EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/83/92
EXTRA 74/92 Fear of Torture 4 September 1992
TURKEY: Diyadin Koç, electrician aged 30
Amnesty International has recently learned that on 15 August 1992, Diyadin
Koç, board member of the People's Labour Party (HEP) in Diyarbak_r, was detained.
It is not known to Amnesty International where in Diyarbak_r he is being held
in incommunicado detention. He is said to have been severely tortured
[presumably witnessed by fellow-detainees who have been released meanwhile]
and his family fear for his life. Under current legislation he may be held
until 15 September.
On and around 15 August, the anniversary of the day when the Kurdish Workers'
Party (PKK) started its insurgency against the security forces eight years
ago, scores of people were detained in the Kurdish provinces under State of
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority which is estimated to number 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, an alarming number of reports of ill-treatment of detainees by the
security forces have come from the eastern and southeastern provinces.
Furthermore, allegations of over 100 extrajudicial executions have been
received during the past 12 months. More than 4,000 lives have so far been
lost on both sides and among the civilian population in the context of 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.
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