This week, Unconditional Justice Movement focused on torture, which has turned into a reality of fear, with the support and partnership of the government.
- Torture is an act that causes severe physical or mental pain or suffering, perpetrated by a public official for any reason, indiscriminately, to punish a person, to obtain information or confession.
- Torture is prohibited in international and national norms. Despite all these national and international provisions, torture cannot be prevented in Turkey. Criminal complaints regarding torture are not investigated effectively and the perpetrators are not punished. Law enforcement officers in Turkey resort to torture as an ordinary statement-taking procedure. Despite the recent cases of torture and the reports prepared by the authorities such as Bar Associations, the cases were not investigated and the perpetrators were not punished.
- In the Human Rights Watch (HRW) 2021 report: There has been an increase in the last four years in allegations of torture and inhuman, cruel, or degrading treatment in police and military custody and prisons, targeting individuals accused of political and petty crimes, prosecutors said that such It was stated that they did not carry out effective investigations into the allegations and a culture of impunity prevails for the members of the security forces and public officials.
- The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, or the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment (CPT), visits Turkey regularly and reports its observations. The Committee, which has visited Turkey five times in total since the declaration of the State of Emergency, made its last visit in January/2021, but the report has not yet been prepared. It is unclear whether the report will be published after it has been prepared. Only two reports from the previous four visits were allowed by the Turkish government to be published. Even this attitude alone is enough to reveal the deplorable situation in Turkey. The Committee made the following observations in its 2019 report:
- The detainees are subjected to verbal and physical violence. The physical violence was documented in medical records and some cases were personally observed by the Committee’s medical delegates, The allegations of torture were at an alarming level, the suspects’ request for a lawyer was fulfilled after a significant delay in order for the police to conduct informal interrogations without the supervision of a lawyer, Mandatory at the beginning and end of detention that the system of controls is defective. It was observed that the controls were carried out under the supervision of law enforcement officers who perpetrated violence against the suspects and without physical examination.
- The “United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”, to which Turkey is a party, was ratified at a time when Kenan Evren, one of the first names that comes to mind when torture is mentioned in Turkey, was president. This tragicomic fact reveals that the attitude of the Turkish government is far from the “effective fight against torture” and “zero tolerance for torture” points.
As the Unconditional Justice Movement, we state that although this is the situation in Turkey, there is no statute of limitations for the perpetrators of the crime of torture, which is included in the list of crimes against humanity in the Rome Statute, the founding agreement of the International Criminal Court. We emphasize that the official title does not constitute a reason to reduce or exempt the sentence. We appeal to the perpetrators of the crime of torture: YOU WILL BE TRIED!
As the Unconditional Justice Movement, we demand that there be no violations of rights due to long detentions with the demand for a fair trial, and that the lives in prisons do not end.