CPT praises Turkey's improved record on Torture, but says problems still remain
According to a report released today by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), the number of allegations of ill-treatment at the time of apprehension or during police custody in Turkey has continued to fall, confirming the positive trend of recent years. Nevertheless, the report raises a number of concerns on such subjects as prison and refugee center conditions, access to lawyers, health care, complaint follow-up, record-keeping, and information on rights. "Undoubtedly, the system of medical examinations [for prisoners and suspects in custody] has contributed to the disappearance of widespread ill-treatment that dominated the work of the CPT in Turkey during the 1990s," says the report. But it adds, "The underlying change of attitude among the great majority of law enforcement officials implies that Turkey might no longer need such a complex system in which detained persons may undergo up to five separate medical examinations in the space of four days (including medical screening upon admission to a prison)." The CPT report was carried out in compliance with Article 7 of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which Turkey is a party.