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UA 310/93 - Turkey: abduction / fear of torture: Abdullah Ay, Semsettin Ay (from Kelekci village); Mehmet Tekin, Omer Unal, Mecit Memis (from Kayikli village)

, رقم الوثيقة: EUR 44/083/1993

On 27 July 1993, village guards and security forces reportedly set fire to houses in Kelekci, Gunesli and Kayikli near Dargecit in Mardin province. This was reportedly done in retaliation for the villagers' refusal to take up arms as village guards. On 30 August, village guards from neighbouring Altinoluk came again to these villages, with a team of gendarmerie, and after gathering the inhabitants together, told them to leave. If they refused, the village guards threatened to destroy all houses and kill those found still living there. They then took away the five people named above, as well as two others, from Kelekci, whom they later released. The men are being held unlawfully in Altinoluk, and are reportedly being subjected to torture.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/83/93
Distr: UA/SC
UA 310/93 Abduction/Fear of Torture 7 September 1993
TURKEY: Abdullah Ay, aged 65, from Kelekçi village
_emsettin Ay, aged 35, from Kelekçi village
Mehmet Tekin, aged 47, }
Ömer Ünal, aged 55, } from Kay_kl_ village
Mecit Memi_, aged 42 }
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of the above-named villagers
who on 30 August 1993 were taken from their homes and are being held by village
guards from a neighbouring village.
On 27 July 1993, village guards (villagers armed and paid by the government
to fight the guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers' Party - PKK) and the security
forces reportedly set fire to houses in Kelekçi (Kurdish: Mîvêlê), Güne_li
(Kurdish: _emsê) and Kay_kl_ (Kurdish: Mêhina) near Dargeçit in the province
of Mardin on the border with Syria. This was reportedly done in retaliation
for the villagers' refusal to take up arms as village guards. The villagers
were then driven away. They returned later and tried to rebuild their villages.
On 30 August, village guards from neighbouring Alt_noluk came again to these
villages together with a team from the gendarmerie (soldiers carrying out police
duties in rural areas), gathered the inhabitants together and told them to
leave, threatening, if they refused, to destroy all houses and kill those found
still living there. They then took away the five people mentioned above as
well as two others, also from Kelekçi, whom they later released.
Ömer Ünal is being held in the house of the head of the village guards and
the others in the school of Alt_noluk village under the surveillance of the
gendarmerie team. The men are reportedly being subjected to torture.
Village guards have no legal powers to detain and the gendarmerie can do so
only on instruction by a state prosecutor or judge who should issue an arrest
warrant. The arbitrary detention of the seven villagers and the continuing
imprisonment of five of them is, therefore, illegal and tantamount to abduction.
Although a member of parliament intervened on behalf of the villagers and
informed relevant state authorities of their situation, the Governor of Mardin
and the Interior Minister claimed that they had no information regarding the
event. No information has been forthcoming about the villagers' fate and Amnesty
International is deeply concerned for their lives.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
In July 1993 Amnesty International published a document giving detailed accounts
of human rights violations allegedly committed by police, gendarmes, members
of special teams (heavily-armed units operating under the control of the
Interior Ministry for close combat with guerrillas) and village guards, during
security raids on Kurdish villages 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 are effectively caught between two fires. Many are reluctant
to serve as village guards for fear of reprisals from the guerrillas, but those
who refuse are often subject to reprisals by the security forces or village
guards from neighbouring villages who accuse them of actively or passively
supporting the guerrillas.
Unprotected by the most basic safeguards against torture, such people are
frequently exposed to the most brutal treatment - sometimes resulting in
terrible injuries or even death.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- expressing your concern about the abduction, continuing imprisonment and
alleged torture by villages guards from Alt_noluk village of five people from
Kelekçi and Kay_kl_ villages on 30 August 1993;
- demanding an immediate and full investigation to establish the whereabouts
of the five villagers and that all necessary steps be taken to secure their
immediate release;
- urging that those responsible be brought to justice.
APPEALS TO
1) Chief of Staff of the Gendarmerie:
General Ayd_n _lter
Jandarma Kuvvetleri Komutanl___
Bakanl_klar
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Jandarma Genel Komutani, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 4 418 0476
Salutation: Dear General
2) Minister of the Interior:
Mr Mehmet Gazio_lu
_çi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: + 90 4 418 1795
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Mr Hikmet Çetin
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
D__i_leri Bakanl___
06100 Ankara, Turkey
and to diplomatic representatives of Turkey accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 19 October 1993.

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