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EXTRA 11/94 - Turkey: fear of torture: Metin Toprak, Musa Ozsat, Nebahat Akkoc

, Índice: EUR 44/014/1994

There is concern for the safety of Metin Toprak and Musa Ozsat, Democracy Party (DEP) candidates, and Nebahat Akkoc, DEP member and Diyarbakir branch president of the teachers' union Egit-Sen. They were detained by police after a raid on their houses during the night of 12/13 February 1994. The reason for their arrest is unknown. Under emergency legislation they may be held for up to 30 days and there is concern they may be subjected to torture during interrogation in police custody in Diyarbakir. There is particular concern for Nebahat Akkoc, whose husband, Zubeyir Akkoc, was shot dead on the street on 13 January 1993 in Diyarbakir.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/14/94
Distr: UA/SC
EXTRA 11/94 Fear of torture 17 February 1994
TURKEYMetin TOPRAK, Democracy Party (DEP) candidate for Diyarbak_r Greater
City Municipality
Musa ÖZSAT, DEP candidate for the district of Yeni_ehir
Nebahat AKKOÇ (female), DEP member and Diyarbak_r branch president of the
teachers' union "E_it-Sen"
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Metin Toprak, Musa Özsat
and Nebahat Akkoç, who were detained after police carried out a raid on their
houses during the night of 12/13 February 1994. The organization fears that
the three may be subjected to torture during their interrogation while in police
custody in Diyarbak_r.
The reason for their detention is not known. Under emergency legislation in
force in Diyarbak_r province they may be held for up to 30 days. Amnesty
International is particularly concerned for the safety of Nebahat Akkoç whose
husband Zübeyir was shot dead on the street on 13 January 1993 in Diyarbak_r.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
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. 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. New legislation
to shorten the maximum detention period came into force on 1 December 1992.
Now the normal maximum period of 24 hours, for which a non-political detainee
may be held before being formally charged or released, may be extended to eight
days in cases of ordinary crimes involving three or more suspects. Detainees
held on suspicion of political offences 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 or martial law. Emergency legislation
is currently in force in 10 provinces in the southeast of Turkey.
Following three visits to Turkey to investigate allegations of torture the
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (ECPT) of the Council of Europe
published in December 1992 for the first time its findings. The ECPT concluded
"that the practice of torture and other forms of severe ill-treatment or persons
in police custody remains widespread in Turkey and that such methods are applied
to both ordinary criminal suspects and persons held under anti-terrorist
provisions".
A report published by the UN Committee against Torture on 19 November 1993
stated that torture was "widespread" in Turkey, and stated that "inadequate
legislation which in practice allows room for the use of torture may also add
to the systematic nature of this practice". In particular the Committee
regretted that detainees accused of political offences are expressly denied
the vital safeguards set out in the new legislation mentioned above.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Metin Toprak, Musa Özsat and Nebahat
Akkoç who are being held for interrogation, presumably at a police station
2
in Diyarbak_r;
- noting the findings of the ECPT regarding the practice of torture in Turkey
as published in its December 1992 report;
- seeking assurances that they are not subjected to torture or any other form
of ill-treatment and are given access to a lawyer;
- requesting to be informed of any charges brought against them.
APPEALS TO
1) Minister of the Interior:
Mr Nahit Mente_e
_çi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 428 4346
Satutation: Dear Minister
2) Minister of Education and Sport:
Mr Nevzat Ayaz
Milli E_itim ve Spor Bakanl___
06648 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Minister of Education and Sport, Ankara, Turkey
Salutation: Dear Minister
3) Emergency Legislation Governor:
Mr Ünal Erkan
Ola_anüstü Hal Valisi
Diyarbak_r, Turkey
Telegrams: Olaganustu Hal Valisi, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Telexes: 72110 OHVT TR;
72084 DYVA TR "please forward to the Governor"
72090 JASY TR
Faxes: +90 412 222 6174 (telephone first)
Salutation: Dear Governor
4) Prosecutor of Diyarbak_r:
DGM Savc_s_
DGM Savc_l___
Diyarbak_r, Turkey
Telegrams: DGM Savciligi, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Salutation: Dear Sir
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Mr Hikmet Çetin
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
D__i_leri Bakanl___
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: 90 312 287 3869
and to diplomatic representatives of Turkey accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 19 March 1994.

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