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Williamson calls for review on Britain's relations with Turkey after Star report on alleged mass torture

DERBY NORTH MP Chris Williamson demanded that the government urgently review its relations with Turkey following allegations of mass torture, including the electrocution of a 13-year-old child.

Mr Williamson told the Star that the “systematic human rights violations by the Erdogan regime in Turkey should have made it an international pariah.”

He blasted Prime Minister Theresa May’s Tory government for “cosying up” to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “tyrannical regime” instead of challenging his authoritarianism.

This has included the sale of weapons to Ankara, which critics warn are used as a further tool of oppression against the people of Turkey and its sizeable Kurdish minority in particular.

The MP, who sat for Labour before being suspended for defending the party’s record on fighting anti-semitism, tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament after reading the “horrific” story in today’s Morning Star which detailed allegations of mass torture in Urfa province.

Raids in the province’s districts and villages, in the country’s largely Kurdish south-east, came after a security official was killed during clashes on Saturday with alleged members of the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) — allied to the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Gulsen Ozbek, a lawyer for two of the detainees, said that a 13-year-old child had been subjected to torture by the police, including by electrocution.

Many of those detained were allegedly beaten, with footage seen by the Star showing police dragging people covered in blood across the floor. 

Journalists from the Mesopotamia News Agency told the Star today that prosecutors have opened investigations into the alleged torture, with at least five people referred for forensic examination.

They explained that the children had been released from custody, while the rest remained in the hands of their alleged torturers. 

The exact number of those being held are not known, with some sources saying nearly 100 people were rounded up by police.

Mr Williamson said the government “must review its relations with Turkey, including trade.”

The motion calls on Parliament to “condemn the Turkish state for its continued oppression of political opponents, including the torture and electrocution of children” and states the belief that “the government’s support for the Erdogan regime legitimises him and creates the conditions for the ongoing persecution of the people of Turkey.”

It calls on on the government to review Britain’s relations with Turkey, “including trade, to bring pressure on Turkey to uphold the human rights of everyone within its borders.”


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