Denmark Protests Over Turkey Torture

ANKARA (Reuter)-Denmark has complained to the European Commission of Human Rights about reports of torture of a Danish citizen of Kurdish origin in custody in Turkey last year–the Turkish foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Danish officials applied on Tuesday on behalf of Kemal Koc–a naturalized Dane charged in July with giving economic support from Denmark to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Turkey said the Danish complaint was the first time one country had taken another to the commission on behalf of an individual. Ankara protested at the Danish governmen’s action.

"This decision goes against the well-intentioned efforts and the cooperative understanding shown by Turkey in trying to shed light on the claims in this application–foreign ministry spokesman Omer Akbel told reporters.

The Danish Embassy confirmed that Copenhagen had complained to the commission–which screens possible cases for the European Court of Human Rights.

Koc was expelled from Turkey but a trial against him for links to the PKK is continuing. Turkish police also detained–fined and expelled a member of the Danish parliament sent to observe the trial.

Turkey is often under fire from Europe for its human rights record.

Spokesman Akbel said the Danish move was unfair because legal action in the case was still continuing in Turkey.

"This application does not obey the condition of waiting until Turkish domestic legal processes have been exhausted and is contrary to the European human rights agreement and the universal rules of international law–Akbel said.

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