Family applies to Constitutional Court over man’s suicide after police torture
Mesut Hasan BENLİ ANKARA
Can’s mother, Hatice Can, also committed suicide 3.5 years after her son’s death, jumping from a balcony after a long period of grief. HÜRRİYET PhotoThe family of a young Istanbul architect who committed suicide in 2010 after being subjected to police torture has submitted an individual complaint to Turkey’s Constitutional Court, after the Council of State approved a decision that rejected the relatives’ appeal regarding “insufficient punishment for police officers.”
Onur Yaser Can, 28, was detained in Beyoğlu on June 2, 2010 after police caught him in possession of drugs. While at the Narcotic Police Department he was subjected to a naked full body search and his anus was searched by hand, and he was also forced to inform on who had provided the drugs.
Can committed suicide by jumping from a balcony on June 23 after falling into depression due to the torture.
A criminal case was opened against six police officers for “torture, mistreatment, sexual abuse and forgery of documents,” with Can’s family accusing officers of causing his death. The court only sentenced two of the police officers to prison for “forgery of documents.” In a disciplinary proceeding, these two officers were also suspended from their posts for six months, while the council dismissed an investigation into the four other policemen.
Finding these results insufficient, the family filed an appeal against the court decision. However, the Istanbul 5th Administrative Court rejected the lawsuit, saying the family did not have right to appeal the ruling. The Council of State also approved the court’s rejection after the family’s appeal.
Şanal Sarıhan, the family’s lawyer, has now filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court, stating that Can’s “right to life,” “right to freedom and safety” and “right to a fair trial” were violated. The family demands 100,000 Turkish Liras in compensation for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages.
Can’s mother, Hatice Can, also committed suicide 3.5 years after her son’s death, jumping from a balcony after a long period of grief. Sarıhan referred to this in his petition, arguing that public officials’ unlawful activities had caused the deaths of two people.
“She couldn’t stand the pain she was experiencing. She had been receiving psychological support,” the family’s lawyer, Ercan Kanar, had previously said.