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UA 303/91 - Turkey: fear of torture: Mustafa Dalgic, Mehmet Oral, Fatos Yener, Erdogan Yener, Faruk Soylemez, Huseyin Gokalp, Elif Reyhan, Nevruz Aydar, Teyibet Aydar and some 35 others

, Índice: EUR 44/122/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/122/91
Distr: UA/SC
UA 303/91 Fear of Torture 6 September 1991
TURKEY: Mustafa Dalg_ç
Mehmet Oral, People's Labour Party (HEP) branch official
Fato_ Yener (female), HEP Iskenderun branch executive
Erdo_an Yener
Faruk Söylemez, HEP Iskenderun branch executive
Hüseyin Gökalp, Socialist Party (SP) Iskenderun branch
Elif Reyhan (female)
Nevruz Aydar (female)
Teyibet Aydar (female)
and some 35 others
Salih Dalg_ç, a militant of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) was killed in
an armed clash near Bilgili village in Siirt province at the end of August
1991. He was buried in Iskenderun, his home town, on 2 September 1991. Police
detained more than 40 people who attended his funeral, including his father,
Mustafa Dalg_ç, and the others named above. Elif Reyhan's 12-month-old daughter
Bersin was also taken to Iskenderun Police Headquarters, but released into
the care of relatives the following day. It is reported that the Prosecutor's
Office in Iskenderun gave orders for the detainees to be kept in police custody
until 14 September 1991. They are held incommunicado at Iskenderun Police
Headquarters and it is feared that they may be subjected to torture.
In recent months there have been a number of occasions in the region
where people attending the funeral of killed PKK guerrillas or paying their
respects to the family of the deceased have been detained.
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority which is estimated to number some 10 million
people. Any activity for a separate Kurdish political or cultural identity
is punishable under Turkish law. 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. Some 3000 lives
have so far been lost on both sides and among the civilian population in the
continuing fighting. Emergency legislation is in force in 10 provinces in the
region and the Emergency Legislation Governor in Diyarbakir has extraordinary
powers over three additional provinces. In May 1990 the Turkish government
issued Decrees 424 and 425 (in December replaced by Decree 430), further
extending the powers of the Emergency Legislation Governor.
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. 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 rights.
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
page 2, UA 303/91...
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern for the well-being of some 40 people including those named
above, held in incommunicado detention since attending a funeral in Iskenderun
on 2 September 1991;
- requesting assurances that they are being humanely treated while in custody;
- appealing that they are granted permission to see their lawyers and relatives;
- asking to be informed if they have been charged.
Prime Minister Mesut Y_lmaz
[Salutation: Dear Prime Minister]
Office of the Prime Minister
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Prime Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 44061/44062/44063 bbmt tr; 42099 basb tr;
42875 bbk tr
Faxes: + 90 41 17 04 76 PRIME MINISTER;
+ 90 42 30 88 96 (attn: Prime Minister)
Governor of Hatay province:
Mr Utku Acun
[Salutation: Dear Governor]
Hatay Valili_i
Antakya, Turkey
Telegrams: Hatay Valisi, Antakya, Turkey
Minister of Justice:
Prof. Suat Bilge
[Salutation: Dear Minister]
Adalet Bakanl___
06659 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Adalet Bakanligi, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: + 90 41 25 40 66
President of Parliamentary Human Rights Commission:
Mr Eyüp A__k
_nsan Haklar_ Ara_t_rma Komisyonu Ba_kan_
Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: + 90 4 11 91 664; +90 4 42 06 941
and 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 18 October 1991.

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