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Witness
Turkey's Hidden Shame
Human rights lawyer acts for women who have been sexually tortured while in custody.
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2009 15:15 GMT

Watch part two

Filmmaker: Julia Rooke

Amnesty International's 2008 report on human rights states that 'allegations of torture and other ill-treatment and the use of excessive force by law enforcement officials persist' in Turkey.

This is despite an overt expression of 'zero-tolerance for torture' by the Turkish government since 2002.

Kurdish-born Eren Keskin is a controversial human rights lawyer who takes on the cases of women claiming sexual torture while in custody in Turkey.

She has spent the last decade working on alleged torture and rape cases, a task that has brought her into direct conflict with Turkish authorities and resulted in her own arrest and imprisonment of six months.

In the early days, Eren's clients were nearly all Kurdish women, but now a growing number of women from across Turkey accuse the police and the military of sexual crimes and turn to Eren for help. Yet despite bringing hundreds of cases to court, Eren has yet to secure a conviction.

Turkey's Hidden Shame follows Eren in her work. It is a disturbing film containing some shocking and graphically-described claims of torture and sexual abuse.

Filmmaker Julia Rooke tried to get comments and responses from the Turkish authorities during this production, but without luck.

This episode of Witness aired from Tuesday, February 10, 2009.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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