|Turkey : Effective Criminal Accountability? Extra-Judicial Killings on Trial|
Days before a critical meeting concerning the future of the Turkey 's EU accession process, a new report says that there remain serious shortfalls in the protection of the right to life in Turkey .
Over 18 months after undercover Turkish police officers shot dead Ahmet Kaymaz, 31, and his son Ugur, 12, in Kiziltepe, in the Kurdish south-east of Turkey, four police officers are currently standing trial accused of using excessive force. However a joint monitoring mission from Kurdish Human Rights Project and the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales observed the trial, and found numerous inadequacies in the conduct both of the trial and of the investigation. The inadequacies undermine the right to life, a right enshrined by the European Convention on Human Rights and significant to Turkey 's prospects of EU accession.
The report includes accounts of witnesses to the shootings, and analysis of the charges, the court hearings, relevant international standards and case-law, Turkey 's progress towards EU accession and recommendations, and background on the role and functioning of judges and public prosecutors in Turkey . It also includes concerns expressed to the mission regarding the intimidation of witnesses, access to the hearing, evidential issues and a lack of effective criminal accountability.
The report concludes that the deaths of Ahmet and Ugur Kaymaz constituted violations of their rights to life under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and that several other human rights violations had occurred. It urges authorities to conduct a full and fair investigation into their deaths.
For further information
Contact Kerim Yildiz/ Rochelle Harris at +44 (0) 787 677 1576
Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP)
11 Guilford Street
London WC1N 1DH
Tel: +44 (0)207 405-3835
Fax: +44 (0)207 404-9088