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lawyer's office, and without a judicial warrant searched and confiscated documents and correspondence.

I was kept in this military unit for seven months, and during this period I and the two hundred detainees held there were subjected on three occasions to collective torture. The first one lasted for three days. Hooded and forced to stand up facing a wall, the officers would beat selected prisoners. During the night we were allowed to rest for some

hours and were given some food.

During this period of time some detainees died under torture.

I was kept incommunicado for seven months, with no access to a lawyer, visits from relatives or allowed to speak to other prisoners despite the fact that the Constitution and

Uruguayan law only

authorize a maximum term of 24 hours incommunicado detention. After

that I was taken before a military judge, a Colonel, with no prior access to my lawyer. The Colonel, who had no legal training, accepted into evidence statements made by military officers against me and refused to incorporate into the proceedings denunciations of torture I had made. I shall not refer to life conditions in military units and later in the military prison, I shall only say that these conditions were inhuman, cruel, and degrading. I was detained for two years in all, during which time I was detained in the school for soldiers (Escuela Armas Y Servicios) and in the Infantry Batallion Number Two. I spent the final eight months in the infamous military prison of Libertad, officially known as the Establecimiento Militar de Reclusion No. 1.

The Libertad military prison is a very special place; one could talk for hours about the rigid system over control of family visits, medical care, fool, constant pressures from guards, and the elaborate system of sanctions and arbitrary punishments which is designed to destroy every aspect of the prisoner's life and personality.

During the entire course of my detention and after I was never sentenced. My indictment by the military tribunal could only be qualified as ridiculous, if it were not tragic. Despite the fact that

I was a civilian I was tried by a military court, in clear violation

of article 253 of the Constitution, by military officers who had no judicial training. They lack three essential qualities to be judges:


impartiality and judicial capability.

Ten years have passed since my release in 1974. Despite this, the situation in Uruguay today continues to demand international concern. Only a month ago in April, a medical doctor, Dr. Vladimir Roslik died under torture in a military barracks in Uruguay. His case, like my own, is not an isolated one. On behalf of the Uruguayans who still live

today under a military regime, I respectfully request that you

continue to monitor the situation in my country.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. YATRON. Thank you, Mr. Artucio. I know that it has been very difficult for you to be here and testify today.

Our next witness is Ms. Jeri Laber. Ms. Laber will you please go ahead with your statement. Welcome back once again.


Ms. LABER. Thank you. You'll recall that I testified here in April of 1983 at some very important hearings about human rights in Turkey. I talked about various human rights abuses in Turkey, including torture, the subject of today's hearing.

Since I was here last year, I've had the opportunity to go to Turkey where I met and interviewed various people, including victims of torture in Turkey, and had some very heartbreaking interviews with the families of young people who have virtually disappeared within the prison system, including the father of one such young boy-now probably around 20-who himself was taken within the prison and tortured with electric shocks for 10 days, just by virtue of having gone to the prison gates to find out something about the condition of his son.

A lot has happened in Turkey since the November elections of last year. Turkey now has a parliamentary government and the elections themselves were an upset victory for the candidate that was least favored by the military regime. There are pressures that have been brought within the Parliament to investigate allegations of torture in Turkish prisons. The punishment of torturers has continued to some extent.

There is talk from numerous quarters about an amnesty for political prisoners. A delegation from the Council of Europe just last month was given permission to visit two notorious prisons in Turkey, Diyarbakir Prison and Mamak Prison, and the parliament itself has appointed a nine-person commission to investigate allegations of torture.

The results, however, have not, so far at least, led to any significant criticism of official policies. The commission's findings, for example, included the statement on the one hand that 80 security personnel had been jailed for up to several years for conducting torture and maltreatment since 1978, and, on the other hand, the fact that and I quote-"there is no evidence of systematic maltreatment or torture in Turkish jails."

In addition, the evidence that continues to come both to Amnesty International and to our Helsinki Watch Committee indicates that torture continues unabated in Turkish detention centers and pris


I notice that when Mr. Healey spoke before he talked about the 45-day period of incommunicado detention in Turkey as being the longest or one of the longest in the world, and he pointed out that detention is the period during which prisoners are tortured. I just want to say that in Turkey it appears that torture doesn't stop with the period of detention but goes on in the prisons themselves. Amnesty has recently issued a bulletin, which I will quote from very briefly, saying that, "thousands of women and men detained in Turkey under martial law have been tortured systematically,

suffering savage beatings and electric shocks to their genitals and other parts of their bodies," and that "detainees were also burned with cigarettes, tied to hot radiator pipes, suspended from the ceiling by their hands or feet for prolonged periods until they screamed with pain, and routinely subjected to falaka (which are brutal beatings on the soles of their feet)."

The Amnesty bulletin quotes a woman who was tortured and forced to watch her husband being tortured; both had electric shocks applied to their genitals. It describes a man of 50 who watched his children being tortured and his children who then watched him being tortured in turn.

In addition, the Helsinki Watch Committee continues to receive reports directly from Turkey about torture. Just recently, 2 weeks ago, I received a letter from someone I met when I was in Turkey, who is now in prison. The letter was smuggled out of prison. I obviously cannot tell you the name of the man who wrote it; but he describes the torture of another prisoner-a member of the Turkish Peace Association-who's been sentenced to 8 years imprisonment.

This man was subjected to torture during pretrial detention in police headquarters; he was given electric shocks-what they call the "usual" treatment-then was sent to prison where, after the special police were through with him, he was given the "welcoming treatment." He was kept in a cage for 48 hours without sleep or food and then beaten so badly that he passed out. He finally had to claim a weak heart in order to get himself out of that situation. He ended up in a cramped ward, which is common in Turkish prisons: a ward with a capacity of 30 had 70 people in it. They sleep in what they call "sardines-in-a-can” style.

I quote from the letter,

People are side by side, alternating heads and feet, every one sleeps on his right shoulder and has the feet of his neighbor in front of his face. One cannot lie on one's back; there is no room; one cannot move at all; he'll wake the others. One just lies there like a mummy.

I will not go into all the reports of torture we've received. A lot of them are in the written testimony I have submitted. I do want to mention, however, a meeting that I had in Europe several months ago with Mr. Hussein Yildirim, a Kurdish lawyer who spent a long period of time in Diyarbakir Prison in Turkey before escaping over the border and seeking political asylum in Sweden.

Mr. Yildirim is a lawyer who at one point defended as many as 4,000 Kurdish prisoners at one time in Diyarbakir. He was finally arrested himself for the defense of these prisoners. He has since written a testimony, some of which I quote in my own testimony, which makes anyone who reads it marvel at the ability of the human body to withstand such abuse and survive.

I won't read his testimony now, but I do want to say that Mr. Yildirim told me that he personally witnessed the murder of 10 fellow prisoners while he was in prison, two of whom were doused with gasoline and set on fire. It is his belief that the Junta has decided to destroy these Kurdish prisoners within the prison where they are put in death cells from which they are not expected to emerge.

May I mention, parenthetically, that Diyarbakir Prison was one of the prisons which a Council of Europe delegation was allowed to visit during its recent visit to Turkey? I haven't seen their testimony yet, but I hear that they heard no complaints of torture.

We were asked today to talk about what the U.S. Government can do. I think there's a great deal that the U.S. Government can do, especially with respect to Turkey where we've maintained close relations. Turkey is the third largest recipient of U.S. aid, and we have great political leverage there.

I would like to encourage congressional delegations to go to Turkey as frequently as possible and to urge Turkish legislators in the Parliament to do away with the 45-day period of incommunicado detention; to prohibit courts from considering testimony that has been obtained through torture; to appoint not a one-time investigating commission but a number of small independent commissions to hear and investigate complaints of torture in the prisons; and to guarantee safety to those who come before such commissions to report abuses because people in Turkey, as I have seen, are afraid to be quoted or to make public their complaints.

I also think it's essential that the International Committee of the Red Cross be allowed to enter Turkish prisons; this has not been allowed although I believe they have made several requests. Finally, I urge that the Turkish Government be asked to provide medical and psychological help to former victims of torture.

The report we've received from members of the Helsinki Watch Committee who were very recently in Turkey is that appeals to provide some form of amnesty or parole for political prisoners— and there are tens of thousands of them in Turkish prisons-are growing within the parliament, as well as among the population.

An amnesty is perhaps the most important thing that we can encourage in Turkey. It's the only way that we're going to have a stable, democratic Turkey, which is not only in the interests of Turkish citizens but in the interests of the United States.

Thank you.

[The prepared statement of Ms. Laber follows:]

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