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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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KHRP Shadow Report and UNCAT Concluding Observations Highlight Torture Concerns
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 15:07

The 45th session of the UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) took place 1-19 November 2010. After reviewing Turkey’s third periodic report on its implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), the Committee published its concluding observations. In preparation for the review, KHRP submitted a shadow report to the Committee, which detailed its concerns regarding Turkey’s compliance with the convention.

The Committee’s observations reflect the concerns of KHRP’s submission. The concerns especially point to the ongoing ill-treatment and torture of prisoners at the hands of state actors in Turkey, and the ongoing climate of impunity for perpetrators of torture. KHRP’s shadow report and UNCAT concluding observations both underline that this impunity stems from ineffective investigations which lead to very few convictions. 

A particular concern of UNCAT and KHRP is the systematic violence carried out against Kurdish women who are more vulnerable to specific kinds of torture at the hands of security forces, the police and the village guards, including rape, other sexual violence and harassment.

KHRP’s Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz said, “The Committee’s concluding observations reflect what KHRP and its partners have been saying over the past few years.  Torture and ill treatment remain commonplace in Turkey and impunity is the norm for perpetrators. Although Turkey’s stated ‘zero-tolerance policy on torture’ is important in and of itself, the machinery to support such a policy is fundamental to its success.  The Committee’s technical expertise and its wider resources from the UN could go a long way to helping the Turkish government and NGOs in Turkey in developing a robust system and implementation mechanisms for this policy.  We hope this report will encourage the international community, including the EU, to strategically support Turkey in ending torture.”