arrested and is now held in Beytü__ebab prison on charges of assisting the
Forty members of the Diril family, who are now living in and around one house
in the village of Ceviza_aç, wish to return to Istanbul, but are forbidden
from leaving Beytü__ebab. They have not been charged with any offence, and
the reason for their detention is not clear. The four families held in Çeviza_aç,
have not reported ill-treatment but food is reportedly in short supply.
Such arbitrary detention without judicial supervision, proper registration,
or health and nutrition arrangements contravenes Article 5 of the European
Convention on Human Rights, and could endanger the health of the villagers,
particularly their children. It also increases the risk of "disappearance"
- during 1993 more than 30 people "disappeared", many of them during the course
of forcible evacuation of villages.
In late July the father of the two "disappeared" brothers was advised to speak
to the gendarmerie commander in Beytü__ebab. When he went there, the commander
reportedly said, "Go to __rnak and ask there for news of the boys. I can arrange
to help you go there". However, the father decided that it would not be safe
to make the 100 km journey alone.
Amnesty International has received information concerning three other incidents
in which villagers trying to flee after the destruction of their homes have
been held in containment areas (see UA 286/94, 22 July 1994, AI Index: EUR
44/66/94). While not confined to a building or barbed-wire enclosure, the
villagers are turned back by force if they attempt to move out of the area.
In a containment area in Diyarbak_r province, now empty, there were reports
of ill-treatment, torture and extrajudicial execution.
The four families mentioned above, and one other family in Ceviza_aç, are the
last remaining representatives of the Assyro-Chaldean Catholic community which
before the armed conflict began, numbered more than 5,000. All the others have
migrated to Istanbul or to Europe.
Ten provinces in southeast Turkey have been under emergency legislation as
a result of the fierce conflict between government forces and guerrillas of
the PKK, which has claimed more than 12,000 lives on both sides and among
civilians since 1984 when the PKK began making attacks. Since 1990 hundreds
of villages have been burned and forcibly evicted during security raids on
settlements which refuse to participate in the village guard militia. Membership
of the village guards, a civil defence force organized and paid by the government
to fight PKK guerrillas, is theoretically voluntary, but villagers, in
particular the small number of Christian communities, are effectively caught
between two fires. Many are reluctant to serve as village guards for fear of
reprisals from the guerrillas. Those who refuse, however, are subject to
reprisals from the security forces or village guards from neighbouring villages
who accuse them of actively or passively supporting the guerrillas.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
- urging that a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation be conducted into
the "disappearance" of Zeki Ercan Diril and _lyas Edip Diril following their
arrest on 19 May 1994 by security forces in the town of Uzungeçit, Hakkari