On Detection of Systematic Torture in Detention Centers and Prisons in
Expulsion, detention, illegal interrogation, which started illegally after the declaration of State of Emergency, has been replaced by torture and severe
isolation in some places. More than 30 people, including Gökhan Açıkkollu, Halime Gülsu, Teoman Gökçe, Turan Özcerit, Mustafa Erdoğan, Halil Özyavuz and Zeki Güven, died in prison and in the process of law enforcement.
Since 15 July 2016, the acts against the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment have been experienced intensely and systematically in detention centers and prisons. While it is necessary to initiate a direct investigation about these violations, it is seen that no investigation has been launched against any of the allegations of torture and right to life violations, and that no legal action has been taken against responsible persons. Despite the descriptions and findings of the International Organizations and Amnesty International stating that “There is serious evidence showing the existence of torture including rape” (1), and the statement of the Human Rights Watch that “Torture and ill-treatment in Turkey seems to have become a widespread problem”, it has been observed that the executive and the investigative bodies have not taken action, although they have detected these violations. Amnesty International also pointed out these facts in its report named “Police torture and kidnapping in Turkey” (2). Developments show that state bodies have no effort to prevent violations of the right to life and prohibition of torture, on the contrary, they have an administrative practice to ignore, even encourage such violations.
Pursuant to the legislation, criminal and administrative investigations should be initiated against the public officials who are determined as torturers. And they should be punished and dismissed from jobs when found guilty. Despite serious evidence, no judicial and administrative investigations have been initiated against these officers and they still continue to perform public duties. It shows that these officers’ regular supervisors, executive bodies, investigative authorities, and the judiciary are tolerant of torture.
In this context, a questionnaire has been conducted for detainees and/or arrested persons in order to determine how common torture and ill-treatment is in law enforcement and prisons. The results obtained from the questionnaire indicate that there has been systematic torture, especially at the law enforcement stage. (3)
3 The respondents also answered questions about other rights violations. In this report, only findings related to torture and ill-treatment are shared.