Prominent forensic expert, physician Sebmen Korur Fincanci warned about inadequate medical examination and documentation carried out on torture and ill-treatment complaints. She added that ‘inadequate medical documentation disrupts efforts to prevent torture and leaves us facing new torture allegations every day‘.
Mrs Fincanci, speaking on a medical report composed about a detainee, said followings in her social media account:
- As seen on the report sample, it is pointed as “proper environment has been provided”, but “the security official” is also pointed. This shows that the security official is also present in the medical examination room.
- But the presence of law enforcement officers in the medical examination room is a violation of privacy and ethical rights. It is also against the principles of Istanbul Protocol, a U.N. guideline.
- The partial removal of the clothes is stated (in the report); it is an indication of the medical examination is not provided in an adequate way and this again is the breach of Istanbul Protocol principles.
- Medical story and complaints of the person are not present (in the report). These omissions are against the articles of Istanbul Protocol
- The ‘no indication of battery or coercion’ signet which was stamped in the conclusion (part of the report) is, to put it mildly, result of poor attention.
- Inadequate medical documentation disrupts efforts to prevent torture and leaves us facing new torture allegations every day.
- Regardless of the crime (allegedly) committed by anyone, torture cannot be practiced (upon them). Torture is absolutely forbidden. Those who overlook or express supportive opinions about torture must better know that nobody is safe against torture in conditions where torture reigns.
Since 2016, torture has become an epidemic in Turkey, it is because that the law enforcement officers as part of the state of emergency have been offered (defacto and dejure) (Emergency Decree Law No.667) impunity by the Government for any crime they may commit in performance of their duties including torture. Having declared the state of emergency, the Cabinet of Ministers enacted Decree Law no. 667 (dated 23 July, 2016) of which Art. 9 reads as follows:
ARTICLE 9 – (1) Legal, administrative, financial and criminal liabilities shall not arise in respect of the persons who have adopted decisions and fulfil their duties within the scope of this Decree Law.
Subsequently, the Decree Law no. 667 was approved by the Parliament with the Law no. 6749 and acquired the status of ordinary law.
What is worse, the Turkish Constitutional Court dismissed the action for annulment lodged by the Main Opposition Party on this legislation. The TCC dismissed the action for annulment on grounds of such impunity clauses were necessary to encourage the public servants so they could perform their duties effectively to overcome the threats arose out of the state of emergency. (File No: 2016/2025, Decision No: 2016/93)
The Arrested Lawyers Initiative has received several complaints on the inadequate medical examination which is essential to prevent torture.
In one of the complaints, the victim was a lawyer, the victim says in the complaint lodged with relevant authorities followings: “Due to torture, bruises were formed in my body; I could not report these bruises to the doctor because the torturer police officers had taken me to the medical examination.”
Categories: Torture and Impunity