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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 Wednesday the 22nd January two cases - AYDIN v Turkey and MENTES v Turkey - were heard before the European Court of Human rights in Strasbourg arising out of allegation of rape in detention in Derik, southeast Turkey and the destruction and evacuation of the village of Saggoze, in the Genc district of southeast Turkey. Judgement in the case was reserved and is expected in some months time.

The Court usually relies on the facts as established by the Commission in its report on the case. In its report on the AYDIN case the Commission found that the applicant was stripped naked, raped, sprayed with pressurised water and beaten while in detention in June 1993, in violation of Article 3 of the Convention. At the time she was 17 years old. In addition, the Commission found that she and members of her family had been subjected to harassment and intimidation in an attempt to pressurise them to withdraw their applications in violation of Article 25. The applicants rights to a civil remedy under Article 6 had also been violated according to the Commission.

In the MENTES case the Commission found that members of the security forces were responsible for the burning of the applicants homes and their forcible evacuation from their village. The applicants are now living in poor conditions in a shanty town area of Diyarbakir. The Commission found that in the case of three of the applicants there had been violations of Articles 8, 3, 6, and 13 of the Convention.

In addition to these two Court hearings, on the 20th January, the European Commission heard oral evidence in the case of Mahmut KAYA v Turkey.

The KAYA case concerns the extra-judicial killing Hasan Kaya, a doctor in Elazig province, southeast Turkey in February 1993. Prior to his killing he had allegedly been threatened for treating demonstrators wounded as a result of firing by state forces during the Newroz celebrations in 1992. The Commission declared the application admissible on the 9th January 1996. Last Monday, it heard oral evidence from witnesses and further evidence will be heard in Ankara this February. Following these investigation hearings the Commission will prepare a report on the merits of the case.

The applicants were all Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin. These cases are part of a series of cases against Turkey assisted by the Kurdish Human Rights Project and the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD).