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United Nations

Office of the United Nations high commissioner of human rights report on TURKEY-2018- part2

Office of the United Nations high commissioner of human rights report on TURKEY-2018- part2

 

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Re: Urge Turkish Authorities to stop torture and bring perpetrators to justice on INTERNATIONAL DAY IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE JUNE 26 th

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INTERNATIONAL DAY IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE, JUNE 26TH

     Gokhan Acikkollu, the 42-year-old history teacher with diabetes, was dismissed from his job, subsequently detained and tortured for 13 days under police custody in Turkey. He ultimately died from a heart attack. Two years later, after his death, authorities found him not guilty and reinstated him to his teaching post; however, no real justice has been given.

Since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, democratic and fundamental human rights have been suspended in Turkey. The Turkish government has disregarded basic human rights, equality, and respect for human dignity. It has completely broken its ties with the western world, the European Union in particular. It is stated in Human Rights Watch October 2017 report that people accused of terrorism or of being linked to the July 2016 attempted coup are at risk of torture in police custody. There has been a spate of reported cases of men being abducted, some of whom were held in secret detention places, with evidence pointing to the
involvement of state authorities. 

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner for UN Human Rights, declared that during the state of emergency period about 160,000 people were detained in Turkey; 152,000 state officials, including teachers, judges, and lawyers were arbitrarily expelled or investigated; over 200 journalists were arrested, 201 media outlets and hundreds of websites were shut down. There were many cases of torture, rape, and kidnapping, which were only partially reflected in the reports.

According to a report released by the United States Department of State on human rights practices in Turkey in 2018 between July 2016 and July 2018, Turkish Ministry of Justice reported that “investigations” were opened into 612,347 persons, the majority of whom were affiliated with the Gulen movement. Authorities prosecuted 1,519 lawyers and dismissed 7,257 academics and more than 4,000 judges and prosecutors. After the coup, the government operated prisons became filled with people who were detained and awaiting trial and began to work over capacity. 28 individuals disappeared, some kidnapped in broad daylight in front of their families.

Reports of torture, mistreatment, and abuse skyrocketed from tens in 2017 to more than 2,500 in 2018. 51 people lost their lives under suspicious circumstances in official custody.

The most recent torture incidents took place at Police Headquarters in Ankara against detained six ex-diplomats of Turkish Foreign Ministry on May 26th which were documented by the Ankara Bar Association. HDP MP Omer F. Gergerlioglu; Erinc Sagkan, President of Ankara Bar Association, and CHP MP Sezgin Tanrikulu spoke out about the allegations immediately.

We urge all the international bodies and human rights organizations along with Turkish judiciary to take all necessary steps to STOP TORTURE in TURKEY and bring all the perpetrators to justice.

Advocates of Silenced Turkey
help@silencedturkey.org
www.silencedturkey.org
Twitter: @silencedturkey
Facebook: @silencedturkey

 

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PRESS RELEASE ON THE OCCASION OF THE WORLD REFUGEE DAY 2019

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WORLD REFUGEE DAY 2019

It is acknowledged in UNHCR’s Global Trends 2018 Report that the number of forcibly displaced people increased by 2.3 million people in 2018. By the end of the year, almost 70.8 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, states:

“What we are seeing in these figures is further confirmation of a longer-term rising trend in the number of people needing safety from war, conflict, and persecution.”

Since the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the Turkish government has targeted individuals and groups opposing the government. Through a mass witch-hunt, hundreds of thousands of people have been faced with arrest, imprisonment, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, denial of fair treatment, labeling, confiscation, and passport seizure. Turkish prisons became filled with people who were detained and awaiting trial and began to operate over capacity. 28 individuals disappeared, some kidnapped in broad daylight in front of their families. Reports of torture, mistreatment, and abuse skyrocketed from tens in 2017 to more than 2,500 in 2018. 51 people lost their lives under suspicious circumstances in official custody. Consequently, thousands of people were forced to leave the country for freedom and to live in humane conditions.

Migration is not easy for those who migrate as well as those countries who receive them. The activist poet Warshan Shire’s words about forced displacement summarize the refugee issue very concisely: “No one puts their children in a boat unless the boat is safer than the land.”

We, as AST (Advocates of Silenced Turkey), are dedicated to support refugees as well as to defend their rights and be a voice for them.

Hafza Y. GIRDAP
Spokesperson
directorhg@silencedturkey.org

 

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PRESS RELEASE Re:Call on the Government of Greece to investigate and end the push-backs of Turkish refugees

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PRESS RELEASE
Re: Call on the Government of Greece to investigate and end the push-backs of Turkish refugees

Following the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and began to target any individual opposing the government, the Hizmet Movement (also known as Gulen Movement) in particular. According to a report released by the United States Department of State on human rights practices in Turkey in 2018 (2), between July 2016 and July 2018, Turkish Ministry of Justice reported that “investigations” were opened into 612,347 persons, the majority of whom were affiliated with the Hizmet Movement. After the coup, the government operated prisons became filled with people who were detained and awaiting trial and began to operate over capacity. 28 individuals disappeared, some kidnapped in broad daylight in front of their families. Reports of torture, mistreatment, and abuse skyrocketed from tens in 2017 to more than 2,500 in 2018. 51 people lost their lives under suspicious circumstances in official custody.

In addition to opening investigations into persons associated with the movement, the government has made many attempts to limit its citizen’s physical freedom and freedom of speech. 155,000 individuals whose family members were allegedly connected to the Hizmet Movement were banned from traveling, and the government has investigated over 45,000 social media accounts and blocked more than 50,000 websites. Furthermore, during the first six months of 2018, Twitter received 8,988 court orders and requests from authorities to remove content.

The persecution carried out by the Turkish government through witch-hunts has led many of the citizens to escape Turkey using illegal methods as their passports were confiscated. So far, the asylum-seeking Turkish citizens who cross the Evros to escape from a tyrannical regime in Turkey are embraced humanely by the Greek authorities. However, there have been recent reports of several push-back cases, in which groups of Turkish asylum-seekers were beaten by masked men and forced back to Turkey. In the last couple of months, there have been several reports that Turkish asylum seekers who entered Greece through the Evros river were beaten by masked men and pushed back into Turkey.

According to Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST)’s report 1 on this issue, the pushbacks raised concerns among human rights activists and those who are sensitive to such matters. Ten Greek refugee NGOs urged for the immediate investigation of reports of collective expulsions in Evros region. Also, Rebecca Harms, a member of the EU Parliament, stated that this situation violates international law.

International human rights law protects these families. Greece is a party to many human rights treaties and conventions as part of the European Union and the United Nations, thus has an obligation to protect these people when they reached Greece soils. More specifically, both under the EU and UN legislation, Greece cannot return, deport or expel these refugee families knowing that they will suffer from the Turkish government’s persecutions.

Alfred De Zayas, Former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order and Professor of International Law at Geneva School of Diplomacy, states that “Looking at the current situation in Greece, it must be emphasized that Greece is obliged to comply with its commitments under international human rights law and refugee law. Members of the Hizmet Movement fleeing from the Turkish government’s harsh persecutions fulfill the definition of a refugee under the 1951 Refugee Convention and have every right to demand protection from deportation to Turkey, where they face persecution.”

Moreover, Professor Anwar Alam, Senior Fellow at Middle Institute with Policy Perspectives Foundation in New Delhi, also emphasizes that “In this context, it must be brought to attention that fleeing Hizmet or non-Hizmet people from Turkey to Greece via Evros River or the Aegean Sea enjoy the legal right of protection after crossing into Greece border. EU Asylum Procedures Directive (Directive 2013/32/EU) states that the first country of asylum is a country where the person has already received international protection – refugee-like protection, or another kind of “sufficient protection” which must at least include non-refoulement guarantees (Article 35 of the Directive). Therefore, Greek authorities are urged to comply with this legal injunction and investigate the issue of masked men who are pushing back the refugees to Turkey.”

Migrant pushback is a growing concern, especially in the Greek-Turkish land border. Push-backs, as the word conveys the message, is stopping migrants in the borders and pushing them back by force to the country where they came from. According to Article 4 of Protocol 4 (Art 4-4) to the European Convention on Human Rights, push- back is defined in legal terms as “The well-established definition of collective expulsion is any measure of the competent authorities compelling aliens as a group to leave the country, except where such a measure is taken after and on the basis of a reasonable and objective examination of the particular cases of each individual alien of the group."

Therefore, we urge the Greek authorities to review their border security procedures and give serious consideration to maintaining the safety of asylum seekers to remain in compliance with international laws and regulations. The Greek authorities should investigate the pushback and violence allegations whether those allegations are against border security guards or violent non-governmental groups.

Hafza Y. GIRDAP
Spokesperson
directorhg@silencedturkey.org

 

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Millions of Books Destroyed: Erdogan’s Regime Attacks the Culture of its Dissident Groups

Millions of Books Destroyed: Erdogan’s Regime Attacks the Culture of its Dissident Groups

Books play an important role in shaping public opinion and transmitting the culture of a society for the upcoming generations. For that, many authoritarian regimes throughout history have opposed books written in the pursuit of the opposition of those they perceived as enemies. With the goal of asserting complete control over public information and literature, the Erdogan regime has started such a war against the books and other publications of its dissident groups following the suspicious coup attempt on July 2016. In this direction, thousands of books have been outlawed and their publishers have been shut down. Therefore, copies of those books in all libraries and bookstores across the country have been confiscated. After it has been declared that possessing any copies of such books or publications may be considered the evidence for certain crimes, many people have been detained and arrested.
The current report of the Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST) provides an overview of what has happened during Turkey’s ongoing post-coup assault on the books and the cultural institutions, with a focus on the affected groups including the Gulen movement, Kurds, leftists, and seculars.

Some of the highlights from the report are given below.

● Book disposals in public libraries: Constituting approximately 7 percent of the total books in the public libraries across the country, 135,000 books are reported to be removed from the public libraries due to their affiliations with the Gulen movement. Of those books:
– 30,000 books that are authored by Mr. Gulen have reportedly been ordered to be burned.
– The remaining nearly 100,000 books have been sent off for recycling.
● Getting rid of books with a fear of arrest: After certain books and publications have been blacklisted, many have reportedly burned or tore their books for the fear of being discovered by their neighbors or law enforcement officials.

Some reported incidents are:

– D.A., a librarian at a university during the time of the coup asserted how he had to categorize his books in his personal library that constituted nearly 2,000 books to dispose the ”dangerous ones” among them.
– In the central province of Yozgat, military police — gendarmerie — found 560 Gulen authored books near a water fountain in a village. A crime-scene was conducted hoping to find the people whom the books belong to.
– Police officers found 150 Gulen’s books, some of which were totally or partially burned in a village in Northern Cyprus.
– In another story, authorities discovered hundreds of Gulen books thrown into the waters of Ataturk Dam in Eastern Anatolia.
● Charges over possessing certain books: In some cases, people who possessed certain blacklisted books have been suspected and persecuted. Some of the reported incidents are as follows:
– Canan Badem: An associate professor at Tunceli University, who was detained in August 2016 on charges of association with the terrorist organization after the police have found a Gulen-authored book at his university office. As a well-known critic of Gulen and a professed atheist, Dr. Badem will be facing a long prison sentence if found guilty.
– A housewife, R.Y. has reportedly been detained over allegations of burning Gulen’s books at a place close to her home. She faces charges of membership in a terrorist organization and making terrorist propaganda.
– Four school officials have been reportedly detained by the gendarmerie forces after they found them burning some documents in the garden of a school in Mugla province.
– A college’s attempt to get rid of Gulen-authored books from the college’s library right after the coup attempt has sparked an investigation in the western province of Afyon.
● Banned publishers, media outlets and other incidents: Aside from the Gulen associated books, Erdogan regime’s war on cultural instruments has taken various forms during the ongoing post-coup crackdown.

Some of such drastic actions are as follows:

– With the government’s decree law as part of the post-coup crackdown, three news agencies, 16 TV channels, 23 radio stations, 14 magazines, 29 publishing houses have reportedly been shut down over alleged ties to the Gulen movement.
-Authorities have pulled off the shelves 72 books of Aram Press, one book of Tekin Press, and one unpublished book draft of Kirmizi Kedi Press.
– Istanbul Fourth Civil Court of Peace has issued a ruling to ban the distribution of the satirical weekly LeMan’s “Special Coup Issue”. This has been accompanied by trolls disseminating LeMan’s address with threats of ransacking it.
– A famous novelist, Zulfu Livaneli has also suffered from a similar ban when the ads of his latest novel has not been allowed to be displayed in public spaces by the authorities.
– Famous writers and philosophers including Albert Camus, Baruch Spinoza, Louis Althusser, Servet Tanili, and Nazim Hikmet have become suspects in the indictments prepared against the former head of now-defunct Free Journalists Association, Nevin Erdemir and in the indictment on Gezi protests in Ankara.
– Numerous physical assaults have occurred against publishers and bookstores across the country. In Diyarbakir province, for example, a warehouse of Avesta Press has been set in an arson attempt. Many branches of NT – a Gulen movement affiliated bookstore – have been destroyed and burned.
– Reports of the United Nations and other respected human rights organizations suggest that the conditions of Turkey’s prisons have been associated with already alarming records of human rights violations. One such issue is inmates’ limited access to books. While prisons do not allow book donations from outside, the prisoners have been allowed to possess 15 books at most. Furthermore, certain books that are either affiliated with the Gulen movement or in the Kurdish language have also been blocked. The number of affected inmates is reportedly more than 200,000 – including generals, diplomats, judges, academics, journalists, doctors and other people from all walks of life.
In addition to the cases that have been stated, there are officially more than half a million cases that are subjected to such terroristic crimes as reported by the minister of interior. With the pursuit to persecute individuals who attain these books, it is presumed that most of these individuals have already removed such publications from their possessions. Subjectively, if every individual was to get rid of several books, the total number of books disposed would be in the millions. This suggests that the multitude of the assault of Erdogan’s regime on the culture of its dissident groups are far more reaching than what is reported.


Download as a PDF File: https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Erdogans-war-on-books.pdf

 

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Torture and Suspicious Deaths in Turkish Prisons

Turkish prisons have turned into death houses during the Erdoğan regime. Stockholm Center for Freedom has tried to record people who died since 15 July 2018 in Turkey to the extent it is possible. SCF has compiled 117 cases of suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkey in a list in a searchable database format. Among these people, there are teachers, academicians, volunteers for philanthropic organizations, businessmen, engineers, and doctors.

On July 1st, 2018, Zeki Güven, the former intelligence chief of the Ankara Police Department who was arrested by a Turkish court in May as part of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement, was found dead in his bed at Sincan No 1 F Type Prison. According to the official statement, Zeki Güven allegedly died from a heart attack; however, given the previous incidents and deaths in Turkish prisons, his death is being viewed as suspicious. Other suspicious deaths in the prison have been listed as ‘died due to heart attack’. None of them received detailed autopsies from independent institutions. Nonetheless, Güven did not have any known medical condition. His friends have noted that he never smoked and took well care of his body. Thus, Güven, who went to prison in perfect health died in prison because of a “heart attack” right before his hearing is quite suspicious. Güven is not the first and will not be the last who has died in the prison.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment visited Turkey in November 2016 and found that torture was widespread following the failed coup, particularly at the time of arrest and subsequent detention. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, expressed serious concerns about the rising allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in Turkish police custody since the end of his official visit to the country. The reported abuse included severe beatings, electrical shocks, exposure to icy water, sleep deprivation, threats, insults and sexual assault. The Special Rapporteur said no serious measures appeared to have been taken by the authorities to investigate these allegations or to hold perpetrators accountable.

Families of the jailed individuals such as Yurt Atayün (former head of İstanbul antiterror division), Ahmet Altan (working journalist for more than twenty years), Taner Kilic (Amnesty’s Turkey director), and many other individuals are worried that their loved one may be the next victim.

We wholeheartedly condemn the torture and ill-treatment of detainees in Turkish prisons and detention centers. We urge Turkish authorities to stop torture and ill-treatment, and obey United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT).

Download sample statement as a word document: AST_Letter-Torture-and-Suspicious-deaths-in-prisons-2

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement below to following relevant Turkish authorities.

1. Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Justice
Website: http://www.justice.gov.tr
Email Address: info@adalet.gov.tr
Phone: +90 (0312) 417 77 70
Fax: +90 (0312) 419 33 70

2. Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Website: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/
Contact form: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/contact-us.en.mfa
Phone: +90 (312) 292 10 00

3. Union of Turkish Bar Associations
Website: https://www.barobirlik.org.tr
Email Address: barobirlik@barobirlik.org.tr
Phone: +90 (312) 292 59 00
Fax: +90 (312) 286 31 00

4. Presidency of the Constitutional Court
Website: http://www.anayasa.gov.tr
Email Address: bilgi@anayasa.gov.tr
Phone: +90 (312) 463 73 00
Fax: +90 (312) 463 74 00

5. Court of Cassation
Website: https://www.yargitay.gov.tr
Email Address: iletisim@yargitay.gov.tr
Phone: +90 (312) 416 10 00

6. Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C.
Website: http://vasington.be.mfa.gov.tr/Mission
Email Address: embassy.washingtondc@mfa.gov.tr
Phone: +1 202 612 67 00
Fax: +1 202 612 67 44

News and reports of torture in Turkish prison:

Erdogan regime started executions in prisons after the elections (July 2018)

AST report on cruel and unusual punishments in Turkey (April 2018)

UN Report on the impact of the state of emergency on human rights in Turkey, including an update on the South-East (March 2018)

Tortured to death; holding Gökhan Açıkkollu’s killers to account

Stockholm Center for Freedom report on suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkish prisons (March 2017)

Platform for Peace and Justice’s comprehensive report on the prison conditions in Turkey (2017)

Human Rights Watch’s report, “In custody: police torture and abductions in Turkey” (2017)

Take a look at Stockholm Center for Freedom’s updated list of suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkey (as of July 1st, 2018):
https://stockholmcf.org/suspicious-deaths-and-suicides-in-turkey-updated-list/

Videos:

Yurt Atayün’s daughters are worried for the health of their father. Yurt Atayün was the former head of İstanbul antiterror division and has been in prison for 4 years & now is in solitary confinement for 6 months.

 

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Torture and Suspicious Deaths in Turkish Prisons

On July 1st, 2018, Zeki Güven, the former intelligence chief of the Ankara Police Department who was arrested by a Turkish court in May as part of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement, was found dead in his bed at Sincan No 1 F Type Prison. According to the official statement, Zeki Güven allegedly died from a heart attack; however, given the previous incidents and deaths in Turkish prisons, his death is being viewed as suspicious. Other suspicious deaths in the prison have been listed as ‘died due to heart attack’. None of them received detailed autopsies from independent institutions. Nonetheless, Güven did not have any known medical condition. His friends have noted that he never smoked and took well care of his body. Thus, Güven, who went to prison in perfect health died in prison because of a “heart attack” right before his hearing is quite suspicious.

Turkish prisons have turned into death houses during the Erdoğan regime. Güven is not the first and will not be the last who has died in the prison. Stockholm Center for Freedom has tried to record people who died since 15 July 2018 in Turkey to the extent it is possible. SCF has compiled 117 cases of suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkey in a list in a searchable database format. Among these people, there are teachers, academicians, volunteers for philanthropic organizations, businessmen, engineers, and doctors.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment visited Turkey in November 2016 and found that torture was widespread following the failed coup, particularly at the time of arrest and subsequent detention. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, expressed serious concerns about the rising allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in Turkish police custody since the end of his official visit to the country. The reported abuse included severe beatings, electrical shocks, exposure to icy water, sleep deprivation, threats, insults and sexual assault. The Special Rapporteur said no serious measures appeared to have been taken by the authorities to investigate these allegations or to hold perpetrators accountable.

Families of the jailed individuals such as Yurt Atayün (former head of İstanbul antiterror division), Ahmet Altan (working journalist for more than twenty years), Taner Kilic (Amnesty’s Turkey director), and many other individuals are worried that their loved one may be the next victim.

We wholeheartedly condemn the torture and ill-treatment of detainees in Turkish prisons and detention centers. We urge Turkish authorities to stop torture and ill-treatment, and obey United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT).

Download sample statement as a word document:
https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/AST_Letter-Torture-and-Suspicious-deaths-in-prisons.docx

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement to following addresses:

1) U.S. Department of State
Email: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform
Phone: (202) 647-6575
Twitter: @StateDept
Website: https://www.state.gov/

2) United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC)
Email: civilsociety@ohchr.org
Phone: (+41) 22 917 9656
Twitter: @UN_HRC
Website: www.ohchr.org/hrc

3) Human Rights Watch
Twitter: @hrw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HumanRightsWatch
NY Address:350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor New York, NY 10118-3299 USA
Tel: +1-212-290-4700
Fax: +1-212-736-1300

Emma Daly, Communications Director
Tel: +1-212-216-1835
Fax: +1-212-736-1300

4) Human Rights Foundation
Twitter: @HRF
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/humanrightsfoundation/
New York Address:350 5th Ave., #4515 New York, NY, 10001
Phone Number: (212) 246-8486

5) Freedom House
Twitter: @FreedomHouseDC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreedomHouseDC
info@freedomhouse.org
Phone: 202-296-5101
Fax: 202-293-2840

Annie Boyajian, Advocacy Manager
boyajian@freedomhouse.org

6) Amnesty International
Twitter: @amnestyusa
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amnestyusa
report@aiusa.org

7) International Federation for Houman Rights
Twitter: @fidh_en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FIDH.HumanRights
FIDH AT THE UN (NEW-YORK)
110 East 42nd street, Suite 1309 NY 10017 New-York
Phone Number: 001 646 395 7103

8) International Court of Justice
Email: information@icj-cij.org
Phone: (+31) 70 302 23 23
Fax: (+31) 70 364 99 28
Twitter: @CIJ_ICJ
Website: http://www.icj-cij.org/en

News and reports of torture in Turkish prison:

Erdogan regime started executions in prisons after the elections (July 2018)

AST report on cruel and unusual punishments in Turkey (April 2018)

UN Report on the impact of the state of emergency on human rights in Turkey, including an update on the South-East (March 2018)

Tortured to death; holding Gökhan Açıkkollu’s killers to account

Stockholm Center for Freedom report on suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkish prisons (March 2017)

Platform for Peace and Justice’s comprehensive report on the prison conditions in Turkey (2017)

Human Rights Watch’s report, “In custody: police torture and abductions in Turkey” (2017)

Take a look at Stockholm Center for Freedom’s updated list of suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkey (as of July 1st, 2018):
https://stockholmcf.org/suspicious-deaths-and-suicides-in-turkey-updated-list/

Videos:

Yurt Atayün’s daughters are worried for the health of their father. Yurt Atayün was the former head of İstanbul antiterror division and has been in prison for 4 years & now is in solitary confinement for 6 months.

 

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UN Working Group calls on AKP govt to release Kaçmaz Family

Citing the state of emergency it has declared after the coup attempt in July 2016, the AKP government has further exacerbated its heavy human rights violations following the corruption operations of December 17/25 and the June 7th general elections. Cases of abduction have lately been added to widespread torture, deaths in custody, and extrajudicial killings.

Teachers, doctors, businessmen, mothers, and children, who legally work and live in different countries away and disconnected from the unrest in Turkey, are abducted by paramilitary agents through clandestine plots and unlawfully handed over to the Turkish government.

Pakistan was one of the places where kidnappings were carried out as a part of these global criminal activities conducted by the members of the Turkish intelligence and consular staff upon the orders of President Erdogan. Mesut Kaçmaz, the former director of the Pak-Turk schools, was abducted from his home in Lahore with his family early in the morning. The scandal was protested both in Pakistan and in many countries around the world, but Mesut Kaçmaz and his family, who had been under UN protection, were deported unlawfully despite the decision of the Lahore Supreme Court.

Having completed its evaluation of the situation, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has made a strong call to the Turkish government and requested the Kaçmaz Family to be released immediately and unconditionally. (http://www.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/Wopi…)

The kidnapping scandal has been detailed in the declaration as follows: “15 ‘officers’ in plain clothes, including several female officers providing no identification raid the house of the Kaçmaz family. Officers were pushing and shoving in arresting the family, including Mr. Kaçmaz who was protesting the raid. … The officers blindfolded them all and later slipped hoods over their heads – including on Mrs. Kaçmaz and the two minors. … Kaçmaz family was kept at an unknown location prevented from going outside and did not see daylight for 17 days. Kaçmaz family was forcibly deported on October 14, 2017, and flown on a special, unmarked aircraft from Islamabad to Istanbul, Turkey. While Pakistani staff transported the family to the flight, there were only Turkish agents on board the aircraft.”

The UN Working Group, which assessed “that the arrest, detention, and deportation of the Kaçmaz family was carried out by the Government of Pakistan, through agents acting on its behalf and with its support, and at the request of the Turkish authorities”, underlined that the family had been detained and deported in violation of the Pakistani law, and noted that the Government of Pakistan was “responsible for its own actions in the arrest, detention, and deportation of the Kaçmaz family, as well as the subsequent violations of their rights in Turkey”.

The declaration also emphasized that “the Government of Turkey is jointly responsible with the Government of Pakistan for the arrest, detention, and deportation of the Kaçmaz family to Turkey without any legal basis” and both governments have breached the Human Rights Universal Declaration and the Covenant through their arbitrary acts.

The Working Group which has called the Government of Turkey to immediately and unconditionally release Mesut Kaçmaz and Meral Kaçmaz, and respect their rights to leave Turkey, also asked for compensation from Islamabad and Ankara for the detention and deportation of the Kaçmaz family including any possible psychological effects.

The declaration which sets a precedent for other cases of abduction by the AKP government has also stated that “Several United Nations bodies have documented widespread violations of human rights in Turkey, particularly since the attempted coup in July 2016. These include extrajudicial killings in the context of counter-terrorism operations, arbitrary detention of people arrested under the state of emergency measures, the use of torture and ill-treatment during pre-trial detention, and mass dismissal of teachers accused of being associated with the Gülen movement.”

The video was prepared by 30 Plus TV.

 

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BM’den AKP iktidarına ültimatom: ‘Kaçmaz ailesini derhal ve şartsız serbest bırakın!’

Birleşmiş Milletler Keyfi Gözaltı Çalışma Grubu, yaşattığı ağır insan hakları ihlallerini ilan ettiği OHAL döneminde daha da şiddetlendiren AKP iktidarına ültimatom niteliğinde bir çağrı yaptı. Bir deklarasyon yayımlayan grup, Pakistan’dan kaçırılan eğitimci Mesut Kaçmaz ve ailesinin derhal ve şartsız olarak serbest bırakılmasını istedi.

Kaçırılma skandalı, deklarasyonda ‘Kaçmaz ailesinin evine, aralarında birkaç kadın memurun da bulunduğu, 15 “memur” hiçbir kimlik göstermeksizin sivil kıyafetlerle baskın düzenledi. Görevliler aileyi tutuklamak için, baskını protesto eden Mesut Kaçmaz da dahil olmak üzere, itip kakıyorlardı. Memurlar, Bayan Kaçmaz ve iki küçük çocuk da dâhil hepsinin gözlerini bağladı ve başlarına çuval geçirdi. Kaçmaz ailesi 17 gün boyunca dışarı çıkmalarına ve gün ışığını görmelerine izin verilmeyen bir yerde tutuldu. Kaçmaz ailesi 14 Ekim 2017’de zorla sınır dışı edildi ve İslamabad’dan İstanbul’a kadar özel, işaretsiz bir uçakla uçtu. Pakistanlı personel aileyi uçağa ulaştırırken, uçakta sadece Türk ajanlar vardı.’ ifadeleriyle ayrıntılı bir şekilde yeraldı.

‘Kaçmaz ailesinin tutuklanması, gözaltına alınması ve sınır dışı edilmesi, Pakistan Hükümeti tarafından, hükümet adına ve onun desteğiyle hareket eden temsilciler aracılığıyla ve Türk makamlarının talebi üzerine gerçekleştirilmiştir’ değerlendirmesini yapan Birleşmiş Milletler Keyfi Gözaltı Çalışma Grubu, ailenin Pakistan yasaları ihlal edilerek tutuklandığını ve sınır dışı edildiğini, Pakistan Hükümetinin, Kaçmaz ailesinin alıkonulması ve sınır dışı edilmesine ilişkin eylemlerinden ve ayrıca Türkiye’deki haklarının ihlallerinden sorumlu olduğuna dikkat çekti.

‘Çalışma Grubu, Pakistan Hükümeti gibi Türkiye Hükümeti’nin de, Kaçmaz ailesinin yasal dayanağı bulunmayan bir biçimde yakalanması, gözaltına alınması ve Türkiye’ye sınır dışı edilmesinden müştereken sorumlu olduğunu tespit etmiştir’ vurgusu yapılan deklarasyonda her iki hükümetin İnsan Hakları
Evrensel Beyannamesi ve Sözleşmesine aykırı ve keyfi hareket ettiklerine dikkat çekiliyor.

Türkiye Hükümetini Mesut Kaçmaz ve Meral Kaçmaz’ı derhal ve şartsız olarak serbest bırakmaya ve Kaçmaz ailesinin Türkiye’den ayrılma hakkına saygı göstermeye çağıran Birleşmiş Milletler Keyfi Gözaltı Çalışma Grubu, İslamabad ve Ankara’dan Kaçmaz Ailesinin gözaltına alınmalarından sınır dışı edilmelerine kadar kaynaklanan psikolojik etkiler de dâhil olmak üzere gasp edilen bütün haklarının tazmin edilmesini istedi.

AKP iktidarının bizzat içinde olduğu diğer kaçırma vakaları için de emsal niteliği taşıyan deklarasyonda ayrıca ‘Pek çok Birleşmiş Milletler kuruluşu, özellikle de Temmuz 2016’daki darbe girişiminden bu yana, Türkiye’deki yaygın insan hakları ihlallerini belgelemişlerdir. Terörle mücadele operasyonları kapsamındaki yargısız infazlar, acil durum önlemleri altında tutuklanan kişilerin keyfi olarak gözaltına alınmaları, duruşma öncesi tutukluluk esnasında işkence ve kötü muamele ve Gülen hareketiyle ilişkili olmakla suçlanan öğretmenlerin toplu işten çıkarılması, bu hak ihlalleri arasındadır’ vurgusu yapılıyor.

Video 30 ARTI TV tarafından hazırlanmıştır.

 

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Mustafa Ceyhan Abducted in Front of the Courthouse

Mustafa Ceyhan is a businessman from Turkey who resides in Georgia with his family under UN protection. He visited Azerbaijan from Batumi (Georgia) on 4/20/2017 for a business trip. Once he entered Azerbaijan, he was unjustly arrested on charges of illegally crossing the border to Azerbaijan.

On April 26th, Ceyhan was brought before court in Baku. The trial date was rescheduled to an earlier date, and happened without a notice to his lawyers. His lawyer, Tural Emenov and another lawyer appointed by the United Nation found out about the trial and accompanied him. The judge acquitted him from charges pressed against him.

Ceyhan’s wife, Meryem Ceyhan indicated that as Ceyhan was leaving the court around 12:00 PM, he was abducted in front of the courthouse by a group of eight men in a black Range Rover with black tinted windows. His whereabouts are unknown since then. His family and friends are worried about his condition and fear that he may be illegally sent back to Turkey where he faces risks of torture and ill-treatment.

Ceyhan’s lawyers called the United Nations mission in Baku, Azerbaijan and requested assistance, however, representatives there told them that they could not do anything. They told them to deal with it on their own.

The Turkish government had accused Ceyhan of having ties to the Gulen Movement (also known as Hizmet Movement) and appealed to Azerbaijan to extradite Ceyhan. Alleged supporters of the Movement in Turkey have been dealing with arrest, imprisonment, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, confiscation and passport seizure. There are many examples of abductions and physical violence incidents in several countries like Sudan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Georgia, Myanmar, Malaysia and most recently in Kosovo. President Erdogan has on numerous occasions explicitly praised the abductions and promised more abduction in near future.

We encourage members of the media to contact Mustafa Ceyhan’s Lawyer, Tural Emenov from his phone number, +994554480700.

We urge international bodies and human rights organizations to take all necessary steps to find Mustafa Ceyhan and prevent his extradition to Turkey.

For more detailed information about these risks supporters of the Gulen Movement experience, please look at the report prepared by the Advocates of Silenced Turkey on the current and possible threats supporters of the Gulen Movement face abroad titled “I Cannot Say We Are Absolutely Safe Even Abroad.”

Download the report as pdf: https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/AST_Report_Threats_Gulen-Movement.pdf

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement below to following relevant individuals and organizations.

Download sample statement as a word document: AST_letter_Mustafa Ceyhan

1) Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan
Email: office@pa.gov.az
Fax: (0099412) 492 35 43, 492 06 25
Twitter: @presidentaz
Website: https://en.president.az/administration/contacts

2) Elin Suleymanov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the United States
Email: elinsuleymanov@yahoo.com, azerbaijan@azembassy.us
Phone: (202) 337-3500
Fax: (202) 337-5911
Twitter: @ElinSuleymanov
Website: http://washington.mfa.gov.az/content/6

3) U.S. Embassy Baku
Phone: 994 12 488-3300
Fax: 994 12 488-3330
Twitter: @USEmbassyBaku

4) U.S. Department of State
Email: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform
Phone: (202) 647-6575
Twitter: @StateDept
Website: https://www.state.gov/

5) United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC)
Email: civilsociety@ohchr.org
Phone: (+41) 22 917 9656
Twitter: @UN_HRC
Website: www.ohchr.org/hrc

6) Human Rights Watch
Twitter: @hrw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HumanRightsWatch
NY Address:350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor New York, NY 10118-3299 USA
Tel: +1-212-290-4700
Fax: +1-212-736-1300

Emma Daly, Communications Director
Tel: +1-212-216-1835
Fax: +1-212-736-1300

7) Human Rights Foundation
Twitter: @HRF
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/humanrightsfoundation/
New York Address:350 5th Ave., #4515 New York, NY, 10001
Phone Number: (212) 246-8486

8) Freedom House
Twitter: @FreedomHouseDC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreedomHouseDC
info@freedomhouse.org
Phone: 202-296-5101
Fax: 202-293-2840

Annie Boyajian, Advocacy Manager
boyajian@freedomhouse.org

6) Amnesty International
Twitter: @amnestyusa
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amnestyusa
report@aiusa.org

7) International Federation for Houman Rights
Twitter: @fidh_en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FIDH.HumanRights
FIDH AT THE UN (NEW-YORK)
110 East 42nd street, Suite 1309 NY 10017 New-York
Phone Number: 001 646 395 7103

9) International Court of Justice
Email: information@icj-cij.org
Phone: (+31) 70 302 23 23
Fax: (+31) 70 364 99 28
Twitter: @CIJ_ICJ
Website: http://www.icj-cij.org/en

NEWS ARTICLES ON THIS SUBJECT:

“‘Gülenist’ businessman abducted under eyes of UN-appointed lawyers in Baku”
http://turkeypurge.com/another-gulenist-businessman-abducted-in-baku-claim

“Turkish businessman affiliated with Gülen movement abducted in Baku”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-businessman-affiliated-with-gulen-movement-abducted-in-baku/

“Mustafa Ceyhan, a Turkish citizen of Azerbaijan, was detained in custody – the FETO accusation”
http://ovqat.com/kriminal/19646-turkiynin-azrbaycandan-istdiyi-mustafa-ceyhan-hbsd-saxlanld-feto-ittiham.html

“Bir ‘siyah transporter’ vakası daha: ‘Bakü’de Mustafa Ceyhan kaçırıldı'” (TURKISH)
https://ahvalnews.com/tr/kacirilma/bir-siyah-transporter-vakasi-daha-bakude-mustafa-ceyhan-kacirildi

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