PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 44/020/2001
UA 81/01 Fear of torture and ill-treatment 2 April 2001
TURKEYMehmet Dilsiz (Cizre district head of HADEP)
Bedirhan Dilsiz (his nephew)
Muhsin Gas_r ]
Tahir _lçin ] HADEP Cizre board members
Eight members of the Kurdish party HADEP (People’s Democracy Party) were
arrested by gendarmes on 1 and 2 April and Amnesty International is concerned
that they may be tortured in custody. They are held at __rnak Provincial
Gendarmerie Headquarters, in southeastern Turkey.
Gendarmes reportedly raided the house of Mehmet and Bedirhan Dilsiz, in Cizre
district, at 6am on 1 April. They searched the house for three hours before
taking the men into custody. The other five men named above were arrested in
the early hours of 2 April. Halit Zeynep, whom they were also trying to find,
surrendered later that day.
Mehmet Dilsiz has been harassed and threatened by the security forces since
he tried to set up a branch of HADEP in Cizre in September 2000. He was taken
into custody several times, and warned to give up his work for the party. On
6 November, when he was about to be appointed Cizre head of HADEP, he was arrested
by gendarmes and later remanded to prison, but released on appeal. The provincial
gendarmerie commander later told him face to face that he would kill him if
he did not give up activities for HADEP. A HADEP office in Cizre was supposed
to be opened this week.
Two other HADEP representatives, Serdar Tan__ and Ebubekir Deniz, “disappeared”
on 25 January. They were last seen at the Gendarmerie headquarters in Silopi,
another district of __rnak province. Three days later Mehmet Dilsiz reportedly
received a phone call saying he would meet the same fate and “be sent to hell”.
When he asked who was calling, he was told: “I am the Death Angel of Serdar
Before they “disappeared”, Serdar Tan__ and Ebubekir Deniz had suffered the
same sort of harassment as Mehmet Dilsiz. He and the others arrested with him
may be in very grave danger.
Mehmet Dilsiz had lodged a petition with the authorities on 21 February,
describing the harassment and threats and asking for guarantees of his safety.
His statement was taken by the Cizre Prosecutor on 12 March.
Legal Kurdish political parties face daily harassment by the authorities: some
have been closed, while others have been threatened with closure. Their
supporters and members have been tortured, have "disappeared" and have even
HADEP is the successor to two parties that were both closed for “separatism”
by the authorities. HADEP favours more rights for the Kurds in the region.
Although it is opposed to political violence, in some circles the party is
regarded as the "political wing" of the armed opposition group, the Kurdistan