Amnesty International Report I
zeynept at turk.net
Mon Jun 10 07:18:27 MDT 1996
The material that follows has been provided by Amnesty International
TURKEY: PRISONERS BEATEN TO DEATH LATEST VICTIMS OF OFFICIAL INDIFFERENCE
5 JANUARY 1996
Three more prisoners were apparently beaten to death by Turkish security
forces invading an Istanbul prison yesterday, bringing the total number of
prisoners killed in such incursions in the past 18 months to eight.
"The failure of the authorities properly to investigate the death and
injury of so many prisoners in previous incidents is encouraging police and
soldiers who are storming into prisons to think that they can attack
prisoners with impunity," Amnesty International said.
Orhan Ozen, Riza Baybas, and Abdulmecit Seckin reportedly died of head
injuries when an estimated 200 police and gendarmes entered the newly
opened Umraniye Special Type Prison following clashes between warders and
prisoners protesting at visiting restrictions. In addition to those killed,
28 prisoners, six gendarmes and one warden were injured and taken to
hospital. The condition of six of the prisoners is understood to be very
In a letter addressed to Turkey's Minister of Justice today, Amnesty
International strongly condemns official indifference to persistent reports
of ill-treatment in Turkish prisons and the recent deaths of prisoners in
similar incursions, and calls for urgent safeguards to prevent further loss
Torture is widely and systematically inflicted on detainees in Turkish
police stations and gendarmeries. In prisons, deaths and severe injuries
are now occurring increasingly frequently, when police or gendarmes brought
in to quell prisoners' protests take the opportunity to "punish" alleged or
convicted members of illegal armed organizations.
After police and soldiers entered Diyarbakir E-type Prison on 4 October
1995, two prisoners died, one from suffocation, the other from injuries. On
21 September 1995, three more prisoners were beaten to death when police
and gendarmes entered Buca Prison, near Izmir, following prisoners' refusal
to appear for roll-call. On that occasion, strenuous attempts by the local
bar association to avoid conflict were apparently obstructed by prison
On 13 December 1995, dozens of prisoners were also injured, some very
seriously, when police entered Umraniye prison and beat inmates.
Considerable tension is also being reported in other prisons throughout
Turkey where political prisoners are being held, with prisoners occupying
wings in Ankara Central Closed Prison and Buca Prison.
While acknowledging that prison authorities have the responsibility to
maintain order, Amnesty International is appealing for the Justice Ministry
to act urgently to ensure that in dealing with such incidents the
authorities avoid the use of force or, where that is not practicable,
restrict such force to the minimum necessary.
"The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed".
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