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UA 91/91 - Turkey: fear of torture: Ahmet Tekin

, N° d'index: EUR 44/032/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/32/91
Distr: UA/SC
UA 91/91 Fear of Torture 11 March 1991
TURKEY: Ahmet TEKIN, aged 33, married with five children,
member of Turkish Human Rights Association
Ahmet Tekin, a member of the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD), was detained
in Siirt during the last week of February. This is the ninth time he has been
detained during the past ten years. He is said to be held incommunicado at
the Gendarmerie Headquarters in Siirt and it is feared that he is again being
interrogated under torture.
Ahmet Tekin was most recently detained in Mersin on 12 November 1990.
He was held for 14 days, during which he was tortured. When he was taken for
medical examination at the end of his detention, the doctor declined to record
the cuts and bruises on his body. He was brought before a judge in Mersin,
formally arrested for "sheltering" guerrillas and committed to prison. After
two or three days he was released, but detained again immediately afterwards
and brought to Eruh Gendarmerie Headquarters. Here he was tortured again,
including being left lying on the floor in the toilet and urinated over. He
was charged and formally arrested, but later provisionally released. The
charges were dropped by Diyarbakir State Security Court on 31 January 1991.
He claimed that a month later it was suggested to him at Siirt Police
Headquarters that he should become a police agent.
Ahmet Tekin alleges that during one of his recent detentions he was told
that he had already four children and that they would make sure he would not
have any more. Electricity was applied particularly to his sexual organs,
he was hosed with pressurized cold water. The torture lasted for 12 days and
affected his health. He was about to go for treatment at the Torture Treatment
Centre in Ankara, when he was detained once again around 26 February.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
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 fighting.
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
rights.
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
2
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
3
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 Siirt.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- urging that Ahmet Tekin be given prompt access to his family and a lawyer,
and that he not be ill-treated while in detention;
- requesting to be informed of any charges against him.
APPEALS TO:
Siirt Gendarmerie Headquarters:
Siirt Jandarma Tugay Komutanl___
Siirt, Turkey
Telegrams: Jandarma Komutanligi, Siirt, Turkey
Telexes: 72216 JSIR TR
Siirt Governor:
Attila Koç
Siirt Valisi
Siirt, Turkey
Telegrams: Siirt Valisi, Siirt, Turkey
Telexes: 72313 srvt tr
Faxes: +90 8441 2769
President Turgut Özal
Office of the President
Devlet Ba_kanl___
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: President Özal, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 42875 BBK TR
Faxes: (via Press Office) + 90 4 168 5012
Abdülkadir Aksu
Minister of the Interior
_çi_leri Bakanl___
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Interior Minister Aksu, Ankara, Turkey
Telexes: 46369 ICSL TR
Faxes: +90 41 28 43 46; +90 41 17 23 90
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 22 April 1991.

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