|Turkey: Acquittal for police accused of torturing BTC campaigner|
Eleven police officers accused of beating and torturing a prominent human rights defender, Ferhat Kaya, were acquitted today in Turkey.
The officers were alleged to have subjected Kaya to torture or ill-treatment during his detention on 5 May 2004, following his attendance at meetings with those affected by the controversial Baku-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. He has this year assisted people affected by the pipeline in bringing complaints to the European Court of Human Rights and European Court of Justice.
The case against the officers was dismissed for lack of evidence. The prosecutor told the judge, Sermin Goluncur, that he wanted the defendants to be acquitted because the elements of the offence had not been proved beyond doubt.
The trial was observed by an international NGO delegation comprising representatives from KHRP, Corner House and Environmental Defence. The delegation understands that there was clear medical evidence to show Kaya sustained serious injuries in the hour after he was detained. The delegation has formed the preliminary view that there are grave concerns over fair trial standards in this case.
KHRP Executive Director Kerim Yildiz states, "The British Government has promised to follow the case closely. The government should now review the evidence and draw its own conclusion from the case. In my view the evidence in this case speaks for itself."