Yet Another Death Under Detention

20 June 2014

Allegations about the death of asylum seeker Litfiullah Tacik should immediately be investigated.17 years old Afghanistan citizen Litfiullah Tacik lost his life at Van State Hospital on 31 May 2014 with the diagnosis of cerebral hemorrhage as a result of violence he had allegedly subject to at the Foreigners Department of the Van Directorate of Security Foreigners.

According to existing information, it was identified that during investigations of 28 cases of death under custody since 2007 today, video camera recordings were not accessed/or not available.

According to the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, if the health of a person deprived of liberty by public authorities was well before he/she was taken under custody, any injury in terms of health generated from the start of detention, the burden of proof rests with the State Authorities to reveal the truth. One of the important tools of the proof is the video camera recordings.

According to the information provided by the local official authorities in relation to the death of Lütfiullah was that “the video recordings were damaged that time and there was no recording”.  By using same reason, video camera recordings were not revealed in other 28 cases occurred in different parts of the country. One of the important reason that the video camera recordings are not made available to the investigation processes is the lack of a legislative regulation concerning the obligations about the video camera recordings in detention places.

Although so much death during interrogation taken place during and after interrogations in detention places, absence of such a legal regulation about the video camera recording as an obligatory duty during interrogation, saddles the responsibility to the legislative organ for each death under detention. The absence of such a legislation also brings the impunity together with.

In addition, not being able to establish an independent National Prevention Mechanism as a requirement of the Optional Protocol of the UN Convention against Torture, contributes to the occurrence of these sort of events and deepens the problems.

In this respect, we invite all parties to undertake their obligations and responsibilities, to initiate rapid and effective investigation process and to take all possible measures to solve the root causes of this problem.

Human Rights Joint Platform:

  • Helsinki Citizens Assembly
  • Human Rights Research Association
  • Human Rights Association
  • Human Rights Agenda Association
  • Amnesty International-Turkey