|Relatives of human rights defenders at risk: report investigates extra-judicial killing in Turkey|
A new report published today presents the findings of a joint mission by Kurdish Human Rights Project and the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales to observe the trial of three security officers for an alleged extra-judicial killing and the torture or ill-treatment of a key witness.
Siyar Perinçek was the son of a member of the Insan Haklari Dernegi (Human Rights Association) board of directors. IHD is the largest human rights organisation in Turkey and a partner organisation of KHRP. Siyar was on a motorbike opposite the Adana branch of IHD on 28 May 2004. According to witnesses, he fell to the ground when approached by security officers whereupon an officer shot him in the back. He died later at hospital. A key witness Nurettin Basçi was arrested and is currently on remand in Adana Kurkculer F-type prison, where he alleges being subjected to torture or ill-treatment.
The trial of three security officers took place on 21 December 2004. The case has not yet reached judgment. The mission expressed concern over failures to comply with domestic legislation as well as a breach of several international legal standards. Among other breaches, the delegation noted the lack of co-operation from authorities on issues including the disappearance of key evidence; the non-attendance of the officers on trial; and the failure to provide a fair and impartial hearing for the complainants. One judge was observed to sleep through most of the hearing.
Interviewees expressed concern over continuing violations of the prohibition of torture or ill-treatment, and the implications of this on Turkey's EU accession. Appended to the report is a presentation given by KHRP, 'The EU, Turkey and the Kurds', presented at its European Parliament conference in Brussels in November 2004.
 The report 'Trial Observation - Relatives of human rights defenders at risk: the extra-judicial killing of Siyar Perinçek' (ISBN 1 900175819) is available from Kurdish Human Rights Project (Available here or +44 (0)207 405-3835)