UK journalists held in Türkiye with would-be refugee group allege torture, physical abuse by Turkish authorities

Two UK journalists who were detained in Türkiye with 104 members of a persecuted US-based minority religion have been released and have reported torture and physical abuse by Turkish authorities, according to the religious group, the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light.

The 104 who were subjected to the abuse and torture themselves sought to claim asylum at the border in accordance with international law and with support from 28 human rights organizations, led by Human Rights Without Fronttiers (HRWF), the statement aid.

However, they were forcefully pushed back at the Turkish border, where beatings and gunshots were recorded on live footage.

“They are currently imprisoned in Türkiye and have had their water supply cut off by the authorities in an attempt to force them to sign deportation papers to deport them to their home countries where they will be subjected to imprisonment or execution,” the statement said.

It said that disturbing reports include beatings, sexual assault, and torture, especially targeting women and children.

UK journalists who witnessed the crisis and experienced physical abuse themselves have been released without charges and will provide firsthand accounts of Türkiye’s illegal actions. A minor named Matin Yousef, an Iranian national, said that he was threatened with physical and sexual violence by Turkish police. 

Many NGOs, movements, and influential figures are mobilizing to support the detained group and condemn Türkiye’s violations of international human rights laws and oppressive refugee policies, the statement said.

The involvement of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and the criticism of EU policies by Irish MEP Clare Daly further highlight the urgency of the situation, it said.

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.