On 6/12/2012, Bahaa Joughel was wrongfully and unjustly sentenced to 12 and a half years in a Turkish prison based on confessions extracted from acquaintances under torture. Those confessions had been taken seven years earlier when he was abroad and when Turkey was passing through a period known as “the 28th of February” in which tens of thousands of people were arrested, tortured in detainment and then sentenced on mere suspicion and guilt by association. (For further information about human rights violations during that period, check the HRFT report here )
It came as no surprise when one of those who had testified against Bahaa revoked his previous testimonies and took the witness stand in 2012 to expose the barbaric and brutal methods of torture that were exercised on him. Even though this put the credibility of all the testimonies under question, the court not only ignored this witness’s claims which were already an open secret but vehemently refused to retake the statements of the rest and summon them to court. It proceeded to sentence Bahaa in absence of any solid piece of evidence.
Article 17 of the Turkish Constitution states that "No one shall be subjected to torture or ill-treatment; no one shall be subjected to penalties or treatment incompatible with human dignity”. Article 15 of the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT) obliges states parties to “ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture should not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings”. We believe it’s Bahaa’s basic right to have his case reopened and to have those statements that implicated him dismissed. We also decry the injustice in separating two children from their innocent father for 12 years.
Sign the petition now to request to have those statements obtained under torture be discounted and help bring about justice to an innocent man.
Speak out against torture and information obtained under torture!
For further information about Bahaa’s case, check the following links: