EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/14/94
EXTRA 11/94 Fear of torture 17 February 1994
TURKEYMetin TOPRAK, Democracy Party (DEP) candidate for Diyarbak_r Greater
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.
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
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