Inquiry regarding the situation of Avni Er and Zeynep Kilic

September 25th, 2007

In connection with the situation of the revolutionaries Avni Er and Zeynep Kilic, who have been kept in Italian prisons since 2004, MP Francesco Saverio Caruso, member of Rifondazione Communista, made an inquiry to the Justice Minister.
“Er and Kilic were sentenced to 7 and 5 years of prison in their trial, which came to an
end on 20th December 2006, because they had been involved in oppositional information
activities concerning the repressive policy of the Turkish state, first of all the F-type
Caruso reminded that all persons arrested in this context, in Turkey and in Europe, have been released by now. He also remarked that Justice Minster Clemente Mastella has signed a request for
extradition to Germany for Zeynep Kilic on 7th May and to Turkey for Avni Er in June.
Regarding the request for extradition to Turkey against both persons, Caruso declared:”
It is worrying, that both persons would be threathened with prison and torture in case of extradition to Turkey. According to accounts of international human rights organisations and Amnesty International, torutre is still practised systematically in Turkey.
The Turkish state accuses Avni Er of a protest against the Turkish Foreign Minister at the European Parliament in 2000. In this protest there were carried pictures of 10 political prisoners, who were killed under torture during a military raid at the prison of Ankara in 1999.
The political prisoners have resisted 7 years long against the isolation conditions in prison with their sole means of resistance, the hungerstrike. 122 people have lost their lives and 600 have been suffering irreparable physical and psychological damage.”
In the inquiry to the Justice Minister Caruso pointed out following: “A country which is aware of the torture practises in a country and decides an extradition endangering the life of persons by that, as in case of Avni Er and Zeynep Kilic, is violating the human rights as well as torture is regarded as crime in that country. The UN-Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour declared in May 2006, that
diplomatic garanties won’t be a sufficient protection against torture.
In June 2006, also Human Rights Commissioner of the European Council, Thomas Hammarberg stated, that diplomatic garanties wouldn’t be credible (…).”
Finally Caruso wrote in his inquiry: “Doesn’t the Minister see the neccessity to lean on the European Community and international law institutions, who foresee the ban of extradition if there runs danger to violate the clear rule of international law which prohibits torture and ill treatment, in the case of Avni Er and Zeynep Kilic?”