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Turkey: Fear of torture and ill-treatment

, Index number: EUR 44/020/2001

Eight members of the Kurdish party HADEP (People's Democracy Party) were arrested by gendarmes on 1 and 2 April and Amnesty International is concerned that they may be tortured in custody. They are held at Sirnak Provincial Gendarmerie Headquarters, in southeastern Turkey.

PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 44/020/2001
UA 81/01 Fear of torture and ill-treatment 2 April 2001
TURKEYMehmet Dilsiz (Cizre district head of HADEP)
Bedirhan Dilsiz (his nephew)
Muhsin Gas_r ]
Ali Güven]
Tahir _lçin ] HADEP Cizre board members
Nesim Tan]
Ömer Tunç]
Halit Zeynep]
Eight members of the Kurdish party HADEP (People’s Democracy Party) were
arrested by gendarmes on 1 and 2 April and Amnesty International is concerned
that they may be tortured in custody. They are held at __rnak Provincial
Gendarmerie Headquarters, in southeastern Turkey.
Gendarmes reportedly raided the house of Mehmet and Bedirhan Dilsiz, in Cizre
district, at 6am on 1 April. They searched the house for three hours before
taking the men into custody. The other five men named above were arrested in
the early hours of 2 April. Halit Zeynep, whom they were also trying to find,
surrendered later that day.
Mehmet Dilsiz has been harassed and threatened by the security forces since
he tried to set up a branch of HADEP in Cizre in September 2000. He was taken
into custody several times, and warned to give up his work for the party. On
6 November, when he was about to be appointed Cizre head of HADEP, he was arrested
by gendarmes and later remanded to prison, but released on appeal. The provincial
gendarmerie commander later told him face to face that he would kill him if
he did not give up activities for HADEP. A HADEP office in Cizre was supposed
to be opened this week.
Two other HADEP representatives, Serdar Tan__ and Ebubekir Deniz, “disappeared”
on 25 January. They were last seen at the Gendarmerie headquarters in Silopi,
another district of __rnak province. Three days later Mehmet Dilsiz reportedly
received a phone call saying he would meet the same fate and “be sent to hell”.
When he asked who was calling, he was told: “I am the Death Angel of Serdar
and Ebubekir”.
Before they “disappeared”, Serdar Tan__ and Ebubekir Deniz had suffered the
same sort of harassment as Mehmet Dilsiz. He and the others arrested with him
may be in very grave danger.
Mehmet Dilsiz had lodged a petition with the authorities on 21 February,
describing the harassment and threats and asking for guarantees of his safety.
His statement was taken by the Cizre Prosecutor on 12 March.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Legal Kurdish political parties face daily harassment by the authorities: some
have been closed, while others have been threatened with closure. Their
supporters and members have been tortured, have "disappeared" and have even
been killed.
HADEP is the successor to two parties that were both closed for “separatism”
by the authorities. HADEP favours more rights for the Kurds in the region.
Although it is opposed to political violence, in some circles the party is
regarded as the "political wing" of the armed opposition group, the Kurdistan
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Workers’ Party (PKK). The Constitutional Court is currently considering a
request by the State Security Court Prosecutor to ban HADEP on the grounds
that it is the "lengthened arm of the PKK". Although 37 local councils in the
predominantly Kurdish southeastern area of Turkey elected HADEP mayors by
overwhelming majorities in 1999, HADEP deputies elected at the same time did
not enter parliament because of a rule under which political parties must have
at least 10% of the entire national vote to be represented.
HADEP members in __rnak have come under increasing pressure recently. In the
last few months numerous HADEP representatives have reportedly been arrested.
Several later reported that they had been ill-treated in custody. On 11 September
2000, gendarmes arrested HADEP's __rnak provincial head, Resul Sadak, and 10
other HADEP members. The gendarmes reportedly blindfolded them, threatened
to kill them and prevented them from sleeping. (See UA 294/00, EUR 44/47/00,
25 September 2000, and follow-up, EUR 44/74/00, 20 December 2000.) The Silopi
head, Serdar Tan__, and Ebubekir Deniz have “disappeared” on 25 January. (See
UA 26/01, AI Index: EUR 44/007/2001 30 January, and follow-ups EUR 44/010/2001,
26 February, and EUR 44/019/2001, 29 March).
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in German, English or your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Mehmet Dilsiz and the other seven men;
- urging that they should not be tortured or ill-treated;
- asking to be informed of any charges that may be brought against them;
- reminding the government of its obligations as a state party to the European
Convention on Human Rights, which states in Article 3: “No one shall be subjected
to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
APPEALS TO:
__rnak Gendarmerie Headquarters
Jandarma Komutan_
_irnak Jandarma Komutanl___
_irnak, Turkey
Fax:+90 486 216 6517
Telegrams: Sirnak Jandarma Komutanligi, Sirnak, Turkey
Salutation: Dear Commander
Governor of _irnak
Mr. Hüseyin Ba_kale
_irnak Valisi
_irnak Valili_i
_irnak, Turkey
Fax:+ 90 8456 1188
Telegrams: Sirnak Valiligi, Sirnak, Turkey
Salutations: Dear Governor
Chief of Staff of the Gendarmerie
General Aytaç Yalman
Jandarma Kuvvetleri Komutanl___
Bakanl_klar
Ankara, Turkey
Telegram: Jandarma Genel Komutani, Ankara, Turkey
Fax: + 90 312 418 9208
Salutation: Dear General
Minister of Interior
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Mr Saadettin Tantan
_çi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: + 90 312 418 17 95
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
State Minister with responsibility for Human Rights
Mr Rü_tü Kaz_m Yücelen
Office of the Prime Minister
Ba_bakanl_k
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Fax: + 90 312 417 0476
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 15 May 2001.

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