10/11/2020 | Writer: Yıldız Tar

Police detained 18 trans women in İstanbul, citing "corona measures". Trans women were kept at the police station overnight. “They detained 18 trans women in the middle of the night, who were not even suspects and kept them in tiny rooms for hours during the pandemic” says Att. Hatice Demir.

Police detained 18 trans women, citing “corona measures”! Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Police, get your hand off my body

Police detained 18 trans women living in İstanbul Beyoğlu Bayram Street from their homes at night. Trans women were taken from their homes and taken to the Taksim Police Station with the allegation of "mediating and providing place for prostitution".

Police cited the "corona measures" as justification while detaining the women. There was no information regarding the corona measures in the crime scene report. The report stated "the street has been monitored for weeks and there are complaints" according to the witnesses.

Detained women were released in the morning after their statements were filed.

Detention reason: “Corona measures”

Beyrut, one of the detained women, told KaosGL.org about her experiences of the night. Stating that they were detained en masse at night, Beyrut said, "They told us that we were detained due to the 'corona measures'. We were 18 girls from three different buildings. They took all of us into custody. We were all in the same room for nearly two hours. Then when the lawyer came, they divided us into rooms. We were in custody until the morning."

Beyrut added that there were a lot of night watch guards on Bayram Street, where they reside, and that they waited on the street for hours at the same points:

“There was already an atmosphere of oppression by the guards. The guards were waiting for hours on the street in the same place and beat those who come and go. Naturally, this affects us. We don't know what will happen."

Night raid during the pandemic, mass detention!

The SPoD LGBTI+ Legal Coordinator Att. Hatice Demir stated that these events were a violation of human rights. Att. Demir commented on the events to KaosGL.org:

“Bayram Sokak is a street where mostly trans women live and cooperate. This raid during the pandemic period and the wait in the police station for hours is against human rights. While the daily number of cases has reached 2 thousand, it is against human rights to go to the houses of trans women like a raid, detaining them, and keeping them in small rooms all night long. The police could have filed their statements during the day. They did not testify as suspects anyway, they were asked to give information. Do you have to detain people who aren't even suspects, who you're asking for their knowledge on an issue, in the middle of the night from their homes en masse? Do you have to detain people who are not even suspects, whose information you will refer to, from their homes at night? A night raid, instead of a daytime visit, means the criminalization of trans women and their street. Taking 18 people at once confirms that this is a raid. Even if there is a crime, there is not by the way, taking them into custody, keeping 18 people in tiny custody rooms at once, keeping them for hours instead of taking their statements one by one… Also, these things are happening during the pandemic. There is a clear violation of the rights.”

Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz

Tags: human rights, women