UA 475/90 - Turkey: fear of torture: Ibrahim Sahin, Nihat Ozcan, Zeynep Polat, Leyla Polat, Sengul Mert
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/170/90
UA 475/90 Fear of Torture 22 November 1990
TURKEY: Ibrahim _ahin, aged 45-50
Zeynep Polat (f)
Leyla Polat (f), daughter of Zeynep Polat
_engül Mert (f)
On 16 November at about 3 o'clock in the morning Ibrahim _ahin was detained
at his home in Istanbul. He was seen being beaten by several police officers
at the time of his detention. He is said to have been imprisoned and tortured
on numerous previous occasions and had been released from prison only seven
or eight months ago. Nihat Özcan was detained at his house in Sefaköy, while
Zeynep Polat and her daughter Leyla, and _engül Mert were detained at their
homes in Gazi district, all in Istanbul.
The five detainees named above are reported to be held incommunicado
at Istanbul Police Headquarters and it is feared that they are being tortured
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. This period
may be extended to 30 days in areas under emergency legislation or martial
law. In August 1990, the government derogated from Articles 5, 6, 8, 10, 11
and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- urging that the five people named above are given prompt access to their
families and lawyers and that they are not ill-treated while in detention;
- requesting to be informed of any charges against them.
President Turgut Özal
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: President Özal, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 42303 KOSK TR
Istanbul Emniyet Müdürü
Istanbul Chief of Police
Telegrams: Emniyet Muduru, Istanbul, Turkey
Telexes: 30811 IEHM TR or 30812 EMMH TR
Faxes: + 90 1 172 8182
COPIES TO: Diplomatic representatives of Turkey in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 2 January 1991.