PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 44/020/2002
UA 92/02 Fear for safety/”Disappearance” 27 March 2002
TURKEYCo_kun Do_an (m), 24 years old
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Co_kun Do_an following
his “disappearance” on either 23 or 24 February. It is not known exactly where
he is being held, though he is believed to be in gendarmerie or police custody
where he is at risk of torture or ill-treatment.
Co_kun Do_an’s relatives reportedly saw him on televison amongst a group of
detainees who had been apprehended by security forces, following a military
operation apparently in the province of Tunceli in eastern Turkey. He was
alive and appeared to be in good health.
On 5 March, representatives from the Human Rights Association (IHD) called
the Detentions Monitoring Bureau of Istanbul Police Headquarters to find out
his whereabouts. They were informed by an official that he was registered
as being in detention at the Anti-Terror Branch, possibly in Istanbul.
However, when lawyers acting on Co_kun Do_an’s behalf rang the Detentions
Monitoring Bureau, they were told that he was not registered as being in
detention at that time. Representatives from the IHD again rang the Bureau
and asked about Co_kun Do_an’s whereabouts. They were told that he was not
in detention. It was only when they stated that they had been told an hour
earlier that Co_kun Do_an was in detention at the Anti-Terror Branch that the
official told them that Co_kun Do_an was in fact registered as being in detention
at an Anti-Terror Branch outside of Istanbul. The official could not say which
city he was held in as the information was not on the computer.
The following day, representatives of the IHD once again called the Detentions
Monitoring Bureau of Istanbul Police Headquarters and enquired about the
whereabouts of Co_kun Do_an. An official there had Co_kun Do_an’s place and
date of birth on record and said that it would be possible to find out where
he was being detained by contacting the General Police Headquarters in the
Representatives of the IHD, then made contact accordingly. They were told that
a person with the same name and birth date as Co_kun Do_an was registered,
but it was not clear where he was being held and no more information was
available. The IHD then rang Police Headquarters in Tunceli where Co_kun Do_an
had apparently been detained. Police officers there said that they had not
arrested Co_kun Do_an, but if he had been detained in a rural area, only the
gendarmerie would have this information.
Following this, the IHD made an application to the Minister of the Interior
on this matter. On 17 March, the Minister of the Interior replied saying that
he had investigated the matter but that Co_kun Do_an was not in custody.
The Turkish Regulation on Apprehension, Police Custody and Interrogation
provides clear guidelines for the registration of people taken into custody
and detainees’ right to inform their relatives. Formerly this right could be
waived if “informing the relatives will harm the investigation”, but this
restriction was lifted by an amendment to the Constitution on 3 October 2001
and by Law Number 4744 which entered into force on 19 February 2002. However,
guidelines for the prompt and proper registration of detainees and for