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Further information on EXTRA 101/93 (EUR 44/110/93, 19 November; and follow-ups EUR 44/112/93, 24 November; EUR 44/119/93, 9 December; EUR 44/121/93, 17 December and EUR 44/06/94, 25 January) - Turkey: fear of torture / legal concern: Husniye Olmez, Meral

, Índice: EUR 44/037/1994

Sedat Aslantas, Deputy Secretary General of the Turkish Human Rights Association (THRA) and President of the Diyarbakir branch, was arrested by four plainclothes policemen, and taken to the Anti-Terror Branch of the Ankara Police Headquarters on 12 May 1994. There are fears that he may be interrogated under torture. His arrest is linked with the detention of 16 other lawyers in Diyarbakir and Istanbul in November 1993. Several reported being tortured and ill-treated in incommunicado detention. Eight were committed to prison on charges of assisting the PKK, and possession of forbidden publications. All have now been released, although their trial continues at Diyarbakir State Security Court.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/37/94
Distr: UA/SC
13 May 1994
Further information on EXTRA 101/93 (EUR 44/110/93, 19 November 1993) - and
follow-ups: EUR 44/112/93, 24 November 1993; EUR 44/119/93, 9 December 1993;
EUR 44/121/93, 17 December 1993; EUR 44/06/94, 25 January 1993 - Fear of
Torture/Legal Concern
TURKEY:Hüsniye Ölmez (f); Meral Dan__ Be_ta_ (f), Secretary of the Human Rights
Association (IHD) branch in Diyarbak_r; Mesut Be_ta_, her husband,
IHD member; Sabahattin Acar (note correct name); Baki Demirhan;
_inasi Tur; Arif Altunkalem, IHD member; Nevzat Kaya; Vedat Erten;
Tahir Elçi (from Cizre); Niyazi Çem (from Istanbul); Fuat Hayri
Demir; Gazanfer Abbasio_lu; Selim Kurbano_lu; _mam _ahin; Arzu
_ahin (f)
and new name: Sedat Aslanta_ (Lawyer)
Sedat Aslanta_, Deputy Secretary General of the Turkish Human Rights Association
(THRA) and President of the Diyarbak_r branch, was arrested by four plainclothes
policemen and taken to the Anti-Terror Branch of Ankara Police Headquarters
on 12 May 1994. Amnesty International fears that he may be interrogated under
torture.
Ankara Police Headquarters informed the THRA that Sedat Aslanta_ was to be
transferred for interrogation to Diyarbak_r Police Headquarters. A warrant
for Sedat Aslanta_'s arrest had been issued in connection with an operation
in Diyarbak_r and Istanbul in November, in which 16 lawyers were detained and
interrogated while being held incommunicado for four weeks in Diyarbak_r
Gendarmerie Headquarters. The lawyer, Meral Dan__ Be_ta_, secretary of the
Diyarbak_r Branch of the IHD reported that during interrogation she was slapped,
kicked, subjected to crude sexual insults, stripped of her clothes and hosed
with freezing cold water in Diyarbak_r Gendarmerie Headquarters. Tahir Elçi,
a lawyer in Cizre who has represented local villagers in numerous official
complaints concerning human rights violations, said he was told by police that
he would be killed if he continued this work. He reported that he was stripped
naked and that his testicles were twisted, and that another of the lawyers
was present when he was being hosed for several hours with cold water. Eight
of the lawyers were committed to prison on charges of assisting the PKK, and
possession of forbidden publications.
All the lawyers were subsequently released, though their trial on charges of
assisting members of an illegal armed organization continues at Diyarbak_r
State Security Court.
Amnesty International is currently investigating the circumstances of their
arrest, but believes that the true reason for their imprisonment may be their
activities as defence lawyers and their human rights work. All had acted as
defence lawyers for defendants accused of membership of illegal organizations.
Several had acted on behalf of victims (in some cases poor villagers) who wished
to make personal petitions to the Council of Europe, complaining of torture,
or the "disappearance" or extrajudicial execution of their relatives.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
2
Under Article 40 of the Law on Legal Representation, investigation of any crime
suspected of being committed by a lawyer in the course of their professional
duty is subject to permission by the Ministry of Justice and should be carried
out by an authority appointed by the Ministry.
Circular 46 issued by the Ministry of Justice on 27 June 1970, and another
circular of 27 March 1971 state that, because of issues of professional
confidence, investigation of crimes committed during their activities as
lawyers, and also personal crimes, should not be left to the police, but should
be carried out directly by the public prosecutor and his/her assistants.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams, faxes, express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- urging that Sedat Aslanta_ should not be subjected to any form of ill-treatment
or torture and that he should be brought promptly before a judge;
- expressing concern about the allegations of torture made by the lawyers Meral
Dan__ Be_ta_ and Tahir Elçi;
- requesting that the allegations of torture be thoroughly and impartially
investigated, and that those responsible should be brought promptly to justice.
APPEALS TO:
1) Minister of the Interior
Mr Nahit Mente_e
Içisleri Bakanl___
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 428 4346
Salutation: Dear Minister
2) Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr Hikmet Çetin
D__i_leri Bakanl___
06100 Ankara
Telegrams: Foreign Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 312 287 3869
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Minister of Justice
Mr Seyfi Oktay
Adalet Bakanl___
06659 Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: 90 312 417 3954
and to diplomatic representatives of Turkey accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Appeals may be sent until 10 June 1994.

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