EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/25/92
EXTRA 20/92 Fear of Torture 26 February 1992
TURKEY: Kemal ALTUN, a glass worker, married with two children
Kemal Altun was detained in Istanbul late on Saturday night, 22 February 1992,
when police came to his home stating that somebody had informed against him.
Kemal Altun's detention was confirmed by the prosecutor's office which approved
a detention period of 15 days. The reason for his detention is not known.
Kemal Altun was taken to the Anti-Terror Branch (new name for the Political
Branch) of Istanbul Police Headquarters where political suspects are
interrogated. Detainees who have been held there have frequently alleged torture
during interrogation. Amnesty International is concerned that Kemal Altun may
be subjected to torture while being interrogated in incommunicado detention.
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. 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 period a detainee may be held
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 in the east and southeast of Turkey.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- urging that Kemal Altun is allowed to see his wife and that he should not
be ill-treated while in police custody;
- asking what he is accused of and whether formal charges have been brought