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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Turkey

Strasbourg, 02.07.2012 - A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) carried out an ad hoc visit to Turkey from 21 to 28 June 2012.

The main objective of the visit was to examine the treatment and conditions of detention of juveniles held in prisons, taking into account the recent allegations of ill-treatment of juvenile prisoners at Pozantı Prison. The delegation visited Ankara-Sincan Juvenile Prison, to which all the juveniles previously held at Pozantı Prison had been transferred, as well as Istanbul-Maltepe Juvenile Prison and the juvenile units of Diyarbakır and Gaziantep E-type Prisons. The delegation also discussed with the Turkish authorities the fires which had broken out in June in several prisons in central and south-eastern Turkey, resulting in a number of severe casualties.

Further, the delegation raised various issues related to the situation of Abdullah Ícalan and other prisoners held at Imralı F-type High-Security Closed Prison. Particular attention was paid to the possibility in practice for these prisoners to receive visits from relatives and lawyers.

In the course of the visit, the delegation held consultations with Sadullah ERGIN, Minister of Justice, and senior officials from the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs. Discussions were also held with representatives of the Ankara Office of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and two Turkish NGOs, the Human Rights Association (HRA) and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) .

At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the Turkish authorities.

The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:

    - Jean-Pierre RESTELLINI (Swiss), Acting 2nd Vice-President of the CPT (Head of delegation)
    - Julia KOZMA (Austrian)
    - Jan PFEIFFER (Czech).

They were supported by Michael NEURAUTER (Head of Division) and Petr HN┴T═K of the CPT's Secretariat, and assisted by Jurgen VAN POECKE, Director of Bruges Prison (Belgium).

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