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.
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
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