German Groups Urges Turkish Rights Reforms

BONN (Reuter)–A German parliamentary panel said on Tuesday the human rights situation in Turkey still gave cause for concern–with security forces torturing suspects and scores of people disappearing each year.

A delegation from the parliament’s human rights subcommittee which recently visited Turkey said while Ankara had taken steps to investigate accusations of abuse by security forces–it was too early to judge if there was a genuine will to change.

"Lawyers–doctors and officials from human rights organizations described instances of torture in police custody," said Irmgard Schwaetzer–a member of the liberal Free Democrats who went on the fact-finding mission.

Schwaetzer said it was still common for members of families believed to sympathize with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to simply "disappear" without trace.

"We received the impression that the security forces were systematically not be punished," Schwaetzer said.

The subcommittee had documen’s showing 128 people had disappeared in 1995 alone–Schwaetzer said.

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