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Turkey: Fear of torture or ill-treatment

, Index number: EUR 44/047/2000

Eleven members of the Sirnak People's Democracy Party (HADEP), have been detained by gendarmerie in southeastern Turkey and are being held in Sirnak Provincial Gendarmerie Command. It is feared that they are at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 44/47/00
UA 294/00 Fear of torture or ill-treatment 25 September 2000
TURKEYResul Saddak
Rü_tem Bayar
Mehmet Çakar
Nihat Usal
Cengiz Balik
A. Rezzak Inan
Nezir Ayan
Yakup Kur
M. Temel Kurar
Izzet Belge
Tahir Kutlu
Eleven men have been detained by gendarmerie in southeastern Turkey and are
being held in __rnak Provincial Gendarmerie Command. It is feared that they
are at risk of torture or ill-treatment.
The men named above were detained at the Düzova village gendarmerie checkpoint
on the road between Idil and Cizre in south-east Turkey on 23 September at
about 6.30pm as they were returning home to __rnak from a party congress in
Batman. They are all on the board of the __rnak People’s Democracy Party (HADEP).
HADEP has recently resumed its activities in __rnak after being inactive for
a number of years due to persecution and a climate of fear. Widespread human
rights violations have been reported in the predominantly Kurdish region of
__rnak in the past and continue to take place. HADEP party officials in a small
town near _irnak were recently detained briefly and threatened that if they
did not stop their party activities, they would be detained and subjected to
other forms of pressure.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
In Turkey, Kurdish legal political parties have been faced with daily harassment
by the authorities, and some have been closed while others have been threatened
with closure. Their supporters and members have been tortured, have
"disappeared" or have even been killed.
HADEP is the successor to two previous parties that were both closed for
“separatism” by the authorities. Although it opposes the use of political
violence, in some quarters the party is regarded as the "political wing" of
the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), an armed opposition group. 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 an overwhelming majority
in 1999, HADEP deputies did not enter parliament because of a rule that political
parties must have at least 10% of the entire national vote to be represented.
HADEP continues to come under pressure and a number of incidents have been
reported this year. In February 18 senior HADEP officials, including the
chairman and his predecessor, were sentenced to terms of imprisonment for
"aiding and abetting" the PKK. Also in February, three HADEP mayors in southeast
Turkey, including Feridun Çelik mayor of Diyarbak_r, were detained for nine
days (see UA 45/00, EUR 44/08/00, 22 February 2000). They were allegedly tortured
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and ill-treated in detention. A trial is now in progress against them for "aiding
and abetting" the PKK.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in English or your own language:
- urging that Resul Saddak and the 10 others are not tortured or ill-treated;
- asking to be informed of any charges that may be brought against them;
- reminding the Turkish government 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:
__rnak Chief of Gendarmerie:
Jandarma Komutan_
Jandarma Komutanl___
__rnak, Turkey
Telegram:__rnak Il Jandarma Alay Komutanl___, __rnak, Turkey
Fax:+ 90 486 216 6517 (note: please be prepared that if many faxes are sent,
it is possible the fax will be switched off)
Salutation:Dear Commander
__rnak Governor
__rnak Valisi
Hukumet Kona__
__rnak, Turkey
Telegrams:__rnak Valisi, __rnak, Turkey
Governor of the Provinces under Emergency Rule
Mr Gökhan Aydemir
Ola_anüstü Hal Valisi
Hükümet Kona__
Diyarbak_r, Turkey
Telegrams: OHAL Valisi, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Faxes +90 412 224 35 72
Salutation: 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
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
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Please also send copies to diplomatic representatives of Turkey accredited
to your country. It is most important for our work that they should be aware
of Amnesty International members’ concerns. Please forward any replies you
receive to your Section to be passed on to the International Secretariat.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 6 November 2000.

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