December 22, 2011

Trial of Police Officers from St. Panteleimonas ends

Press Release

The trial of the police officers from St. Panteleimonas implicated in the torture case has ended.The Mixed Jury Criminal Court of Athens, which hears felonies at first instance, today sentenced two policemen (one of whom has already left the police force) to 5 years and 5.5 years imprisonment respectively, in the infamous torture case of Afghan refugees at the St. Panteleimon police station in December 2004. The trial had started on 21 October 2011 and ended on 20 December 2011.

December 6, 2011


Since 2009, more than seven thousand people have been taken into custody on the alleged grounds that they are associated with the KCK—an organization claimed to be the urban branch of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). Four thousand of them have been arrested and imprisoned without having any prospect of a trial in the foreseeable future in Turkey.

The recent arrest of 51 lawyers representing their clients in KCK cases is a very serious development in these operations, aimed to silence the Kurdish opposition. On 22 November 2011, Turkish police authorities conducted an arrest operation in 16 different provinces. The police raided the lawyers’ offices and houses, searched and confiscated their files, and made copies of their hard drives, unlawfully violating their privileges as lawyers. After their arrests, the lawyers were transferred to Istanbul as the Specialized Heavy Penal Court (formerly known as the State Security Court) issued their arrest warrants. Records of telephone interviews were added to the investigation file, and presented as the main evidence.