Today (5 July), Amnesty International (AI) published a report entitled "Turkey: No Justice for Torture Victims and Killings by Law Enforcement Officials".
The report deals with the unpunished torture, maltreatment and killings of civilians by law-enforcement officers. AI also lists ways of improving the current situation:
Centralised data collection
* Centralised data collection: A centre needs to collect violations of human rights by security forces in an effective, up-to-date manner.
Measures of Prevention
* Mechanisms to prevent such violations need to be put in place: for instance, there need to be audio and video recordings of all interrogations in police and gendarmerie detention.
* The Additional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture needs to be ratified and applied. There needs to be permission for international institutions to visit detention centres unannounced.
* The intimidation of activists, lawyers and journalists monitoring human rights needs to end.
Independent investigations without delay
* Claims of human rights violations need to be evaluated in -depth and without delay by an independent, neutral institution.
* If there has been a killing by law-enforcement officers, evidence needs to be collected immediately and the prosecution needs to be called to manage the examination of the site.
* In cases of torture and maltreatment, the prosecution must insist on expert medical and forensic medical examinations, an examination of the site and testimonies taken from everyone concerned.
* Prosecutors must question the responsibilities of police chiefs.
* Law-enforcement officers who are accused of torture need to removed from office.
* Victims need to receive compensation and rehabilitation.
Faulty judiciary needs to be improved
* There should be no delay of court hearings.
* Officers who are called as witnesses or suspects, but do not appear in court need to be punished.
* If the court case is transferred to another location for "security reasons", the parties concerned and the lawyers need to be paid traveling and accommodation expenses.
* The Law on the Struggle against Terror (TMY), which allows for suspects to be arrested without the right to communication, needs to be changed.
* The right of law-enforcement officers to use deadly force needs to be in line with international standards; it is only justifiable when protecting another life and as a last resort.
* There should be no time lapse for torture cases.
Medical reports on torture
* The Forensic Medical Institution needs to be independent of the Minstry of Justice, both in procedure and in organization.
* Courts must take urgent steps for universities, hospitals and expert institutes to be able to present medical and psychiatric reports as evidence.
* Urgent steps must be taken for anyone in detention to undergo an independent medical examination.
* Police and gendarmerie officers, judges and prosecutors need to educated about international human rights standards. (TK/EÜ/AG)