[JURIST] The Turkish criminal justice system continues to tolerate and condone the use of torture and ill-treatment [press release] by police and investigators despite the government's official "zero tolerance for torture" policy, according to a report [text] released Thursday by Amnesty International [advocacy website]. The report found that the an institutionalized culture that violates human rights with impunity is a lasting legacy from Turkey's September 12 1980 military coup [Wikipedia backgrounder] where approximately one million people were detained and thousands tortured.
According to the report:
Victims of human rights violations perpetrated by the police and gendarmerie in Turkey continue to face an entrenched culture of impunity. Their chances of securing justice are remote in a criminal justice system in which institutions and personnel regularly treat the interests of the state and its officials as ultimately in greater need of protection than those of individual citizens. The institutionalized failings of the system are compounded by it being under-resourced and in need of overhaul and reform. Alongside an overburdened criminal justice system that lacks independence, in Turkey there is still no independent body which can impartially and effectively investigate human rights violations by state agents.
The report urged Turkey [JURIST news archive] to take preventive measures such as recording all interrogations, improving the training of investigating authorities, and also ensuring that investigations of human rights abuse allegations are conducted in a prompt, independent, impartial and thorough manner. BBC News has more.