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Turkey: Further information on Risk of "disappearance", fear of torture or ill-treatment: Emrullah Karagöz,and Mustafa Yasar

, Index number: EUR 44/085/2001

Five people are held in incommunicado detention in Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey. They are being held by gendarmes (army members with police responsibilities in rural areas) and are risk of torture and ill-treatment.

PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 44/085/2001
20 November 2001
Further information on UA 280/01 (EUR 44/079/2001, 5 November 2001) - Risk
of "disappearance", fear of torture and ill-treatment
TURKEY Emrullah Karagöz, (m) student, aged 23
Mustafa Yaar, (m) welder, aged 29
New names: Remziye Da (f) housewife, aged 51
Hatip Alay, (m) tradesman, aged 41
Fehmi Ak, (m) crane-operator, aged 26
The five people named above are in incommunicado detention in Diyarbakr,
southeast Turkey. They are being held by gendarmes (army members with police
responsibilities in rural areas) and are risk of torture and ill-treatment.
Emrullah Karagöz and Mustafa Yaar are both members of the legal pro-Kurdish
political party HADEP. Both men were charged with “aiding and abetting an
illegal organisation”. They have been in gendarmerie detention since 1 November
despite a judge ordering that they be remanded to prison. On 10 November,
the State Security Court in Diyarbakr extended their detention for ten days.
When their lawyers attempted to visit them at gendarmerie headquarters on 14
November, they were told that the men were not there.
Hatip Alay, Remziye Da and Fehmi Ak were arrested between 10 and 13 November
and are all being held in gendarmerie detention, despite orders by the State
Security Court that they should be remanded to Diyarbakr Prison.
Hatip Alay was reportedly detained by plain-clothes police officers during
a raid on his house in Mazda, Mardin province on 10 November. The following
day, the State Security Court remanded him to Diyarbakr prison but he was
instead returned to gendarmerie detention.
Remziye Da was apparently detained at a check-point in Ergani, Diyarbakr
province, on 11 November. She was allegedly taken to her house at 9.00 pm
on 14 November by security officials so that she could change her clothes,
which were said to be in tatters and stained with blood. The next day the
State Security Court remanded her to Diyarbakr prison but she too was returned
to gendarmerie detention.
Fehmi Ak was reportedly detained by plain-clothes security officers in the
course of a raid on his house in Bingöl province on 13 November. On 16 November
the State Security Court remanded him to Diyarbakr prison but he was instead
returned to gendarmerie detention.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
Diyarbakr, southeast Turkey is currently under a State of Emergency. As such,
Article 3/c of Legal Decree Number 430 grants the State Prosecutor- following
a proposal from the Governor of the Region under State of Emergency - permission
to ask a judge to return a person already in remand or imprisoned to police
or gendarmerie custody for up to ten days. This is applicable in cases related
to crimes that caused the declaration of State of Emergency. All the detainees
have been returned to gendarmerie detention under this decree. Amnesty
International has received numerous reports of such prisoners being exposed
to torture and ill-treatment during this period.
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
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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.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as
possible, in English or your own language:
- expressing concern at reports that Mustafa Yaar and Emrullah Karagöz have
been in gendarmerie detention in Diyarbakr since 1 November 2001 and may be
at risk of torture or ill-treatment;
- expressing concern at reports that Remziye Da, Hatip Alay, and Fehmi Ak
have been returned to gendarmerie detention in Diyarbakr and may be at risk
of torture or ill-treatment;
- urging the authorities to ensure that none of the names above are tortured
or ill-treated, and that they are given immediate access to their lawyers and
relatives and appropriate medical care should they need it;
- 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 Rütü Kazm Yücelen
Ministry of Interior
çileri 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
Bakanl2klar
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: General Yalman, Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 418 9208
Salutation: Dear General
Governor of the Provinces under Emergency Rule
Gökhan Aydner
Olaanüstü Hal Valisi
Diyarbakr, Turkey
Telegrams: Olaganustu Hal Valisi, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Faxes: + 90 412 224 3572
Salutation: Dear Governor
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COPIES TO:
State Minister with responsibility for Human Rights
Nejat Arseven
Office of the Prime Minister,
Babakanlk,
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 1 January 2002.

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