Press Statement of instituDE Concerning the Non-Prosecution Decision on the Torture of Purged Diplomats in Ankara Police HQ

by instituDE, published on September 1, 2020

Upon the news that appeared in the press concerning the torture suffered by our former colleagues under detention on 26 May last year, the Ankara Bar Association issued a report through interviewing the victims and documented that at least 5 former Turkish diplomats were tortured by the police. Likewise, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, human rights defender and MP of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), stated in his press statements and interviews that “the detained former diplomats were severely beaten, tortured and threatened with rape with batons whilst under police custody”.

Despite an investigation being initiated by the Office of Ankara Chief Prosecutor on this incident, we were concerned that it might be aimed at covering the case up, as for a long time there was no information provided to the public on the outcome of the investigation. Subsequently, Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has made a non-prosecution decision on 6 August 2020 over the torture of our former colleagues, which has proved that our concerns had indeed been well-grounded.

We, as instituDE, expressed in our previous press statements that we would not let this villainous and heinous act be forgotten. Accordingly, we will be resolutely keeping a close eye on the possible legal procedures to be instituted against this non-prosecution decision in domestic and international judicial mechanisms and continue to struggle in order for justice to be served.

The non-prosecution decisi on of the Turkish judiciary concerning the acts of Turkish authorities infringing the absolute prohibition of torture also indicates that right to fair trial, right to respect for private life and prohibition of discrimination have also been violated in regard to our former colleagues.

In this regard, we urge the Turkish authorities to abide by their commitments arising from domestic and international law and we call upon them to refrain from, prevent, and effectively investigate any kind of torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

We also reiterate our appeal to international bodies such as the UN Committee against Torture, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and international human rights organizations to remain vigilant against cases of torture and ill-treatment in Turkey and to continue closely monitoring those cases.