Turkey Admits 33 Injured in Suppression of Prison Riot
Thirty three people were injured when security forces put down a riot by extreme leftists in a high security jail two weeks ago, the Turkish interior ministry has admitted.
They included a prisoner who had his arm torn off by earth-moving equipment in the operation on July 5th, the ministry acknowledged in a written statement late Wednesday.
Security forces were sent in after 61 prisoners at the jail in the southwestern town of Burdur barricaded themselves into their cells to prevent 11 inmates from being taken to their court hearings.
The prisoners refused to end their protest despite warnings and attacked security forces, injuring 10 soldiers, six prison warders and another official, the ministry said.
It stressed that security forces had "refrained from using firearms to prevent bloodshed" and used tear gas instead against the protestors, leaving 15 hurt.
An earth-moving machine was brought in to demolish the wall to the prisoners' cellblocks after security forces were unable to force open the doors barricaded by the protestors.
A detainee who attacked the machine got his arm caught and security forces were unable to prevent the accident because of poor visibility in the cellblocks due to the tear gas, the ministry said.
"Security forces showed the utmost care in fully obeying the law, preventing any harm to the prisoners, prison authorities and the prison," the statement added.
Turkish authorities have opened two investigations into the riot after newspapers published Tuesday photographs of six inmates who say they were tortured and badly injured during the incidents.
The photos showed prisoners with bruises on their faces, backs, arms, legs and hips.
Two inmates had head injuries, while another was photographed lying with a bandaged foot.
The inmates' lawyers say the injuries were sustained when troops used tear gas, truncheons and metal bars on the prisoners – ANKARA (AFP)
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