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UA 196/93 - Turkey: death threats / fear of extrajudicial execution: Esref Yasa

, Index number: EUR 44/052/1993

On 15 January 1993 Esref Yasa, the owner of a kiosk in the Ofis district of Diyarbakir, was shot in the street by unknown assailants. A taxi driver who took him to hospital was reportedly beaten and threatened by plainclothes police. In 1992 he received threats from police demanding that he stop selling left-wing newspapers and publications. On 15 November 1992 his kiosk was burned down and he was then detained and threatened again by police. His uncle, Hasim Yasa, took over the kiosk and in March 1993 it was raided by police. On 14 June 1993 Hasim Yasa was killed by unknown persons in the street. During preparations for his uncle's funeral, Esref Yasa was detained and allegedly beaten at the local police station. No investigation has been carried out into the attack on him.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/52/93
Distr: UA/SC
UA 196/93 Death threats/Fear of Extrajudicial Execution 15 June 1993
TURKEY: E_ref Ya_a
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of E_ref Ya_a who has been
receiving death threats from the police. In January 1993 he was shot in the
street and on 14 June was briefly detained and ill-treated immediately after
his uncle was killed by unknown assailants in Diyarbak_r.
E_ref Ya_a, married with three children, was the owner of a kiosk in the Ofis
district of Diyarbak_r. In 1992 he received threats from the police demanding
that he should stop selling left-wing newspapers and publications. On 15
November 1992 his kiosk was burned down and he was then detained, interrogated
and threatened by the police.
On 15 January 1993 E_ref Ya_a was shot in the street. "I was going to the
shop in the morning with my son who was seven years old. He was behind me on
a bicycle. I was about 300 metres from the Urfa Gate, and about 500 yards from
the Mardin Gate Police Station, when a person drew a gun and shot at me. Another
attacker was keeping watch. I did not recognize them. I fell to the ground,
and my son ran away. Because I knew something like this was going to happen,
I had acquired a pistol. I fired at the attackers but did not hit them. I was
hit eight times. One bullet entered my thigh and then my stomach. I was hit
on one arm, the middle finger of my left hand, and the end of my thumb was
shot off. Three shots hit me in the back but did not go in. I do not know if
anybody saw it, but nobody came forward to say what happened."
A taxi that was passing picked him up and took him to the hospital. The police
came to the hospital and reportedly said: "This son of a prostitute has not
died." The taxi driver was reportedly beaten by the plainclothes police officers
who said "We will get you for this".
Later E_ref Ya_a was called to the prosecutor to give a statement. When he
got there, he found that the prosecutor had opened an investigation against
him for possession of an unlicensed weapon. He told him that he had been attacked
but the prosecutor did not seem interested. So far no prosecutor has taken
his statement about the attack and it appears that no investigation has been
carried out.
His uncle Ha_im Ya_a subsequently took over the kiosk which in March 1993 was
raided by the police who were searching for weapons. They found none. On the
morning of 14 June 1993, at 7.30 am, Ha_im Ya_a was killed by unknown persons
with three shots to his head, in the street 50 metres from his home in Diyarbak_r.
His seven-year-old son was the only witness. During preparations for his uncle's
funeral later that day, E_ref Ya_a was detained and allegedly beaten up at
the local police station. He was then taken to Diyarbak_r Police Headquarters
where he was again beaten and told: "You survived last time, but you should
have been finished off. We will kill you next time. It should have been you,
not your uncle". He was taken to the forensic medicine institute where the
doctor noticed a swelling on his forehead, but did not issue a certificate.
E_ref Ya_a was released on the morning of 15 June.
Hundreds of political killings have been carried out over the last two years
in the southeast of Turkey and although official complicity has not been proved
conclusively, substantial evidence links the security forces to many of these.
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority which is estimated to number some 10 million
people, living mainly in southeastern Turkey. Since August 1984, when guerrillas
of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) started armed attacks against the security forces,
more than 6,000 lives have been lost on both sides and among the civilian population
in the context of their fight for an independent Kurdish state. In mid-March 1993
the PKK declared a unilateral ceasefire and its intention to end the fighting and
to enter the democratic process as a political party. Operations by the security
forces against the PKK continued. The ceasefire was broken when on 24 May guerrillas
of the PKK ambushed a convoy of soldiers, reportedly travelling unarmed and in civilian
clothes. They killed 33 soldiers and two civilians, and the security forces responded
with large-scale military operations covering the entire region. A state of emergency
continues to be in force in 10 provinces in the region and the Emergency Legislation
Governor in Diyarbakir has extraordinary powers over three additional provinces.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in [preferred language] or in your own language:
- expressing grave concern for the safety of E_ref Ya_a who has been receiving death
threats from the police, was shot in the street in January 1993 and was briefly detained
and ill-treated immediately after his uncle was killed by unknown assailants in
Diyarbak_r on 14 June 1993;
- urging that an immediate investigation be carried out into the above incidents
and that those responsible are brought to justice;
- noting the fact that hundreds of people have been killed in mysterious circumstances
in the Kurdish provinces leading to allegations of extrajudicial execution, and that
no serious investigations appear to have been carried out into these unsolved murders;
- recommending that an independent commission is established to investigate such
allegations according to the United Nations Principles on the Effective Prevention
and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions;
- urging that all necessary steps are taken to prevent such further killings.
1) Prime Minister:
Mrs Tansu Çiller Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Prime Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 44061/44062/44063 bbmt tr, 42099 basb tr, 42875 bbk tr
Faxes: + 90 4 417 04 76, + 90 4 230 88 96
2) Chief of Diyarbak_r Police:
Mr Ramazan Er Salutation: Dear Sir
Diyarbak_r Emniyet Müdürlü_ü
Diyarbak_r, Turkey
Telegrams: Emniyet Muduru, Diyarbakir, Turkey
3) President:
Süleyman Demirel Salutation: Your Excellency
Office of the President
Devlet Ba_kanl___
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: President Demirel, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 42303 kosk tr
President of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission:
Mr Sabri Yavuz
_nsan Haklar_ Ara_t_rma Komisyonu Ba_kan_
TBMM, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: + 90 4 420 5394
and to diplomatic representatives of Turkey accredited to your country. The World
Conference on Human Rights is being held in Austria this month and you can enhance
the power of your appeals by also sending copies to the diplomatic representative
of Turkey in Austria during June at the following address:
The Ambassador, Botschaft der Türkei
Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 40, 1040 Wien, Austria
Faxes: + 43 1 505 36 60
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your
section office, if sending appeals after 27 July 1993.

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