International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 26 June

Press Release: International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
26.06.2023


BERLIN – As the world observes the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June, HRD e.V. stands in solidarity with survivors of torture, reaffirming our commitment to the prevention and eradication of this heinous crime.

Torture is a grave violation of human rights, a deplorable act that inflicts severe physical and psychological pain on individuals. It leaves lasting scars, traumatizing victims and undermining the very fabric of society. On this important day, we raise our collective voices to advocate for the rights and dignity of torture survivors and to condemn torture in all its forms.

Our organization recognizes that the eradication of torture requires a multi-faceted approach. We call upon governments worldwide to uphold their obligations under international law, particularly the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. We urge states to implement robust legal frameworks, strengthen oversight mechanisms, and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.

In the context of Turkey, we note with concern the reports of human rights violations and allegations of torture. It is crucial for the Turkish government to ensure the protection of human rights and to thoroughly investigate any allegations of torture or ill-treatment. We call upon the authorities to take swift and transparent action to address these concerns and to provide justice and reparations to the victims.

We also emphasize the crucial role of civil society organizations, healthcare providers, and human rights defenders in supporting survivors of torture in Turkey. It is imperative to create a conducive environment where survivors can access comprehensive and specialized rehabilitative services, including medical care, psychological support, legal aid, and social reintegration programs.

Education and awareness play vital roles in preventing torture. HRD e.V. is dedicated to raising public awareness about the consequences of torture and the urgent need to combat it, including in Turkey. We encourage educational institutions, media outlets, and online platforms in Turkey to join us in promoting human rights education, fostering empathy, and challenging the culture of impunity that allows torture to persist.

On this International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, let us come together as a global community and reaffirm our commitment to promoting human dignity, justice, and compassion. We stand in solidarity with survivors of torture, supporting their healing journey and advocating for a world free from this abhorrent practice, including in Turkey.


HRD e.V.

PRESS RELEASE: International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture

PRESSE MITTEILUNG

BASIN AÇIKLAMASI

Erdogan’s kidnapping network strikes in Kyrgyzstan Information statement on the kidnapping of Orhan İnandi – Bishkek/Kyrgyzstan

Berlin, June 1, 2021

With this statement we would like to inform you about the recent abduction cases of civilians of Turkish origin abroad by the Turkish Intelligence Service. Since the coup attempt in July 2016, the Turkish government has repeatedly attempted to intimidate or even eliminate supporters of the global Hizmet movement (“Gülen movement”) and opponents of the Erdogan regime through illegal means. Even abroad, Turkish intelligence has not shied away from kidnapping civilians.

The most recent cases of such abductions are Selahaddin Gülen and Orhan İnandi. On the morning of June 1, Orhan İnandı, the founder and president of the Turkish-Kyrgyz Sapat School Network operating in Kyrgyzstan, was abducted from his personal passenger car outside his own home. İnandı was last contacted by his family at 6 p.m. Monday. His car was found near his house with the doors open. His family immediately informed Kyrgyz police about the teacher’s disappearance and called for an urgent investigation.

In Kyrgyzstan, the Sapat network has been active in Kyrgyz education since 1992. Today, 30 percent of the school network’s shares belong to the Kyrgyz Republic. Within the school network there are 16 high schools, one international university, one international school and three elementary school.

İnandı had been working in Kyrgyzstan since 1995 and had been the president of the school network since 2001. According to the Sapat Schools, İnandı received the title of “Excellence in Education of the Kyrgyz Republic” and the Honorary Diploma of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2002, and the Medal of Gratitude of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2003 for his contribution to the improvement of the education system in the country. İnandı also holds citizenship of the Kyrgyz Republic.
According to İnandı’s family, there are reportedly two planes waiting at the airport in Bishkek and the Uzbek capital Tashkent that are not on the flight lists of any of the airlines operating at those airports, raising suspicions that these planes could be used to return the teacher to Turkey.

In early May, Erdoğan made a public rally that notable arrests would be made in a timely manner. According to a recent Freedom House report on global transnational repression, Turkey is the number one country that has conducted renditions from host states since 2014. The Turkish government has been persecuting its perceived enemies in at least 30 different countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia since July 2016. “Ankara’s campaign has primarily targeted people associated with religious leader Fethullah Gülen’s movement, which the government blames for the coup attempt,” the report states.

We hereby wish to create public awareness of human rights violations in the form of illegal abductions and kidnappings of people outside Turkey and welcome all forms of support and solidarity.

Erdogans Entführungsnetzwerk schlägt in Kirgisistan zu Informationsbekundung zur Entführung von Orhan İnandi – Bishkek/Kirgisistan

Wir möchten Sie über die jüngsten Entführungsfälle von türkischstämmigen Zivilisten im Ausland durch den Türkischen Geheimdienst in Kenntnis setzen. 

Die türkische Regierung versucht seit dem Putschversuch vom Juli 2016 immer wieder Anhänger der globalen Hizmet-Bewegung (“Gülen-Bewegung”) und Gegner des Erdogan-Regimes auf illegale Wege einzuschüchtern oder gar zu beseitigen. Selbst im Ausland hat der Türkische Geheimdienst keine Scheu davor, Zivilisten zu entführen.

Die jüngsten Fälle derartiger Entführungen sind Selahaddin Gülen und Orhan İnandi. Am Morgen des 1. Juni wurde Orhan İnandı, der Gründer und Präsident des in Kirgisistan tätigen türkisch-kirgisischen Sapat-Schulnetzwerks vor seinem eigenen Haus aus seinem persönlichen PKW entführt. İnandı wurde zuletzt am Montag um 18 Uhr von seiner Familie kontaktiert. Sein Auto wurde in der Nähe seines Hauses mit geöffneten Türen gefunden. Seine Familie informierte sofort die kirgisische Polizei über das Verschwinden des Lehrers und forderte eine dringende Untersuchung.

In Kirgisistan ist seit 1992 das Sapat-Netzwerk im kirgisischen Bildungswesen tätig. Heute gehören 30 Prozent der Anteile des Schulnetzwerks der Kirgisischen Republik. Im Rahmen des Schulnetzwerks gibt es 16 Gymnasien, eine internationale Universität, eine internationale Schule und drei Grundschulen.

İnandı war seit 1995 in Kirgisistan tätig und seit 2001 Präsident des Schulnetzwerks. Laut Aussage der Sapat-Schulen erhielt İnandı 2002 den Titel „Exzellenz in der Bildung der Kirgisischen Republik“ und das Ehrendiplom der Kirgisischen Republik, sowie 2003 die Dank-Medaille der Kirgisischen Republik für seinen Beitrag zur Verbesserung des Bildungssystems im Land. İnandı besitzt außerdem die Staatsbürgerschaft der Kirgisischen Republik.

Laut Angaben der Familie İnandı sollen am Flughafen von Bischkek und der usbekischen Hauptstadt Taschkent zwei Flugzeuge warten, die nicht auf den Fluglisten einer der an diesen Flughäfen tätigen Fluggesellschaften aufgeführt sind, was den Verdacht aufkommen lässt, diese Flugzeuge könnten verwendet werden, um den Lehrer in die Türkei zurückzubringen.

Anfang Mai machte Erdoğan öffentlich eine Kundgebung, dass zeitnah namhafte Festnahmen erfolgen würden. Laut einem kürzlich veröffentlichten Bericht von Freedom House über globale transnationale Repression ist die Türkei die Nummer eins unter den Ländern, die seit 2014 Überstellungen aus Gaststaaten durchgeführt haben. Die türkische Regierung verfolgt ihre vermeintlichen Feinde seit Juli 2016 in mindestens 30 verschiedenen Ländern in ganz Amerika, Europa, dem Nahen Osten, Afrika und Asien. „Ankaras Kampagne hat sich in erster Linie gegen Menschen gerichtet, die mit der Bewegung des religiösen Führers Fethullah Gülen verbunden sind, die die Regierung für den Putschversuch verantwortlich macht“, heißt es in dem Bericht.

Wir möchten hiermit eine öffentliche Aufmerksamkeit für die Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Form von illegalen Verschleppungen und Entführungen von Menschen außerhalb der Türkei schaffen und heißen jede Form der Unterstützung und Solidarisierung willkommen.

Human Rights Defenders e.V. – info@humanrights-ev.com

Berlin, 1. Juni 2021

Statement : Torture and Ill-treatment of 27 women (among them 23 University Students) in Uşak- Turkey

We strongly condemn the recent torture and ill-treatment of 27 young women (among them 23 University Students) under Police custody in Uşak-Turkey.

The torture and ill-treatment were disclosed after one of the victims gave an interview to the press[1] . In her interview the victim states that she and the other victims were forced to putt off their headscarf during the custody, that the police had several times made the body-check while the victims were fully naked and that she had to make several times squats while being naked.

The victim further expressed that prior to the official interrogation, she and the other detainees were taken to unofficial questioning without their lawyers and were forced to make confessions.    

The women were taken under custody last week, with alleged ties to the Gülen-Movement, which is persecuted by the Erdogan regime in Turkey and globally. 22 Students were released on 4th September 2020 with a judge decision.

This case illustrates a worrying pattern of violent arrest, beatings, and other abuse that seems to be part of an increase in violent treatment in custody, which also is being brought to daylight with the latest reports of the anti-torture Committee of the Council of Europe[2].

There has been a marked resurgence of police torture and ill-treatment in custody over the past five years and in particular since the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. Turkey has a long and poor history of tolerating torture and invoking superficial denials and unconvincing explanations of how detainees have been seriously injured or died in custody.

Widespread impunity for abuses by security officers sends a message that they are above the law and encourages them to abuse detainees[3]. Turkey’s president and interior minister need to state publicly in unconditional terms that Turkey will abide by the absolute prohibition of torture and ill-treatment and bring those responsible for abuse to justice.

Human Rights Defenders e.V.


[1] https://www.boldmedya.com/2020/09/08/kiz-ogrencilere-iskence-kulotunu-indirip-otur-kalk-yaptirdilar/

[2] https://www.coe.int/en/web/cpt/turkey

[3] https://humanrights-ev.com/joint-report-impunity-an-unchanging-rule-in-turkey/

Our contribution to an UN Report: Psychosocial dynamics conducive to torture and ill-treatment

Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in his capacity made a call to stakeholders to contribute to his Report: Psychosocial dynamics conducive to torture and ill-treatment. The report aims to explore some of the predominant psychosocial dynamics which, in practice, tend to undermine, circumvent or even paralyse institutional checks and balances, thereby creating environments of unchecked power conducive not only to corruption but also to torture and ill-treatment. The larger purpose of the report is to show that the widespread practice of torture and ill-treatment, as well as societal acquiescence or support for such abuse, are deeply rooted in collective psychosocial behavioural patterns, which either remain largely unconscious to the human mind, or are based on fundamentally flawed rationalizations and severely distorted perceptions of reality. Relevant phenomena include patterns such as ‘system justification’, ‘wilful ignorance’, ‘bystander apathy’, ‘diffusion of responsibility’, ‘obedience’, ‘utilitarian moral disengagement’ and ‘group based moral disengagement’.

We are glad to announce that our contribution, written by Mr. Sammas Salur, PhD, has been accepted and published on the website of OHCHR. You can download our contribution https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Torture/SRTorture/Pages/CallGA75.aspx under NGOs and CSO – Human Rights Defenders.

Extradition to Turkey: One-Way Ticket to Torture Unfair Trial

After 2016’s failed coup attempt, Turkey forsook the rule of law. The Erdoğan Regime has suspended or dismissed more than 125,000 civil servants, including judges, teachers, academics, doctors, police officers and others, since July 15, 2016.

Besides this unprecedented purge, 559,064 people have been investigated, 261,700 have been detained, and 91,287 have been remanded for pretrial detention with the accusation of membership of an armed terrorist organization between July 15, 2016, and November 20, 2019.

Erdoğan’s foes, or those who dissent politically and who live abroad, have been facing a judicial harassment risk, albeit to a lesser extent than those who are in Turkey. Getting them extradited to Turkey is at the top of the agenda of the Erdoğan Regime’s international policy. Turkey has sent (at least) 570 extradition requests to
94 countries. Although the overwhelming majority of these requests have failed, Turkey has physically brought back 104 Turkish citizens from 21 countries, according to its own official statements.

At least 30 of these were kidnapped, with citizens taken from abroad without any legal process whatsoever—in some cases, people have been pulled off the streets of foreign cities and bundled onto private jets that are linked to Turkey’s intelligence agency. Dozens of others, including many registered asylum-seekers, were unlawfully deported to Turkey. In one well documented case, the kidnapping of six Turkish citizens from Kosovo, one of the men that Turkey took was the wrong person—a different Turkish citizen with a similar name. The wrong man remains imprisoned in Turkey anyway.

In addition to extradition requests, Turkey has also attempted to abuse Interpol’s notice mechanism in order to track its dissidents, however, due to the political nature
of these requests, Interpol has refused 646 red notice requests that were submitted by Turkey.

Since 2016, the courts in Greece, Germany, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Romania, Bosnia, Poland, Montenegro, have refused extradition requests sent by the Turkish
authorities, which are either due to the political nature of the accusations, or due to their failing to pass a dual criminality test, or the risk of being subjected to torture or ill-treatment in Turkey.

Moreover, the UN Committee Against Torture decided on three cases that were filed against Morocco: that the possible extradition of three Turkish citizens from Morocco to Turkey would violate Morocco’s obligation under the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatments or Punishment.

The reports prepared by national and international institutions and credible civil society organizations, that are explained in detail below, together with the respective judgments and opinions rendered by courts in the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Romania, Bosnia, Poland, Montenegro and Greece, and by the ECtHR, the UN Human Rights Committee, the UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) on the matter, show that anyone
(principal), particularly in cases where the principal is accused of terrorism-related offences or offences against state security, who may be extradited to Turkey,
i. will most likely be subjected to torture and ill-treatment,
ii. will not be able to enjoy his right to freedom in the absence of undue
government approval, even when released by a competent court of law
iii. will not be able to enjoy the right to a fair trial,
iv. and, his right to counsel will be unlawfully hindered.

Finally, in the view of the well-established positions of the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee, the UNCAT and the WGAD,
i. The treatment the principal will receive at the hands of Turkish official bodies will constitute serious violations of Articles 3 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and would be a violation of Article 3 of the UN Convention Against Torture,
ii. Any state which extradites an individual, particularly those who are accused of terrorism-related offences, or offences against state security, to Turkey, will be breaching its obligation under the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Convention Against Torture and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Joint Report: No Country for the Purge Victims!

The Arrested Lawyers Initiative and the Human Rights Defenders published a joint report documenting the deprivations which Turkey’s purge victims suffer.

According the report, those who purged under the Emergency Regimeshall be deprived of their ranks and their positions as public officials;

* may not use their titles, if any, e.g., ambassador, governor, etc;

* shall not be re-admitted to the organization in which they had previously held office;

* shall be stripped of rank (for the already retired public servants), and of combat medals;

* may not be re-employed and assigned, either directly or indirectly, to any public service;

* may not become the founders, partners and employees of private security companies,

* shall be evicted from public residences or foundation houses; and

* moreover, their passports, gun licenses, seamanship or pilots’ licenses, shall be cancelled.

Besides the direct consequences, mentioned above, The purged civil servants cannot

* be a foster family,

* be lawyers and accountants,

* be mayors, aldermen or mukhtars (local elected administrator for villages), 

* work as architects, engineers, laboratory worker, or as technicians in building inspection companies,

* attend vocational courses,

* work in private educational institutions,

* work as an on-site (workplace) doctor or as an occupational safety specialist,

* work as sailors,

* have passports and travel documents,

* open bank accounts and are discriminated against in financial transactions and procedures,

* benefit from the General Health Insurance for people with low income and from the social rights offered to disabled people.

Moreover,

* the purged civil servants who work as veterinarians cannot have an artificial insemination certificate and cannot perform their profession duties in agricultural support programs,

* the purged civil servants are denied the license needed to run businesses.

* The database of the General Directorate of the Land Registry (TAKBIS) includes a list of suspicious people, which consists of those dismissed under emergency decrees. Those included on this list cannot participate in real estate transactions, either as a party (vendee or vendor) or as a witness.

* Upon an instruction by the Ministry of Justice, the Union of Turkish Public Notaries produced a list of suspicious people which consists of those dismissed under emergency decrees. People included in this list cannot carry out any procedure as notaries other than giving a power of attorney. This means they cannot carry out hundreds of legal procedures, including selling their cars or signing construction contracts.

* The database for the Social Relief Program (SOYBIS) includes the list of those dismissed under emergency decrees. Disabled people whose first caregivers (such as parents, sons, daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in- law) are dismissed under emergency decrees cannot benefit from social care funds.

* The purged public servants are discriminated against in regard to insurance services.

* The purged public servants are discriminated against in business development and incentive credits.

* The purged public servants are discriminated against in relation to mandatory military services.

* The purged academics are discriminated against in academic publishing.

* The purged civil servants are blacklisted in the databases of the Employment and the Social Security Agencies with the code 36/OHAL/KHK.

10. Dezember – Internationaler Tag für Menschenrechte

Leider ist uns schmerzhaft bewusst, dass selbst nach 71 Jahren nach der Verabschiedung der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte im Jahr 1948, Menschenrechte alles andere als selbstverständlich sind.

In der Türkei, in Xinjiang-China, Myanmar, Jemen, Syrien, Iran, Russland und in anderen Ländern sind Menschen ihren fundamentalen Rechten beraubt. Offizielle Statistiken zeigen, dass weltweit 71 Millionen Menschen, wegen Kriege, Konflikte, politische Verfolgung und Naturkatastrophen ihre Heimat verlassen mussten.

Der „Mensch“ und seine „Würde“ stehen in allen Justizsystemen im Mittelpunkt. Der Mensch hat Rechte, die nicht übertragbar und teilbar sind. Leider werden diese Rechte und die Würde der Menschen von der türkischen Regierung, welches ohne ethische und juristische Prinzipien regiert, willkürlich mit den Füßen getreten.

Heute und hier möchten wir sie auf die Menschenrechtsverletzungen in der Türkei aufmerksam machen. Die Türkei verstößt gegen alle Artikel die in der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte der UN und der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention des Europarates manifestiert sind.

1- In der Türkei wird das „Recht auf Leben“ verweigert.

Die Türkei ist heute ein Offenes Foltergefängnis. In den letzten drei Jahren sind mehr als 2.340 Folterfälle bekannt, gegen die die türkische Justiz nichts unternimmt. Darüber hinaus sind 84 Menschen auf verdächtige Weise in den Gefängnissen ums Leben gekommen.

Den Menschen, die mit Dekreten des Ausnahmezustands entlassen wurden, werden jegliche Art von Arbeit aufzunehmen verweigert  und stehen einem „Zivilen Tod“ gegenüber.

2- Das Recht auf „Nicht-Gefoltert Zu Werden“ wird nicht gewährleistet.

Menschen, werden in der Türkei willkürlich gefoltert. Es vergeht kein Tag in dem keine Folterberichte bekannt werden. Vor allem Menschen der Gülen-Bewegung und Kurden sind Opfer einer systematischen Folter-Politik.

Seit Juli 2016 wurden mehr als 2340 Folterfälle bekannt. Sowohl in Berichten von Amnesty International und Human Rights Watch, als auch in UN-Berichten werden auf diese Verbrechen gegen die Menschheit aufmerksam gemacht.

3- Das Recht auf „Arbeit“ wird ignoriert.

Mit den “Ausnahmezustand-Dekreten” wurden mehr als 150.000 Beamten und Beamtinnen entlassen. Darunter 33.500 Lehrer, 7.000 Ärzte und Krankenpfleger, 31.500 Sicherheitsbeamte, 6.000 Akademiker und 13.000 Soldaten und Berufssoldaten. Hinzu kommen mehr als 100.000 Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmer von der privaten Wirtschaft die aus politischen Gründen entlassen wurden.

4- Das Recht auf „Eigentum“ wird nicht gewährt.

Die Eigentümer und Guthaben hunderter Vereine, Stiftungen und Privaten Schulen wurden ohne jegliches gerichtliches Verfahren von der Regierung konfisziert.

Während des Ausnahmezustandes wurden 1207 Private Unternehmen mit einem Wert von 10 Milliarden US-Dollar an staatlich ernannte Treuhänder übertragen.

Die Grundstücke von den vertriebenen Kurden im Südosten der Türkei wurden rechtswidrig konfisziert und Ihnen wird verweigert in ihre Dörfer zurückzukehren.

5- Es gibt keine Vereinigungsfreiheit

164 Stiftungen und 1595 Vereine wurden verboten.

Zwei der größten Dachverbände und 28 Gewerkschaften wurden verboten.

6- Es gibt keine Meinungsfreiheit, Medien sind Gleichgestellt.

189 Medienhäuser und mehr als 2000.000 Internetseiten sind in der Türkei verboten. Zurzeit sind 319 Journalisten und Redakteure in türkischen Gefängnissen.

Die Türkei ist bei Meinungs– und Pressefreiheit auf Platz 157 von 180.

7- Das Recht auf ein faires Gerichtsverfahren wurde bewusst unterminiert und abgeschafft.

Ein Drittel der Richter und Staatsanwälte (ca. 4.000) wurden direkt nach dem von der Regierung inszeniertem Staatsstreich entlassen. Neue Indizien belegen, dass diese Listen lange vor dem 15. Juli 2016 vorbereitet wurden.

605 Rechtsanwälte sind wegen ihren Beziehungen zu Ihren Mandaten inhaftiert.

Richter und Staatsanwälte, aus Angst und Furcht entlassen und verhaftet zu werden können keine gerechte Entscheidungen treffen.

Entscheidungen des Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte, wie bei der Entscheidung bezüglich Selahattin Demirtas werden nicht umgesetzt.

Entscheidungen des Verfassungsgerichts werden von den Erstinstanz Gerichten als null und nichtig erklärt, wie es in den Entscheidungen von den Journalisten Mehmet Altan und Sahin Alpay zu sehen war.

Willkürliche und lange Untersuchungshafte sind leider keine Ausnahme.

Es gibt keine effektive Innerstaatliche Rechtsbehelfe.

„Rechtsstaatlichkeit“ ist die einzige Hoffnung für die Türkei, in der das Erdogan-Regime leider einen Diskurs mit Hass-Sprache und Diskriminierung weiterführt und auf die gezielte Spaltung der Gesellschaft setzt. Präsident Erdogan und seine Handlanger üben bewusst Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit aus und sind an Genoziden bestimmter ethnischen und religiösen Minderheiten beteiligt.

Das Erdogan-Regime entfernt die Türkei jeden Tag weiter von der Rechtsstaatlichkeit und der Demokratie ab.

Als Mitglieder der “Human Rights Defenders” verurteilen wir heute Präsident Erdogan und seine Handlanger auf das Schärfste und fordern das Erdogan-Regime und die türkische Justiz dazu auf die Rechtsstaatlichkeit wieder einzuführen.

Wir appellieren heute auch an die UN, an das Europarat und dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte sich mit den Menschenrechtsverletzungen in der Türkei zu beschäftigen und eine Lösung zu finden.

Wir verfolgen mit Bedenken und bedauern es zutiefst zu sehen, dass manche europäische Staats- und Regierungschefs, Zugeständnisse von ihren demokratischen und rechtsstaatlichen Werten machen, um den sogenannten „Flüchtlings-Deal“ mit der Erdogan-Regierung aufrecht zu erhalten. Wir erhoffen uns von der EU und der Bundesregierung eine effektivere Initiative zu ergreifen, um der Türkei dabei zu helfen so schnell wie möglich und nachhaltig auf den Weg der Rechtsstaatlichkeit zu kommen.