish authorities have arrested several soldiers over their role in a video which shows them physically and verbally abusing several young Syrian men trying to illegally cross the border into the country.

The incident, which took place at a military outpost last week, involved four soldiers hitting and kicking the young men, shouting at them in the process. “Will you come to Turkey again? Be quiet man! Don’t shout,” one says, while his colleague repeatedly kicks a refugee already on the ground. “Why did you bring the refugees in? Are you a smuggler?“ another says.

The video, purportedly taken by a soldier who took part and widely shared online after being sent to a contact in Germany, has not been independently verified.

However, in a statement on its website the Turkish army said it had identified the personnel involved and taken them into custody. The four refugees were taken to a police station, examined by a medical team and deported, the army said.

The Turkish authorities have been repeatedly accused of inhumane practices against those fleeing the six-year-old conflict next door. Also last week, photos of young Syrian men being forced to put on women’s underwear to amuse border guards have been widely circulated, to the outrage of many.

Rights groups have consistently criticised Turkish troops for opening fire on Syrian civilians attempting to cross the border. A total of 163 refugees – including 15 women and 31 children – were allegedly shot by snipers or killed in shelling, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says. Ankara denies the claims.

While initially Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Syrians were welcome in the country, after an influx of approximately three million people pressures on resources are high and there are tensions between refugee and local communities around the country.

Resentment often bubbles over into racially motivated violence: in July, a heavily pregnant Syrian woman was taken from her home near Sayarka, raped and bludgeoned to death with rocks. Her attackers also killed her 10-month-old son. Two men – reportedly motivated by an argument they’d had with the woman’s husband – were detained over the murders.

Almost 500,000 people have died in Syria’s complex civil war, the UN says, and 14 million – half the population – have been forced to flee their homes.

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