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Further information on EXTRA 101/93 (EUR 44/110/93, 19 November; and follow-ups EUR 44/112/93, 24 November; EUR 44/119/93, 9 December and EUR 44/121/93, 17 December) - Turkey: fear of torture / legal concern: Husniye Olmez, Meral Danis Bestas, Mesut Besta

, رقم الوثيقة: EUR 44/006/1994

Eight of the lawyers named above, Husniye Olmez, Mesut Bestas, Sabahattin Acar, Vedat Erten, Tahir Elci, Selim Kurbanoglu, Imam Sahin and Arzu Sahin are currently in prison. There is a warrant for the arrest of Arif Altunkalem. Amnesty International has received statements made by two of the lawyers who were formally arrested on 11 December and committed to Diyarbakir Prison. Sabahattin Acar and Tahir Elci have both stated that they were tortured in detention during interrogation.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/06/94
Distr: UA/SC
25 January 1994
Further information on EXTRA 101/93 (EUR 44/110/93, 19 November 1993) and
follow-up (EUR 44/121/93, 17 December) Fear of torture/Legal Concern
TURKEYHüsniye Ölmez (f); Meral Dan__ Be_ta_ (f), Secretary of the Human Rights
Association (IHD) branch in Diyarbak_r; Mesut Be_ta_, her husband,
IHD member; Sabahattin Acar (note correct name); Baki Demirhan;
_inasi Tur; Arif Altunkalem, IHD member; Nevzat Kaya; Vedat Erten;
Tahir Elçi (from Cizre); Niyazi Çem (from Istanbul); Fuat Hayri
Demir (note correct name); Gazanfer Abbasio_lu; Selim Kurbano_lu;
_mam _ahin; Arzu _ahin (f) - all LAWYERS
Eight of the lawyers named above are currently in prison: Hüsniye Ölmez, Mesut
Be_ta_, Sabahattin Acar, Vedat Erten, Tahir Elçi, Selim Kurbano_lu, _mam _ahin
and Arzu _ahin. There is a warrant for the arrest of Arif Altunkalem.
Amnesty International has received statements made by two of the lawyers who
were formally arrested on 11 December 1993 and committed to Diyarbakir Prison.
On 18 November, Sabahattin Acar was taken for interrogation. He states that
the police claimed he had direct links with the PKK, and asked why he took
up cases of PKK defendants, and prepared reports on human rights. He says
he was "tortured in a degrading manner", but gives no details, except saying
that at one time he was taken outside, stripped naked, and asked what information
about human rights he had faxed to which European institutions and
organizations. They also threatened to take him out of the city and kill him,
loading their weapons and starting up a vehicle. On hearing the sounds of
his colleagues being tortured, Sabahattin Acar signed a police statement with
his eyes still blindfolded.
Tahir Elci was detained on 23 November at his office. Blindfolded, he was
taken to Cizre Police Headquarters and there confronted with all the reports
he had prepared about human rights abuses in the area, the copies of personal
petitions on behalf of villagers forcibly evacuated from their villages which
he had submitted to the European Human Rights Commission of the Council of
Europe and related correspondence, and copies of Amnesty International Urgent
Actions. They began to torture him, saying "Bastard, is it your job to represent
these peasants? If you research human rights violations, forcibly evacuated
villages, and disappearances, we will kill you". He says they beat him up
and stripped him. "I was completely naked - they squeezed my testicles
violently. This went on for about an hour. In the evening I was taken to
Cizre Gendarmerie Headquarters where I was left in a basement, blindfolded
for about two days..."
He was moved to Diyarbakir Gendarmerie Intelligence interrogation centre where
he was made to lie on a concrete floor. "It was forbidden for me to try to
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stand. I was taken to the toilet twice and given one slice of stale bread
in 24 hours. They asked me why I acted in political cases, and why I concerned
myself with human rights. They tried to get me to confess that I had links
with the PKK and that I had acted as a courier. When I denied this I was insulted
and beaten. On one occasion they put me in a military vehicle and drove me
out of the city to a place in the countryside. On the way they said that they
would kill me - shoot me under a bridge. I do not know where I was because
my eyes were bound, but they lay me on the ground, and while kicking, slapping
and insulting me, they put a barrel of a gun in my mouth. I still resisted
making the admissions they were demanding, and because of this they shot dozens
of bullets around me..."
Tahir Elci says he was subjected to more torture at the interrogation centre,
before being brought before the prosecutor on 10 December. "I was arrested
on the basis of a statement made against me by [name withheld] who had availed
himself of the Repentance Law, and an illegal publication and writings which
were allegedly found in my office. My brothers were present during the search
of my office - no such publication was found. I am now in Diyarbakir E-type
Prison. This has economically destroyed me. Moreover the files of about a
hundred cases that I was acting in were seized by the Cizre Police, leaving
my clients in a very difficult position."
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Under Article 40 of the Law on Legal Representation, investigation of any crime
suspected of being committed by a lawyer in the course of their professional
duty is subject to permission by the Ministry of Justice and should be carried
out by an authority appointed by the Ministry.
Circular 46 issued by the Ministry of Justice on 27 June 1970, and another
circular of 27 March 1971 state that, because of issues of professional
confidence, investigation of crimes committed during their activities as
lawyers, and also personal crimes, should not be left to the police, but should
be carried out directly by the public prosecutor and his assistants.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams, faxes, express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern about the allegations of torture made by the lawyers
Sabahattin Acar and Tahir Elçi;
- requesting that the allegations of torture be thoroughly and impartially
investigated, and that those responsible should be brought promptly to justice;
- noting that the allegations are consistent with the findings of the European
Committee for the Prevention of Torture in December 1993, and of the United
Nations Committee against Torture, that the practice of extended incommunicado
detention contributes to the widespread problem of torture in Turkey.
APPEALS TO:
1) Minister of the Interior
Mr Nahit Mente_e
Içisleri Bakanl___
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 428 4346
Salutation: Dear Minister
2) Minister of Foreign Affairs
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Mr Hikmet Çetin
D__i_leri Bakanl___
06100 Ankara
Telegrams: Foreign Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 287 3869
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Minister of Justice, Mr Seyfi Oktay
Adalet Bakanl___
06659 Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: 90 312 417 3954
and to diplomatic representatives of Turkey accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Appeals may be sent until 28 February 1994.

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