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Turkey: Fear for safety/"Disappearance", Coskun Dogân.

, Index number: EUR 44/020/2002

Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Coskun Dogân 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.

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
capital Ankara.
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.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
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
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notification of their families are often ignored. This is extremely distressing
for the families of detainees, who often spend days trying to establish the
whereabouts of their loved ones. Failure to register detainees properly and
promptly creates conditions in which there is an increased risk of torture,
"disappearance" and death in custody.
Torture appears to be used routinely in police and gendarmerie stations, to
extract confessions, elicit information about illegal organizations,
intimidate detainees into becoming police informers or as unofficial punishment
for presumed support of illegal organizations. Torture methods in Turkey
documented by Amnesty International include severe beatings, being stripped
naked and blindfolded, hosing with pressurized ice-cold water, suspending by
the arms or wrists bound behind the victim's back, electric shocks, beating
the soles of the feet, death threats and sexual assault.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in
English or your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Co_kun Do_an and asking to be informed
of his whereabouts;
- urging that he should be given immediate access to his lawyers and relatives;
- urging that he is not tortured or ill-treated while in detention;
- asking to be informed of any charges that may be brought against him;
- reminding the government of Turkey of its obligations under Article 3 of the
European Convention of Human Rights, to which Turkey is a state party, which
states: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment."
APPEALS TO:
Minister of the Interior
Mr Rü_tü Kaz_m Yücelen
Ministry of Interior
_çi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Fax: + 90 312 418 17 95
Salutation: Dear Minister
Chief of Staff of the Gendarmerie
General Aytaç Yalman
Jandarma Kuvvetleri Komutanl___
Bakanl_klar
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: General Yalman, Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 418 92 08
Salutation: Dear General
General Director of Police
Mr Necati Bilican
Emniyet Genel Müdürlü_ü
Bakanl_klar
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Emniyet Genel Muduru, Bakanliklar, Ankara, Turkey
Salutation: Dear Sir
COPIES TO:
State Minister with responsibility for Human Rights
Nejat Arseven
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Office of the Prime Minister,
Ba_bakanl_k,
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Fax: + 90 312 417 04 76
Salutation: Dear Minister
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 8 May 2002.

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