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Turkey: Fear for Safety/Torture and Ill-treatment, Sefik Yildirim

, Index number: EUR 44/081/2001

Amnesty International is seriously concerned for the safety of Sefik Yildirim. He has been arrested twice over the course of one week and is reportedly being held in incommunicado detention at a gendarmerie station in Diyarbakir province, southeast Turkey, where he is at risk of torture and ill-treatment.

PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 44/081/2001
UA 284/01 Fear for Safety/Torture and Ill-treatment 7 November 2001
TURKEY_efik Y_ld_r_m (m), 34 years old
Amnesty International is seriously concerned for the safety of _efik Y_ld_r_m.
He has been arrested twice over the course of one week and is reportedly being
held in incommunicado detention at a gendarmerie station in Diyarbak_r province,
southeast Turkey, where he is at risk of torture and ill-treatment.
On 30 October, _efik Y_ld_r_m was taken into police custody in Çermik, Diyarbak_r
province, and charged with "having connections with the Kurdistan Worker’s
Party (PKK)". He was reportedly tortured with electric shocks as well as with
other unspecified methods and is said to be suffering from health problems
as a result of this.
On 2 November, he was brought before a judge with the prosecutor asking for
his imprisonment. He was however released at 5.00 pm on the same day.
Four days later on 6 November, he was detained again following a raid on his
house. His family were informed that he was to be held at a gendarmerie station,
but were not told why he was being detained for a second time.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Amnesty International has received numerous accounts of people being illegally
detained and tortured by police in Diyarbak_r. Fesih Güler was reportedly
tortured while held illegally at the Anti-Terror Branch of Police Headquarters
(see Further Information on UA 317/00, EUR 44/040/2001, 17 October 2000).
Fahrettin Özdemir reportedly spent a total of 59 days in police custody, during
which he was severely tortured (see EXTRA 30/00, EUR 44/23/00, 3 April 2000).
Whereas torture is rarely reported from prisons, in police and gendarmerie
stations, torture appears to be regularly used 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.
The Turkish Regulation on Apprehension, Police Custody and Interrogation
provides clear guidelines for the registration of people taken into custody
and their right to inform their relatives “unless informing the relatives will
harm the investigation”. In an amendment to the Constitution on 3 October 2001
this restriction was lifted. Yet guidelines for the prompt and proper
registration of detainees and for 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, and "disappearance" or death in custody can
occur.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in
English or your own language:
2
- expressing concern at reports that _efik Y_ld_r_m has been re-detained and
may be at risk of torture or ill-treatment;
- urging the authorities to ensure that _efik Y_ld_r_m is not tortured or
ill-treated, and that he is given immediate access to lawyers, relatives and
appropriate medical care should he need it;
- calling for a full and impartial investigation into allegations that he has
been tortured and ill-treated, with the results made public and those
responsible brought to justice;
- asking the authorities to take action to prevent the torture of detainees,
pointing out that the government is bound by the European Convention on Human
Rights.
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
Telegram:Jandarma Genel Komutani, Ankara, Turkey
Fax:+ 90 312 418 9208
Salutation:Dear General
Governor of the Provinces under Emergency Rule
Ola_anüstü Hal Valisi
Diyarbak_r, Turkey
Telegrams:Olaganustu Hal Valisi, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Faxes:+ 90 412 224 3572
Salutation: Dear Governor
COPIES TO:
State Minister with responsibility for Human Rights
Nejat Arseven
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 19 December 2001.

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