Campaign Against Disappearances

The disappearances under police custody as a terrifying violation of right to life, which are being frequently discussed over the last years, increase in number.  

This method which was previously developed in Hitler’s Germany to crush the anti-fascist resistance was later on systematized in Latin American dictator countries. It was applied in Guatemala in 1955 and afterwards in various countries such as Argentina Brazil and Chile during the periods of military junta as a gross annihilation tactic. It targeted people from different social groups whose numbers reach ten thousands. In Argentina where the figures of the missing people reached some forty thousands the gullies are still being found and tried even though many years passed by since then. The disappearance under police custody has been systematized especially after 1990’s even if there were several examples relating the disappearances in Turkey before as well (between 1980-1990. some 13 were determined). This violation targets in particular the human rights defenders the people who defend the rights of either the Kurdish people or other ethnic groups which are under suppression the students’ trade unionists journalists’ socialists and those who are not party to conflicts. The following figures point out the dimension of the fact of disappearances under police custody:                      

1980 – 1990                                                     13 persons                     

1991                                                                4 persons

1992                                                                8 persons                      

1993                                                                23 persons                      

1994                                                                27 persons                     

1994 (claims of disappearances)                        328 persons                      

1995(January February March)                          77 persons  

As these figures indicate the dimension of the disappearances under detention increase by day if disappearances under detention still continue in a country. If their offenders and perpetrators cannot be found and tried one must not make mention of a democratic society. In democratic societies rights and freedoms are assured. We as Human Rights Association believe that the way to democracy will be developed only in a country in which principally the right to life right to fair trial is assured the disappearances under detention. Unsolved murders and extrajudicial executions do not take place. This situation which is the shame of Turkey must be concluded. All of the perpetrators of these disappearances must be found so that mothers’ suffering will be diminished. With this aim;

-Disappearances must be stopped

-The cases of missing persons whose corpses have not still been found or whereabouts are unknown must be found out

-The guiltiest must be found out and tried

-The legal system which brings about disappearances must be totally rectified.

-The right to life in any case and condition must be assured  We make a call upon the democratic public opinion upon all the concerned individuals and organizations to participate in our Campaign Against Disappearances and in the activities to be organized within the framework of this Campaign. We proclaim the date of 17 May. On which the corpse of Hasan Ocak who was killed by torture under police custody was found as “The Day of Struggle Against Disappearances”.       



1 July 1995: Press Conference at the Monument for Human Rights (During the event, carnations to be put down the Monument)  

5-15 June 1995: Posters to be stuck on the walls in the streets  

15-30 June: Special Edition for the Campaign to be issued and distributed  

24 June: The action of passiveness by both the General Administrative Board Members and Branch Chairmen in front of the Interior Ministry at 10:30-12:30

1July 1995: A Book on Disappearances to be published International Concert for Human Rights   

A film concerning the disappearances to be shown 

16-17 September international Congress on Disappearances 

Proclamation of the date of 17 Mayas the Day of Struggle Against Disappearances

A symbolic action of investigating the forest* and sewing sapling, putting carnations down the sea

A documentary film concerning the disappearances to be made and a film to be shown a symbolic searching action at the wooded areas wherein the corpses of some of the missing persons are found to be carried out 


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