|KHRP Publishes Report on Case of Turkish Officials Charged in Connection with Death in Custody|
KHRP today released its latest trial observation report, focusing on court proceedings against 60 Turkish officials charged in connection with the recent high-profile death of a political activist in Turkey, allegedly as a result of severe beatings he sustained in custody.
The Death of Engin Çeber: Prosecuting Torture and Ill-Treatment Within the Turkish Detention System is based on the findings of a KHRP mission that travelled to Turkey to observe part of the court proceedings in March 2009. It explores the background to the case, the trial process itself and a number of issues that arise from it, including questions about the impunity of Turkish officials, the role of medical staff in relation to alleged torture and ill-treatment, and the extent to which such abuses within the Turkish detention system are successfully covered up.
The official response following Engin Çeber’s death was exceptional, including a public apology from the justice minister and subsequent criminal proceedings against an unprecedented number of officials. However, the mission found that there is cause for very considerable doubt over whether this marks or even predicts a fundamental shift in state policy towards the treatment of detainees. In reality, given the seemingly clear-cut circumstances of Mr Çeber’s death and the level of media attention, it appears more likely that the authorities were left with little choice but to make an example of his case. In fact, the mission heard of many other allegations of similar abuses in Turkey receiving no such response, with countless instances of torture and ill-treatment in custody never being seriously investigated or punished.
Free copies of the report can be downloaded from the KHRP website here . Printed copies are available for £10.00 + P&P through our online shop here .