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EXTRA 42/94 - Turkey: "disappearance" / fear of torture: Imam Dogan, Mustafa Aslan

, Index number: EUR 44/072/1994

There is concern for the safety of Imam Dogan, a former executive member of the Democracy Party (DEP), and for his friend Mustafa Aslan. The two men were reportedly detained in Imam Dogan's house in the Avcilar quarter of Istanbul on the night of 25 July 1994. The Anti-Terror Branch of Istanbul Police Headquarters have denied holding the two men.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/72/94
Distr: UA/SC
EXTRA 42/94 "Disappearance"/Fear of Torture 29 July 1994
TURKEY _mam Do_an
Mustafa Aslan
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of _mam Do_an, a former
executive member of the Democracy Party (DEP) in Istanbul, and for his friend
Mustafa Aslan.
According to neighbours, the two men were reportedly detained in _mam Do_an's
house, in the Avc_lar quarter of Istanbul on the night of 25 July 1994.
The Anti-Terror Branch of Istanbul Police Headquarters have denied holding
the two men, following inquiries by _mam Do_an's lawyer. The office of the
state prosecutor replied that no such detainees have been registered as being
in police custody. There is grave fear for the lives of _mam Do_an and Mustafa
Aslan.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
More than 70 leading officials and members of DEP and its predecessor HEP
(People's Labour Party - banned by the Constitutional Court in July 1993),
have been assassinated in the past two years in a wave of killings which included
the murder of parliamentary deputy, Mehmet Sincar, on 4 September 1993. None
of these murders have been solved or the perpetrators punished. Scores of DEP
members have been detained on charges of making separatist propaganda and
supporting the guerrillas of the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).
The Democracy Party (DEP) was the only legal Kurdish party in Turkey until
it, too, was banned by the Constitutional Court on 16 June 1994 which meant
that all its parliamentary deputies lost their seats. Already six of the Kurdish
deputies, who originally represented it in the Grand National Assembly, had
their immunity lifted and were arrested in March 1994. Two further deputies
were detained on 1 July. All eight imprisoned deputies are currently awaiting
trial on sedition charges which carry the death penalty.
The security forces have been engaged in conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in
the southeast of the country since August 1984, when the Kurdish Workers' Party
(PKK) started armed attacks. More than 12,000 lives have so far been lost on
both sides, including civilians. A state of emergency continues to be in force
in 10 provinces in the region and the Emergency Legislation Governor in
Diyarbakir has extraordinary powers over three additional provinces. Massive
military operations have been intensified since the beginning of the year.
In addition to armed clashes which occur every day, the security forces are
carrying out intense operations against villages which refuse to participate
in the system of village guards. These operations have resulted in countless
allegations of torture, "disappearance" and extrajudicial execution.
Turkey ratified the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture in
February 1988 and the UN Convention Against Torture in August 1988. However,
all information available to Amnesty International indicates that torture is
still widespread and systematic. Most allegations relate to ill-treatment of
detainees in police custody during their initial interrogation when they are
usually denied access to relatives or a lawyer. Detainees held on suspicion
2
of political offences to be tried in State Security Courts may be held without
charge for 15 days. This period may be extended to 30 days in the provinces
under emergency legislation.
Procedures laid down in the Turkish Criminal Procedure Code for the prompt
and proper registration of detainees, and for notification of their families,
are almost universally ignored in the southeastern provinces and increasingly
disregarded in the rest of Turkey. Lack of proper registration and notification
is not only extremely distressing for families, but it creates the conditions
in which "disappearances" can occur and torture takes place. The European
Committee for the Prevention of Torture (ECPT) and the UN Committee against
Torture (UN CAT), both mechanisms of international human rights instruments
to which Turkey is a State Party, have published reports to the effect that
torture is widespread and systematic in Turkey.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of _mam Do_an and Mustafa Aslan, who have
reportedly "disappeared" following unacknowledged detention in Istanbul on
25 July 1994;
- urging that steps be taken to establish their whereabouts without further
delay;
- seeking assurances that they are not tortured or subjected to any other form
of ill-treatment;
- requesting to be informed of the charges against them.
APPEALS TO
1) Istanbul Chief of Police:
Mr Necdet Menzir
Istanbul Emniyet Müdürlü_ü
Istanbul, Turkey
Telegrams: Emniyet Muduru, Istanbul, Turkey
Telex: 26177 IEMT TR
Salutation: Dear Sir
2) Minister of the Interior:
Mr Nahit Mente_e
_çi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 428 4346
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Prof. Mümtaz Soysal
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
D__i_leri Bakanl___
06100 Ankara, Turkey
3
Faxes: 90 312 287 3869
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 26 August 1994.

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