World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Turkey: Protecting the torturers?

21 April 2005

Turkey: Protecting the torturers? Grave concerns at trial proceedings in Iskenderun

A trial of police officers in Turkey accused of the torture and rape of two teenagers is to resume on Friday 22 April. The two young women have still not received justice six years after the judicial process first began. Amnesty International has serious concerns about the proceedings and will send observers to monitor the trial.

"The repeated delays have called into question the ability of the courts to bring suspected perpetrators of human rights violations to justice," said Amnesty International. "The Turkish authorities must take steps to ensure that all allegations of torture are immediately investigated thoroughly, independently and impartially, and any perpetrators are brought swiftly to justice."

Nazime Ceren Salmanoglu, then 16 years old, and Fatma Deniz Polatta then 19 years old, were detained by police officers and taken to the Anti-Terror Branch of Police Headquarters in Iskenderun in early March 1999. They say they were subjected to horrific torture including rape, beatings, suspension by the arms as well as forced "virginity tests" by doctors. The "confessions" obtained under this torture provided the basis for sentencing the women to long prison terms.

There is an increasing risk that the case will reach the statute of limitations -- in this case seven and a half years - and charges against the suspects will be dropped. Amnesty International is also calling on the Turkish government to remove the statute of limitations in cases of serious human rights violations such as torture and killings by the security forces.

From the start obstacles have impeded the case's progress. State doctors' reports initially covered up the torture, which led the prosecutor to decide there were no grounds for a trial to be opened. Extensive psychiatric evaluations subsequently corroborated the allegations of torture, so that the prosecutor's decision was overturned. The trial finally began on 14 April 2000, but then the court waited 28 months for medical reports to be forwarded from Turkey's Forensic Medical Institute.

This is not the first time the Turkish justice system has failed victims of human rights violations, particularly where police officers stand accused of torture and other abuse. In November last year Amnesty International highlighted several other cases in which, despite the Turkish government's declaration of 'zero tolerance for torture', the courts were unwilling or unable to take action.

For background information please see press releases: Turkey: Kurdish girls raped and sexually abused in police custody, http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com/maadqYiabgg2Cbb0hPub/ and Turkey: Insufficient and inadequate -- judicial remedies against torturers and killers, http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com/maadqYiabgg2Dbb0hPub/

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news