EXTERNAL AI Index: EUR 44/62/97
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EXTRA 113/97 Torture / Fear of torture 14 August 1997
TURKEY _brahim _ncesu, Kurd aged 35
Ad_güzel _ncesu, Kurd
Cemalettin Tunç, Kurd aged 39
Ahmet Engin, Kurd aged around 30
_brahim _ncesu, Ad_güzel _ncesu, Cemalettin Tunç and two others were detained
in the Beyo_lu district of Istanbul by officers of the Anti-Terror Branch on
10 or 11 August 1997, as they were walking in the street. The two others were
released on 12 August and reported that the other three were being tortured
at the Anti-Terror Branch in Aksaray. They said that they themselves had been
subjected to beating.
The detention of _brahim _ncesu, Ad_güzel _ncesu and Cemalettin Tunç was not
registered until 12 August. Reportedly, the prosecutor has applied for an
extension of the initial incommunicado detention period of four days. Under
current legislation it can be extended by three days on order of a judge, during
which detainees would have the right of access to legal counsel.
On 13 August, Ahmet Engin, a relative of the _ncesu family living in Istanbul,
was telephoned by police at home and told to come to the Anti-Terror Branch
in Aksaray. When he went there, he too was detained. His detention was registered
on 14 August.
_brahim _ncesu, born in Malatya, was first arrested on 15 January 1981, four
months after the military coup of September 1980, and later sentenced to life
imprisonment by the Military Court in Malatya for membership of an illegal
Kurdish organization. He was released in 1996.
Ad_güzel _ncesu was the editor of the Kurdish weekly Roj (Day) until it was
banned in August 1996.
Cemalettin Tunç, born in Ovac_k, Tunceli, was sentenced in 1981 to life
imprisonment by the Military Court in Adana for membership of an illegal Kurdish
organization. He was released in 1996.
Ahmet Engin has never been detained before.
People suspected of offences under the Anti-Terror Law can be held in police
custody without access to family, friends or legal counsel for up to four days.
This period may be increased to 10 days in the nine provinces currently under
State of Emergency, and to seven days in the rest of Turkey during which detainees
would have to be granted access to a lawyer, under recently amended legislation.
When not being interrogated, detainees are held in cramped, airless and
insanitary conditions. With no access to the outside world they are at the
mercy of their interrogators. Torture is often applied to extract confessions,
to elicit information about illegal organizations, to intimidate detainees
into becoming police informers or as informal punishment for presumed support
of illegal organizations. Torture methods include being stripped naked and
blindfolded, hosing with pressurized ice-cold water, hanging by the arms or