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UA 435/90 - Turkey: health concern: Ayhan Aksozek, Musa Cakmak

, Index number: EUR 44/155/1990

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/155/90
Distr: UA/SC
UA 435/90 Health Concern 30 October 1990
TURKEY: Ayhan Aksözek, lawyer
Musa Çakmak, headman of Yukar_çepik village
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Since around 15 October 1990 waves of arrest have been carried out by
the security forces in Kars and surrounding villages. Among the people
taken into police custody was Ayhan Aksözek, a lawyer and the deputy
president of the Turkish Human Rights Association (_HD) branch in Kars,
who was detained on 24 October after visiting a client in police custody,
who had been detained earlier. Allegedly, while himself in detention,
he was "abused" and had a heart attack. He suffers from a heart condition
and his family took his medicine to Kars Police Headquarters, where he
was held incommunicado, but they do not know whether the medicine was
given to him. Ayhan Aksözek was seen when he was formally arrested in
the evening of 26 October and was reportedly in a very poor state of
health.
Musa Çakmak, the headman of Yukar_çepik village, was detained on
an unknown date and allegedly severely tortured during incommunicado
detention at Kars Police Headquarters. Reportedly he was given electric
shocks, hung upside down and beaten on his legs, which were badly swollen
at the time he was formally arrested, which was also in the evening of
26 October.
Some 16 people in all were formally arrested on charges of belonging
to an illegal organization and committed to Kars Prison. Most are reported
to have been interrogated under torture and all are likely to be
transferred to Erzincan Special Type Prison to stand trial in Erzincan
State Security Court.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION (Note to Translator: These two paragraphs are
the same as the first two paras of UA 429/90 except for the omission
of the last sentence)
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority which is not officially recognized
by the authorities, but is estimated to number some 10 million people.
The Kurdish population lives mainly in southeastern Turkey. Frequent
allegations of torture and ill-treatment have been received from the
region and the number of torture allegations increased substantially
after the 1980 military coup. Since August 1984, when Kurdish guerrillas
- members of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) - started armed attacks,
an alarming number of reports of ill-treatment of detainees by the
security forces have come from the eastern and southeastern provinces,
where more than 2000 lives so far have been lost in the continuing
fighting.
2
Turkey ratified the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture
on 25 February 1988 and the UN Convention Against Torture on 2 August
1988. However, all information available to Amnesty International
indicates that torture is still widespread and systematic in Turkey.
Allegations of torture have continued since the transfer of power to
a civilian government in 1983. 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. Under current
legislation the maximum detention period before being formally charged
or released is 24 hours; in cases involving three or more suspects or
due to the 'nature of the crime' it may be extended to 15 days.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters:
- urging that Ayhan Aksözek and Musa Çakmak are given access to an
independent doctor and that they are afforded all medical attention they
require;
- appealing for a thorough, independent and impartial investigation into
allegations that the detainees were tortured in Kars Police Headquarters
and that statements found to have been extracted under torture are not
used as evidence except in court actions brought against the torturers;
- requesting to be informed of its methods and findings.
APPEALS TO
Minister of Justice
Mahmut Oltan Sungurlu
Adalet Bakanl___
06659 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Justice Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: 90 41 25 40 66 JUSTICE MINISTER
COPIES TO: Diplomatic representatives of Turkey in your country
and to
The Editor
Güne_
Turanl_ Sokak 20
Beyazit-_stanbul
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International
Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 29 November
1990.

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