EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/94/94
UA 330/94 Fear of Torture 9 September 1994
TURKEY Nadire Çelik, female
_enay Hano_lu, female
Medine Göyük, female
Ayla Özcan, female
Zeynep ...., (family name not known), female
Tuncay .... (family name not known)
On 7 September 1994 members of the political police raided the premises of
T_YAD (Association of relatives of political prisoners) in Istanbul. They
confiscated documents and printed material and detained the above named people
who were present at the office at the time. They were either working there
or were visitors. Reportedly they are currently held incommunicado at the
Anti-Terror Branch of Istanbul Police Headquarters and it is feared that they
are being interrogated under torture.
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.
Turkey ratified the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture on 25
February 1988 and the UN Convention Against Torture on 2 August 1988. Following
a programme of visits to Turkish police stations in 1990, 1991 and 1992, the
ECPT (established by the Council of Europe) reported: "In the light of all
the information at its disposal, the ECPT can only conclude that the practice
of torture and other forms of severe ill-treatment of persons in police custody
remains widespread in Turkey and that such methods are applied to both ordinary
criminal suspects and persons held under anti-terrorism provisions".
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 where a State
of Emergency is in force and increasingly disregarded in the rest of Turkey.
Lack of proper registration and notification is not only extremely distressing
for families, but also creates the conditions in which "disappearances" can
occur and torture takes place. Detainees held on suspicion of political offenses
to be tried in State Security Courts may be held without charge for 15 days.
This period may be extended to 30 days in provinces under emergency legislation.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Nadire Çelik and the five people detained
with her in Istanbul on 7 September 1994 and since held incommunicado at Istanbul
- seeking assurances that they are not subjected to torture or any other form
- urging that they are granted access to their relatives and lawyers;