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Prisoners beaten for speaking Kurdish

FAMILIES of prisoners in specially built prisons in Turkey are seeking legal aid to bring a case against the authorities after their relatives were beaten for speaking Kurdish.

Prisoners in Iskenderun, a high-security jail for political prisoners, have called for increased awareness of their cases and for human rights advocates to intervene.

A family member, who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisals against their relative, said: "They are insulted by the guards every minute … and battered for speaking Kurdish.

“All prisoners in the ward have been battered in this manner. They took away the prisoners who complained and put them in solitary confinement to beat them there separately."

Hundreds of Kurds started a hunger strike in April to protest at their treatment in jails across the country.

Medical reports documenting the extent of the reported torture have been rejected by the prison authorities, who accused the prisoners of lying.

An appeal has been made to the Mardin Human Rights Association for support and the prisoners have called for international solidarity.

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