Amnesty International Report I

Zeynep Tufekcioglu zeynept at
Mon Jun 10 07:18:27 MDT 1996

The material that follows has been provided by Amnesty International



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

of life.

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".
Steven Biko

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