Treatment of prisoners and conditions in military prisons (July 2003 - August 2004) [TUR42659.E]

Information on the treatment of prisoners and on conditions in military prisons during the period between July 2003 and August 2004 was scarce among sources consulted by the Research Directorate. In correspondence to the Research Directorate, Amnesty International noted that

...there are no associations for protecting the rights of soldiers in Turkey, such prisoners have no organizations which would lobby on this kind of issue or publicize military prison conditions. It is therefore understandable that such reports could only come via families of prisoners. ...[M]ost people would find the prospect of reporting human rights violations committed within the military (against conscripts) to be a very daunting one (4 Aug. 2004).

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2003 reported that, in 2003, Bulent Bozdogen, a Jehovah's Witness, was convicted of refusing to serve in the military and was sentenced to three months' imprisonment (25 Feb. 2004, Sec. 2.c). While serving his sentence in a military prison, Bozdogen was "reportedly beaten and mistreated numerous times" (Country Reports 2003 25 Feb. 2004, Sec. 2.c). Corroborating information on the treatment of Bozdogen during his time in military prison could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

In August 2003, United Press International (UPI) reported that the Turkish government had criminalized torture and established a monitoring unit responsible for inspecting military and civilian prisons and police stations in an attempt to bring an end to torture and inhumane treatment (4 Aug. 2003). Information on the status of that initiative could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Additional information on the treatment of prisoners and on conditions in military prisons during the period of July 2003 to August 2004 could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Amnesty International (AI). 4 August 2004. Correspondence from a Refugee Coordinator.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2003. 25 February 2004. "Turkey." United States Department of State. Washington, D.C. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27869.htm [Accessed 18 Aug. 2004]

United Press International (UPI). 4 August 2003. "Walker's World: The Turkish Transformation." (Dialog)

Additional Sources Consulted


The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, in Kizilay, Turkey, did not respond to a letter requesting information.

Human Rights Watch, London.

The Istanbul Antimilitarist Initiative did not respond to a letter requesting information.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Ankara.

Unsuccessful attempts to contact the War Resisters' Association of Izmir.

War Resisters' International did not respond to a letter requesting information.

Internet sites, including: Al Bawaba, Amnesty International (AI), Asylum Aid, BBC, Dialog/WNC, European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI), Freedom in the World 2003, Human Rights Association of Turkey, Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, The Middle East Times, Organization of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People (MAZLUMDER), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE-RL), Relief Web, Turkish Daily News, United Kingdom - Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND), War Resisters' International.