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UA 339/93 - Turkey: unacknowledged detention / torture: Behcet Ekinci, Ahmet Bayram and his wife and child, plus at least another five people (names unknown)

, N° d'index: EUR 44/089/1993

Behcet Ekinci, who is in unacknowledged police custody in Diyarbakir, was allegedly tortured during the first three days following his arrest on 21 September 1993 by officers from the Anti-Terror Branch of Diyarbakir Police Headquarters. There is also concern about seven people who were detained after visiting his house, and who are now also in incommunicado detention. On 23 September, Behcet Ekinci's family submitted a petition requesting confirmation of his detention, but the prosecutor responded that he had no current list of detainees from the police.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/89/93
Distr: UA/SC
UA 339/93 Unacknowledged detention/Torture 24 September 1993
TURKEY Behçet Ekinci
Ahmet Bayram and his wife and child
plus at least another five people (names unknown)
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Behçet Ekinci who is in
unacknowledged police custody in Diyarbak_r. He was reportedly tortured during
the first three days of his detention. The organization is also concerned about
seven people who are in police custody after visiting his house. It is feared
that they are being subjected to torture while held in incommunicado detention.
On the night of 21 September 1993, between 1am and 2am, officers of the political
police from the Anti-Terror Branch of Diyarbak_r Police Headquarters, armed
with automatic weapons, raided the home of the Ekinci family in Diyarbak_r.
Reportedly, they pulled Behçet Ekinci from his bed, grabbing him by the hair
and knocking him to the ground. They handcuffed him and took him away. Police
officers then occupied the house during the following three days and detained
everyone who visited, seven people in all, including Ahmet Bayram with his
wife and child.
The following night around the same time the police brought Behçet Ekinci back
to his home, covered in blood and bruises and barely recognizable. They did
not beat him in front of his family, but swore at him and demanded to know
where the explosives were hidden. They searched the house but found nothing
and took Behçet Ekinci back to the Police Headquarters.
On 23 September, the family submitted a petition to the prosecutor at Diyarbak_r
State Security Court asking for confirmation of his detention. The prosecutor
responded that he could not acknowledge Behçet Ekinci's detention as he had
no current list of detainees from the police. The family fear for the life
of Behçet Ekinci.
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority estimated at some 10 million people, living
mainly in southeastern Turkey. Since August 1984, when guerrillas of the Kurdish
Workers' Party (PKK) started armed attacks against the security forces, more
than 6,000 lives have been lost on both sides and among the civilian population.
In mid-March 1993 the PKK declared a unilateral ceasefire and its intention
to end the fighting and to enter the democratic process as a political party.
Operations by the security forces against the PKK continued. The ceasefire
was broken when on 24 May guerrillas of the PKK ambushed a convoy of soldiers,
killing 33 soldiers and two civilians. The security forces responded with
large-scale military operations covering the entire region. A state of emergency
continues to be in force in 10 provinces in the region and the Emergency
Legislation Governor in Diyarbakir has extraordinary powers over three
additional provinces.
Turkey ratified the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture on 25
February 1988 and the UN Convention Against Torture on 2 August 1988. Following
a program of visits to Turkish police stations in 1990, 1991 and 1992, the
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (ECPT - established by the
Council of Europe) reported: "In the light of all the information at its
disposal, the ECPT can only conclude that the practice of torture and other
forms of severe ill-treatment of persons in police custody remains widespread
in Turkey and that such methods are applied to both ordinary criminal suspects
and persons held under anti-terrorism
page 2 of UA 339/93
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. New legislation to shorten the maximum detention period came into
force on 1 December 1992. Now non-political detainees may be held for up to
eight days before being formally charged or released. Detainees held on
suspicion of political offences may be held without charge for up to 15 days.
In the 10 provinces under emergency legislation the maximum detention period
for political detainees may be doubled to 30 days.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- expressing grave concern for the safety of Behçet Ekinci, detained at his
home on the night of 21 September, reportedly tortured during the following
three days and since held in unacknowledged police custody in Diyarbak_r;
- expressing concern also for the safety of Ahmet Bayram, his family and other
visitors to the home of Behçet Ekinci who are being held in incommunicado
detention in Diyarbak_r urging that they are not subjected to torture or
- urging that immediate steps are taken to establish the whereabouts of Behçet
Ekinci and to prevent further torture or ill-treatment;
- requesting to be informed of any charges brought against him and any of his
1) Chief of Diyarbak_r Police:
Mr Ramazan Er
Diyarbak_r Emniyet Müdürlü_ü
Diyarbak_r, Turkey
Telegrams: Emniyet Muduru, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Salutation: Dear Sir
2) Emergency Legislation Governor:
Mr Ünal Erkan
Ola_anüstü Hal Valili_i
Diyarbak_r, Turkey
Telegrams: Olaganustu Hal Valisi, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Faxes: +90 832 26 174
Salutation: Dear Governor
3) President Süleyman Demirel
Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: President Demirel, Ankara, Turkey
Telex: 42303 kosk tr
Faxes: +90 44 68 50 12 (via Press Office)
Salutation: Dear President
Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Mr Hikmet Çetin
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
D__i_leri Bakanl___
06100 Ankara, Turkey
and to diplomatic representatives of Turkey accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 5 November 1993.

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