Amnesty asks Turkey for fair trial in tortured activist case

Türkiye Materials 25 September 2012 08:55 (UTC +04:00)
Amnesty asks Turkey for fair trial in tortured activist case
Amnesty asks Turkey for fair trial in tortured activist case
Amnesty International has called on Turkey to hold fair trial in a case regarding the death of an inmate who was allegedly beaten to death at Metris Prison in İstanbul as the court will issue final verdict on Oct. 1 Today`s Zaman reported.

Engin Ceber was detained in 2008 while handing out copies of a left-wing magazine to passersby on an İstanbul street. Ceber never made it out of prison, where he died as a result of torture.

Ceber and three of his friends - Ozgür Akkaya, Cihan Gun and Aysu Baykal -- were taken into custody in İstanbul in early October 2008 for reportedly selling copies of the leftist magazine Yürüyüş. They were later arrested and sent to Metris Prison.

The four inmates were allegedly subjected to torture and disproportionate use of force by policemen and prison guards. Ceber was taken from prison to a hospital and pronounced dead shortly after suffering a brain hemorrhage as a result of a head trauma. The trial has been adjourned to a later date.

A week after the death of Ceber, then Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Shahin apologized for the death of Çeber and announced that 19 members of the security staff believed to have been responsible for the tragedy have been suspended.

Amnesty said in a statement on Monday that Bakırkoy Court of First Instance will determine the involvement of up to 60 state officials in the death of Çeber.

"With this ruling the Turkish justice system is again facing a key test - the choice is between allowing the injustice of the past to persist or dealing a blow to impunity for torture and providing justice for Engin Ceber," John Dalhuisen, director of the Europe and Central Asia program at Amnesty International, said.

Dalhuisen said following this re-trial, the Turkish authorities must ensure that Ceber's family not only see justice delivered but also receive reparation for his death.

He added that a full resolution to this case will send a strong message that Turkey is taking steps to deal once and for all with an appalling legacy of torture in custody.

Ceber's sister Sherife Ceber told Amnesty International that they are not just pursuing this case as a family but also they are doing it because they don't want others to die as a result of ill-treatment.