Trial begins over death of Turkish activist in custody

The government initially suspended 19 prison officers over the death of the activist after he was allegedly severely beaten in an Istanbul prison.

Trial begins over death of Turkish activist in custody

A trial of 60 suspects over the death of a political activist in custody began on Wednesday, state news agency Anatolian said, in a case which has fuelled criticism of EU candidate Turkey's human rights record.

The government initially suspended 19 prison officers over the death of the activist after he was allegedly severely beaten in an Istanbul prison. He had been detained while distributing political pamphlets in the city.

The death of Engin Ceber, 29, drew criticism from human rights groups and the European Union. The ruling AK Party says it does not tolerate torture.

The defendants are accused of charges including torture, abuse of duty, neglect and failing to report a crime. It was not clear what sentences they might face if found guilty.

Non-governmental groups gathered in support of Ceber's case outside the court house where the 60 suspects, made up of security and prison officials, were being tried.

In December, a Human Rights Watch report said there had been an increase in reported cases of torture and police violence since 2007.

Reuters
Last Mod: 22 Ocak 2009, 12:51
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