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UA 146/91 - Turkey: fear of torture: Bahri Bicak, Celal Esen, Hakki Boltan plus 16 others, names unknown

, Índice: EUR 44/050/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/50/91
Distr: UA/SC
UA 146/91 Fear of Torture 30 April 1991
TURKEY: Bahri Biçak
Celal Esen
Hakki Boltan
plus 16 others, names unknown
On the evening of 28 April 1991 armed men reportedly attacked a coffee house
in Solhan near Bingöl which was known to be frequented by civil servants. The
attackers, believed to be Kurdish guerrillas, killed the District Governor,
the Public Prosecutor and the Forestry Regional Head of Solhan and wounded
nine others, three of them seriously. Following the attack 19 people, including
the three named above, have been detained. It is feared that they will be tortured
during interrogation.
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority which is not officially recognized by
the authorities, but is estimated to number some 10 million people. The Kurdish
population lives mainly in southeastern Turkey. Frequent allegations of torture
and ill-treatment have been received from the region and the number of torture
allegations increased substantially after the 1980 military coup. Since August
1984, when Kurdish guerrillas - members of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK)
- started armed attacks, an alarming number of reports of ill-treatment of
detainees by the security forces have come from the eastern and southeastern
provinces, where more than 2000 lives so far have been lost in the continuing
In May 1990 the Turkish government issued Decrees 424 and 425 (in December
replaced by Decree 430), further extending the already extraordinary powers
of the Emergency Legislation Governor. Subsequently, in August 1990, the
government derogated from Articles 5, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 13 of the European
Convention on Human Rights, all of which contain important safeguards for human
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. Emergency legislation is currently in force in ten provinces,
including Bingöl.
page 2 of UA 146/91
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- urging that Bahri Biçak, Celal Esen, Hakki Boltan and the 16 others detained
with them 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.
Bahrettin Demirer (Governor of Bingöl Province)
Bingöl Valisi
Bingöl, Turkey
Telegrams: Bingöl Valisi, Bingöl, Turkey
President Turgut Özal
Devlet Ba_kanli_i
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: President Ozal, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 42875 bbk tr
Faxes: (via Press Office) +90 4 168 5012
Mr Abdülkadir Aksu (Minister of the Interior)
_çi_leri Ba_kanli_i
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister Aksu, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 46369 ICSL TR
Faxes: +90 41 28 43 46
Mr Eyüp A_ik (President of Parliamentary Human Rights
_nsan Haklari Ara_tirma Commission)
Komisyonu Ba_kani
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: IHA Komisyonu, TBMM, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 4 42 06 941
Mr Hayri Kozakçio_lu (Emergency Legislation Governor)
Ola_anüstü Hal Valisi
Diyarbakir, Turkey
Telegrams: Diyarbakir Valisi, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Telexes: 72110 OHVT TR
72084 DYVA TR "please forward to the Governor"
72090 JASY TR
Faxes: +90 831 26174
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 11 June 1991 .

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