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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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On the 17 April 1997 the European Commission of Human Rights found that Salih TEKIN, a journalist with the pro-Kurdish newspaper Ozgur Gundem, had been subjected to ill-treatment by Turkish security forces while in custody in Mardin, southeast Turkey in February 1993. In the case, TEKIN v Turkey (Appl. No 22496/93), the Commission found a violation of article 3 (prohibition on torture and ill-treatment) and article 13 (right to effective remedies) of the Convention.

The Report prepared by the Commission followed investigation hearings held before a delegation of the Commission in Diyarbakir, Turkey and in Strasbourg. The applicant gave evidence that he was interrogated while blindfolded, assaulted and threatened with death at Derinsu Gendarme Station where he was detained from 15 -19 February 1993. He alleged that for these four days he was given only a little water and bread and was kept in a cell without any lighting, bed or blankets and in freezing conditions. Then, on 19 February 1993, he was taken blindfolded to Derik District Gendarme Station where, upon arrival, he was told to strip naked. He was then sprayed with pressurised cold water, beaten with a truncheon and subjected to electric shocks and falaka until he lost consciousness. Finally, after being threatened with death by the Gendarmarie Commander he signed a prepared confession.

The Government stated that the applicant was arrested because intelligence information suggested that he had threatened village guards. The applicant was in the Gendarmarie station for two days and he was not exposed to torture or ill-treatment.

While the Commission accepted the 'general credibility of the applicant', it stated that it 'found reason to doubt the credibility' of the Commander of Derinsu Gendarme Station and the three village guards who gave evidence in support of the government and stated that 'it must also attach weight to the fact that one of the essential witnesses, the public prosecutor Hasan Altun, failed to appear, without any valid excuse, as a witness before the Commission's delegates.' It went on to conclude: 'In these circumstances, and while applying a cautious evaluation of the evidence, the Commission is satisfied that the applicant was held in a cold and dark cell and that he was blindfolded and treated in a way which left wounds and bruises on his body in connection with his interrogation.'

The Commission concluded that this treatment constituted 'at least inhuman and degrading treatment' in violation of Article 3 of the Convention.

Regarding the investigation into the applicant's allegations the Commission stated: '...the Commission considers that the investigations carried out by the domestic remedies were flawed and perfunctory. Not only were the allegations...not acted upon immediately, but the investigations eventually undertaken seem superficial and do not appear to reflect a serious wish to find out what really happened in Derinsu Gendarme station and Derik District Gendarme station.'

The Commission concluded that the investigation into the applicant's allegations of torture was so inadequate as to amount to a denial of an effective remedy in breach of Article 13 of the Convention.

The Commission found that there had been no violation of article 2 (right to life), article 10(freedom of expression) article 14 (non-discrimination) article 18 (abuse of power) and that it was unnecessary to examine the applicant's complaints under article 5 (right to liberty) and article 6 (right to civil remedies) of the Convention.

The case of Salih TEKIN has already been referred to the European Court of Human Rights for its judgement.