Document - Worldwide Appeals August 1999


August 1999

Bahrain - Detention without charge or trial

Muhammad 'Ali Muhammad al-'Ikri, aged 18, is currently detained at al-Khamis detention centre. No reasons have been given to his family for his arrest, and he remains held without charge or trial. He is said to have been allowed just one visit by his family.

Muhammad 'Ali al-'Ikri was first arrested at the age of 14, on charges of throwing a petrol bomb at police. He was sentenced by the Juveniles Court to 10 years' imprisonment in July 1995, but the sentence was overturned on appeal and he was released in September 1995. The Bahraini authorities tried to rearrest him but he managed to escape and went into hiding. A few years later, in February 1998, Muhammad 'Ali al-'Ikri was arrested again while visiting his mother. The reasons for his arrest were not known and he was released without charge a month later. However, he was rearrested on 1 November 1998 at his mother's home in al-Qadam village in Jidd Hafs.

+ Please write, urging that Muhammad 'Ali Muhammad al-'Ikri be released unless he is charged with a recognizably criminal offence and brought to trial in accordance with international standards. Send letters to: His Highness Shaikh Hamad bin 'Issa Al Khalifa, Office of His Highness the Amir, PO Box 555, The Amiri Court, Rifa'a Palace, Bahrain. (Fax: 973 668884.)

Peru - Torture

On 18 December 1998, Raúl Teobaldo Miguel Andahua was walking down a street in Aguaytía, Ucayali department, when he was assaulted and forced into a car. He was then driven to a nearby naval base where, according to reports, he was then beaten by at least eight officers.

Raúl Miguel Andahua reportedly lost consciousness after having a stick inserted into his anus, and when he recovered found himself in a cell, naked and wet. The following day officers allegedly applied electric shocks to his back and forced him to sign a statement confessing to crimes of terrorism. He was also threatened with death if he refused to state that his injuries were the result of a motorcycle accident.

Raúl Miguel Andahua filed a complaint with the Public Ministry's Attorney General's office giving the name of one of the officers whom he recognized as having tortured him at the naval base in Aguaytía. A judicial investigation is currently under way.

+Please write, calling for the investigation into Raúl Miguel Andahua's allegations of torture to be full and impartial, and asking that the results be made public and those responsible brought to justice. Remind the authorities that in February 1998 they passed a law which penalizes torture, and urge them to take this new law seriously. Send appeals to: President Alberto Fujimori, Palacio de Gobierno, Plaza Mayor, Lima, Peru. (Fax: 511 426 6770.)

For further information, see Peru: Legislation is not enough - torture has to be abolished in practice (AI Index: AMR 46/17/99).

Burundi - Illegal Detention

Thirteen-year-old Antoine Hatungimana has spent a year in detention without charge. Like many of the other 25 minors held in Rumonge Prison, southern Burundi, he has been accused of collaboration with armed opposition groups. In some cases, it appears that the children were arrested after being forced by members of the armed opposition to carry weapons. None of the children have been tried.

Antoine Hatungimana was 12 at the time of the arrest; Burundian law states that children under the age of 13 should not be detained. Furthermore, the statement drawn up after his arrest was not properly validated and is therefore illegal. There seems to be no other evidence against him.

Conditions in Rumonge Prison are poor and children are held together with adults, even though there is reportedly room to hold them separately.

+Please write, asking for Antoine Hatungimana's immediate and unconditional release; calling upon the authorities to investigate the cases of all minors held in Rumonge Prison, and to implement measures for dealing with these children without resorting to judicial procedures; and calling for adults and minors to be held separately in the prison. Send letters to: Térence Sinunguruza, Minister of Justice, BP 1880, Bujumbura, Burundi (fax: 00257 218610); and to: Eugène Nindorera, Minister for Human Rights, BP 6802 Bujumbura, Burundi. (Fax 00257 213847.)

Turkey - Prisoner of Conscience

(Update on WWA, March 1999)

Akøn Birdal (pictured above), President of the Turkish Human Rights Association (HRA) has been imprisoned for calling for a peaceful approach to issues concerning Turkey's Kurdish minority, and using the phrase ''the Kurdish people''. His one-year sentence was finally enforced in June despite concerns about his health; he has still not fully recovered from an attempt on his life in May 1998.

The Turkish authorities are currently bringing several other prosecutions against Akøn Birdal, as part of a wider pattern of harassment of the HRA. In April 1999, another sentence of one year's imprisonment was confirmed for a speech he made at a peace festival in 1995.

+Please write, calling for Akøn Birdal's immediate and unconditional release. Also urge that, pending this, the authorities ensure that he receives adequate medical attention. Send your letters to: Bülent Ecevit, Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, Baþbakanløk, 06573 Ankara, Turkey. (Fax: 90 312 417 0476.)

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