The FIDH urges Turkey to put an end to the practice of Torture

15/05/2003
Press release
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Final Conclusions of the United Nations Committee Against Torture

The United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) issued yesterday its conclusions and recommendations to Turkey. FIDH stresses the need for Turley to urgently and adequately implement these recommendations towards the elimination of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments.

In its alternative report submitted to the CAT at the beginning of May, the FIDH put emphasis on the lack of implementation in practice of the legal reforms recently adopted by Turkey in the recent years in order to comply with CAT’s obligations and EU standards (See Torture: Still a routine practice, ).

In issuing its concluding observations and recommendations, the CAT raised an important number of areas of major concern for FIDH, including the use of torture by the police, particularly during police custody; the impunity of public officials responsible for such acts and the existence of a time of prescription for acts of torture; the reliance on confessions as main element of conviction; the alarming situation in prisons, especially in F-Type prisons, the lack of training of medical personnel and Turkey’s failure to execute judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. Finally, ten days after the raid of the Turkish security forces against the Human Rights Association offices in Ankara, the CAT expressed its concern about the harassment and persecution against human rights defenders in Turkey.

In addition, the FIDH insists on the necessity for Turkey to modify the definition of torture and to make a real effort to eradicate all acts of torture against women, those two essential problems having not been raised by the CAT.

The FIDH calls upon the Turkish authorities to widely disseminate the observations of the Committee through wide variety of information structures, including Ministries concerned, Bar associations and professional organisations, and invites Turkey to provide the Committee with information on the action undertaken. FIDH further call upon the OHCHR to closely monitor the follow up to the concluding observations.

FIDH believes that the Human Rights Commission of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) should play a leading role, as national institution, in the domestic implementation of concluding observations of the CAT.

The FIDH urges the Turkish authorities to include and effective and appropriate training on torture for public officials and civil servants, Bar associations, forensic institutes, universities within the framework of their action programme on Human Rights.

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