G.T. v. Switzerland, Communication No. 137/1999,
U.N. Doc. CAT/C/23/D/137/1999 (2000).
Communication No. 137/1999
G.T. (name deleted)
Date of communication:
27 May 1999
The Committee against Torture, established under article 17 of the Convention against Torture and
Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
Meeting on 16 November 1999,
Having concluded its consideration of communication No. 137/1999, submitted to the Committee
against Torture under article 22 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment,
Having taken into account all information made available to it by the author of the communication and
the State party,
Adopts the following decision:
The author of the communication is Mr. G.T., a Turkish citizen of Kurdish origin born in 1975 and
currently residing in Switzerland, where he has applied for asylum. His application has been rejected and he
alleges that his forced repatriation to Turkey would constitute a violation by Switzerland of article 3 of the
Convention against Torture. He is represented by counsel.
In accordance with article 22, paragraph 3, of the Convention, the Committee transmitted the
communication to the State party on 18 June 1999. At the same time, the Committee, acting in accordance with
rule 108, paragraph 9, of its rules of procedure, requested the State party not to expel the author to Turkey while
his communication was being considered. On 18 October 1999, the State party notified the Committee that
measures had been taken to prevent the author from being returned to Turkey while his communication was
pending before the Committee.
The facts as submitted by the author
The author comes from south-eastern Turkey; he was born on 25 November 1975 in Dogan Köy, a
village near Erzincan, and lived there until 1993. He states that at that time villagers were subjected to torture
by the Turkish army and that young people were systematically arrested on suspicion of being partisans,
resistance fighters or guerrillas, and tortured, especially in the village of Dogan Köy, which, according to the
author, was notorious for its links with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
The author and his parents left this village when he was young to settle in Istanbul. As a student, he