Court announces reasoned opinion in Çeber case
A high criminal court in İstanbul which last month handed down life sentences to three people on charges of torture and mistreatment of an inmate has announced its reasoned opinion and said these people performed harsh acts of torture on the victim.

The inmate, Engin Çeber, was detained in 2008 for handing out copies of a left-wing magazine to passersby on an İstanbul street. Çeber never made it out of prison, where he died as a result of torture.

The Bakırköy 14th High Criminal Court decided to dole out life sentences to members of the prison security staff, Selahattin Apaydın, Sami Ergazi and Fuat Karaosmanoğlu, on charges of torture and mistreatment. The court also decided to sentence Nihat Kızılkaya to two years, six months in prison. Kızılkaya was then released, having already served the sentence.

In its reasoned decision, the court said suspects Ergazi and Apaydın caused the victim's death by torturing him, hitting him on the head and neck and striking his head against the walls. The court also said medical reports also confirmed the torture on the victim's body.

Çeber and three of his friends -- Özgür Akkaya, Cihan Gün and Aysu Baykal -- were taken into custody in İstanbul in early October 2008 for reportedly selling copies of the leftist magazine Yürüyüş. They were later arrested and sent to Metris Prison.

The court found that the four inmates were subjected to torture and a disproportionate use of force by police and prison guards. Çeber was taken from prison to a hospital and pronounced dead shortly after suffering a brain hemorrhage as a result of a head trauma.

A week after Çeber died, then-Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Şahin apologized for the death and announced that 19 members of the prison security staff suspected to have been responsible for the tragedy had been suspended. (Cihan/Todays Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-11-25 20:00:02
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