The conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish PKK has once again turned ugly, with significant evidence of abuses and, according to the New York Times, more than 800 killed in recent weeks. For its part, Amnesty International has been working hard monitor and verify abuses. In early August, Amnesty researchers investigated Turkish airstrikes and found that the military had failed to take precautions to protect non-combatants:
Lama Fakih, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International noted:
The recent attacks in Kandil maimed, killed, and displaced residents, destroying homes and terrifying locals in an area where no military targets appeared to be present… The apparent absence of a military target within the vicinity of the airstrikes suggests that these strikes are unlawful whether or not there is an armed conflict between the Turkish authorities and the PKK. The Turkish government has displayed a flagrant disregard for the lives of local residents and failed to take necessary precautions to minimize harm to them, or to discriminate between them and PKK fighters
Today, Amnesty issued an urgent action in the case of four men accused of killing a police officer. According to Amnesty, the men have been repeatedly beaten and refused proper medical treatment. It has called on its members to take action to prevent further abuse.
Sedat Aydın, Mehmet Naci Yılmaz, Ömer Kılınç and Murat Abir are accused of involvement in the killing of two police officers in the Ceylanpınar district of Şanlıurfa, in south-eastern Turkey, on the night of 21 July.
Sedat Aydın and Mehmet Naci Yılmaz were remanded in custody by a court in the south eastern province of Şanlıurfa on 26 July. Speaking to Amnesty International, Sedat Aydın’s brother A.A. stated that they had been ill-treated in police custody during their initial detention in Şanlıurfa.
On 19 August, the four men were transferred from the Şanlıurfa E-type closed prison to the Osmaniye No.1 T-type closed prison in Adana province. According to Sedat Aydın’s brother and the Chair of the Adana branch of the NGO Human Rights Association who visited them in prison, they were severely beaten by gendarmes and prison guards, threatened with further abuse and denied access to medical treatment for their injuries. The four men said they had been beaten on their legs and others parts of their bodies while in the vehicle in which they were being transferred to the prison on 19 August. The men also explained that upon their arrival at the prison they were beaten by between 20 to 30 gendarmes after being taken in pairs into two separate rooms. They were also beaten again, by prison guards, after objecting to being strip searched.
Their representatives told Amnesty International that they were taken to hospital but were not examined by a doctor. According to them, the doctor instead signed a pre-drafted document stating that they were healthy and had no injuries.
They continue to be at risk of further ill-treatment.
Please write immediately in Turkish or your own language:
- Urging the Turkish authorities to ensure that Sedat Aydın, Mehmet Naci Yılmaz, Ömer Kılınç and Murat Abir are not subjected to further ill-treatment;
- Calling on them to ensure that they have access to a medical assessment and any necessary medical treatment;
- Urging the authorities to investigate promptly, independently and thoroughly the allegations of ill-treatment and bring those found to be responsible to justice.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 7 OCTOBER 2015 TO:
T-tipi Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu
Fax: +90 328 826 8730
Salutation: Dear Director
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
Fax: +90 312 417 71 13
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Salutation: Dear Minister
And copies to:
Minister of Interior
Mr. Sebahattin Öztürk
Fax: +90 312 425 85 09
Salutation: Dear Minister