|COUNCIL OF EUROPE ADOPTS NEW RESOLUTION ON TURKISH SECURITY FORCES IN LIGHT OF CONTINUED HR ABUSES|
COUNCIL OF EUROPE ADOPTS NEW RESOLUTION ON TURKISH SECURITY FORCES IN LIGHT OF CONTINUED HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
For immediate release - 11th July 2002
Yesterday, on 10 July 2002, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a new resolution criticising the severe and ongoing human rights abuses committed by Turkish security forces and urged Turkey to 'accelerate without delay' reforms to its system of prosecuting security force members.
Referring to over forty judgments against Turkey issued by the European Court of Human Rights between 1996 and 2002, the majority of which were brought by the Kurdish Human Rights Project, the Committee noted with deep concern that Turkish Security forces have been continually responsible for acts of homicide, torture, disappearances and destruction of property in direct violation of the European Convention of Human Rights. The Committee also stressed that these violations have been committed in the absence of effective domestic remedies against State agents responsible.
In this new resolution, which follows that made in 1999 ¹, the Committee of Ministers welcomed Turkey's latest efforts to adopt necessary reforms. Nevertheless, they were particularly concerned about the continuous stream of new allegations of torture and ill treatment brought against Turkey before the European Court. The Committee stressed that effective prevention of further abuse required, in addition to the restructuring of the security forces, a genuine change in the attitude of security force members, as well as recourse to effective domestic remedies such as adequate compensation to victims and effective criminal prosecution of those officials who violate the Convention.
The Committee thus called on Turkey to concentrate its efforts on the total reorganization of the police force and the gendarmerie, implement urgently needed penal reforms, and continue to improve the protection of persons deprived of their liberty, with the aim of deterring members of Turkey's security forces from committing further human rights violations.
Commenting on the resolution, KHRP Executive Director, Kerim Yilidiz stated, "KHRP welcomes this Resolution on gross human rights violations committed by the security forces in Turkey. We hope that Turkey will promptly and thoroughly implement the Committee's recommendations so as to ensure that such violations come to an end."
The text of the temporary Resolution is available on www.coe.int
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
1. The Kurdish Human Rights Project works for the promotion and protection of human rights within the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the former Soviet Union.
2. The European Court of Human Rights was set up in Strasbourg in 1959 to deal with alleged violations of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. On 1 November 1998 a full-time Court was established, replacing the original two-tier system of a part-time Commission and Court.