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Home arrow newsitems arrow ECHR Condemns Turkey for 17 Years Delay in Judging complaints for Torture

ECHR Condemns Turkey for 17 Years Delay in Judging complaints for Torture

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 28 February 2017

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- An Unanimous ECHR Judgement published Today Condemned the Turkish Authorities for Violating the Prohibition of Torture and Inhuman/Degrading Treatments, by Delaying too much to Start a Legal Procedure against the Turkish Policemen allegedly Responsible for ill-treating 3 Victims, which "remained still Pending, 17 Years after the Facts", without any final result : 1999 - 2017 !


In consequence, the Turkish Government was condemned to pay 15.000 € to the Victims for Moral Damages inflicted to them, and about 6.000 € for their Expenses. ECHR's Judgement being automaticaly transmitted to CoE's Committee of Ministers, responsible for Supervising its Implementation, according to the General Rules, it should  have Wider Repercussions necessitating also General Measures in order to Prevent Repetition of many Similar Violations of Human Rights.


The main Facts originated from a Massive Police Operation in Turkey on 1999 against a Large Group of Persons who were persecuted, (about 100), appearing a kind of Precursor of the even Wider Mass Persecutions of various Dissidents triggered recently, particularly after an alleged Short-lived and Strange Failed "Coup" Attempt of only a Few Hours, from July 2016. ECHR observed that, More than 17 Years Later, on 2017, it hadn't heard yet about any final result of the manifold Procedures still Pending in front of the Turkish Courts until Nowadays, especialy regarding denonciations of Torture, (but also Arbitrary Deprivationsof Liberty, Unfair Trials, etc).


On January 2017, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) was Hindered to hold a Public Debate on Violations of Human Rights and the Functioning of Democrartic Institutions in Turkey, despite a Clear Majority pf MEPs supporting a Draft Resolution which Could have Crucial Repercussions against the Controversial and UnPopular Turkey's EU bid, (particularly by Re-Opening PACE's "Monitoring" procedure vis a vis Ankara, which would practicaly mean that Turkey didn't fullfil EU's "Copenhagen Criteria" on due Respect of the Rule of Law, Human Rifghts and Democracy, i.e. a Pre-Condition to any Negotiation for EU Accession), because of a dubious Technicality, (some unverified sources even denounced "Corruption" inside the CoE then), on Pretext that the Turkish Government had accepted, at least, to receive Victims' Complaints to a Special Committee submitted to Judicial Control.


But this Risks, obviously, also to Prolonge for an even Longer Period of Time, the Legal Procedures that Victims have to pursue in the Turkish Courts before Justice can be done, as "Eurofora" and others have already Warned since then (See, f.ex., among others, also : ....), and as it's Clearly Revealed in this ECHR's Judgement published Today, which had been Decided by EuroJudges in Strasbourg, by a Coincidence, precisely during that Week of PACE's Plenary Session here (on 24 January 2017)...


In the Present Case, the 3 Applicants, Members of a "Foundation for Scientific Researcb" at Istanbul, whose Staff and Fans had been All Targetted by a Massive Operation of the Turkish Police on November 1999 (Comp. Supra), had been Arrested and Placed in Detention during allmost a Week, before being massively Accused and Prosecuted for allegedly "Aiding and Participating in a Criminal Organisation" at the beginning of January 2000.


The Applicants Denounced, in particular, that the Turkish Authorities had Obliged them to Sign Fake Testimonies "under Pressure and Torture", Denied the Accusations, and lodged Legal Complaints for Inhuman/Degrading Treatments, Arbitrary Deprivation of Liberty, Unfair Trial, Absence of any Efficient Remedies against serious Violations of Human Rights, Discriminations, etc.


Scandalously, 12 so-called "Medical Examinations", by Turkish State Hospital Doctors, to whom they had been Brought by the Police during their Detention, routinely Claimed that the Victims "hadn't any Trace of Blows and Wounds", were "in Good Shape", "did Not Complaint for anything", and so on, (with the Unique Exception of Only 1 Examination, which found that a Prisoner Vomited Blood, felt Dizzy and Pain in his Belly, etc).


But, on the Contrary, 10  Differend Medical Certificates, made by Independent Doctors, practicing Privately, and/or at the University of istanbul and various Medical Institutes, Later on, when the Victims had been let temporary Free to move, Pending their Prosecutions, Strongly Denounced the Fact that all those Previous Medical Consultations were "Not Correct" and "Not according to Ethics, neither to International Conventions", f.ex. because "certain examinations had been made Collectively" ("in Groups"), Turkish State "Security Forces were Present" during those Medical Consultations, while "did Not Exist Any Information on the Complaints" of the Victims, "Lacked the slightest Psychological Examination", while those Medical Notes about an alleged "Lack of any Trace of Blows or Wounds" were "Not Credible", (etc). In at least 1 among the 3 Victims, the Independent Doctors also found an "aponevric Ptosis linked to an ApoNevrosis of the Muscle at his Right Eye", needing "a Chirurgical intervention", added to "Post-Traumatic Stress" and even a "Serious Depression", which "Affected Health and the capacities of Perception", and "could be the Result of Traumatisms allegedly Suffered during Detention", while others had even "Lesions" at the "Head" and "Hands" which "Match their Complaints" for Ill-Treatments, so that "it canNot be Excluded that they have been submitted to Torture".


F.ex, one of the Victims Denounced that, during Detention, a Turkish Policeman had "Crashed his Balls, and, while being Blindfolded, he was Hit several times by his Fists at the Head, and another Policeman had applied Electric Current at his Genital Organs", etc. A second Victim complained that he had been "Tortured" by Turkish Policemen, "Beaten, Insulted and Threatened with a Gun", had "Feared for his Life", was "Blindfolded", and "Told by Policemen that another Detainee had Jumped out of a Window" and Died, (etc). While certain Officials observed, Later on, that possible "Aggressions" hadn't been only Physical, but also Psychological, and at least certain Policemen had been reportedly Accused for similar Torture also in Other such Cases of about 11 Victims, (etc).

By an Astonishing but Symbolic Coincidence, such Facts occured precisely During the notorious "Helsinki Summit" of the EU, on December 1999 in Finland, which took a Controversial and UnPopular Decision to Give Turkey a Status of "Candidate" to EU Accession, which oppened a way for Costly EU Funds in full Grants towards Ankara's Government, added also to various other Legal and Practical EU Concessions to Turkey, which are normaly Denied to all Other Countries treated as simple "Third, Foreign States", provoking a series of Growing Popular Reactions against that, which Resulted, inter alia, also into 3 "No" to EuroReferenda on a Draft EU Constitution in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, between 2005-2007, which have considerably Delayed EU Integration, with the Result to also expose Europe institutionaly UnPrepared to the Global Economic Crisis which Started from 2008, etc.


However, Despite a very Long and Complicated Procedure in front of Turkish Courts, with Many Official Statements and Denonciations, the Identification of some of the suspected Torturers, as well as Legal Complaints from the Victims, Public Hearings, Initial Rejections of their Complaints, Confirmations of those Rejections, Later Decisions to Investigate the Facts, Demands of more Medical Examinations, the Prescription of the initial Prosecution against the Victims, some Official Accusations against at least certain Policemen in these and other similar cases (which were partly Joined Afterwards), New Hearings, New Medical Examinations, New Judicial Procedures, a controversial Court's ruling which Acquitted the Suspected Policemen, various Appeals to the Higher Turkish Courts, Postponements, New Collection of available Evidence, (etc), Nevertheless, "17 Years After the Facts" (1999-2017), there was No Result yet, Total Impunity for alleged Torture in those cases persisted, and ECHR observed Now (2017) that there were even "No News Since 2015" about any action whatever from the competent Turkish Courts in this thorny affair...


Therefore, even if the EuroJudges were practicaly Obliged to Admit that they had not yet been provided with sufficient Proof from that Procedure at the Turkish Courts, so that ECHR "was Not in a Position to Pronounce itself on the Question about Whether the Applicants had been Submitted to Treatments Contrary to the Article 3 of the (PanEuropean) Convention" of Human Rights, (which Prohibits Torture and/or Inhuman/Degrading Treatments, Nevertheless, "17 Years After the Facts", "the Procedure" in front of the Turkish Courts, "against those Policemen allegedly Responsible" for Torture and/or Inhuman/Degrading Treatments, "seems (to be) always Pending" !


Torture and/or Inhuman/Degrading Treatments, strictly prohibited by Article 3 of the PanEuropean Convention of Human Rights, is The Most Serious Violation of all, obviously considered as More Important even than Life and/or Freedom, etc, apparently based on the belief that Human Dignity is the No 1 Value, needing the utmost Protection, since it's the Only Human Right which canNot be Legaly Infringed in Any Case at all, (not even during War, Self Defense, etc), while, on the Contrary, there are several Exceptions for All Other Rights.


Turkey has already been Condemned by ECHR for blatantly Failing to Investigate Denonciations of Torture and/or Inhuman/Degrading Treatments, much More than Any Other among CoE's 47 Member States : Indeed, Ankara's Government has got a Recod-High of ...208 Condemnations for that Violation, during 1959-2016, according to the Latest ECHR's Statistical Data, Followed, from a Distance, by Russia (which has a Double Population number), Ukraine, Romania, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Latvia, Croatia and FYROM, etc., with 165, 80, 75, 43, 29, 12 and 10 (bis) relevant judgement, respectively. All Other CoE's Member States have had Less than 10 such Condemnations, and Norway, Sweden, the UK, Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino, Malta, none at all...


Therefore, the Obligation for Turkey to take also "General Measures" in order to Stop Committing so Grave Violations of Human Rights as that, (Comp. Supra), stands without any doubt, particularly vis a vis CoE's Committee of Ministers, competent to supervise the Execution of ECHR's Judgements from its 47 Member States, (Comp. also Supra). is obviously undeniable, Now More than Ever.


But the Message looks Bleak for all those Tens of Thousands of People, from various political Horizons, (Judges, Educators, Journalists, Soldiers, Civil Servants, Elected Politicians etc), nowadays Massively Arrested and Closed in Turkish Prisons, particularly since Summer 2016, particularly when Rumours and Denonciations of Harsh Ill-Treatments, including Rapes, etc., have notoriously imploded, recently : Will Victims be Abandoned and be Obliged to vainly Wait for Justice to be done in case of Torture and/or other Inhuman/Degrading Treatments for More than ...17 Years, and, even then, only in order just to see the Turkish Authorities "pay" just a Few Thousands of € to each Victim, from the Flow of Many Billions € of Money that EU is asked to give in full Grant (Not loan) to Ankara under that persisting Blackmail over the Scandalous and Dangerous Massive Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants 2015/2016 Influx threat through Turkey, added to the More tha 1 Billion € in Grants paid Every Year to that same Turkish Regime under Pretext of a notoriously Controversial and UnPopular Ankara's EU bid, which has become Europeans' Nightmare ? Or, on the Contrary, will, at last, Europe Wake Up, and Start really Defending its alleged Human Rights' Values ?


(.../...)

 

 

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(NDLR : Includes Hasty Translations from the Original full ECHR Judgment available only in French).

 

 

("DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be puiblished asap).

 

 

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(Opinion)

Paris - Bruxelles - Strasbourg, 2 septembre 2008

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Le spectaculaire succès du Président français, Nicolas Sarkozy, (en tête de l'UE jusqu'a décembre), à obtenir de suite un cessez le feu inattendu entre la Russie et la Georgie, immédiatement après sa visite aux Présidents Medvedev et Saakashvili, au pire moment de tensions et heurts violents meurtieurs, qui avaient tué plusieurs innocents et provoqué le deplacement forcé de réfugiés par milliers, lui donne incontestablement une stature vraiment européenne :

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Apres avoir réussi à debloquer la situation au Liban, (pays avec liens culturels historiques en Europe), lors du Sommet pour la Méditerranée à Paris, juillet dernier, (comme atteste maintenant le prémier accord d'echange d'Ambassadeurs avec la Syrie), Sarkozy activa maintenant une présidence française de l'EU bien entreprenante, à l'autre bout de l'Europe, à Moscou, où, contrairement à Napoléon, il a été reçu avec soulagement par le nouveau président russe, ami de l'experimenté Vladimir Poutine.

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En 2007, il a réussi à faire monter spectaculairement la participation citoyenne aux élections présidentielles en France, obtenant des récords historiques :

N'est-ce pas, justement ce que l' Europe a bésoin, apres 2 abstentions majoritaires sans précedent aux Elections de 1999 et 2004, et 3 "Non" aux réferenda pour ses institutions en 2005 et 2008, pendant une décennie trouble 1999-2008, (marquée surtout par la demande controversée de la Turquie d'entrer dans l'UE eclipsant les avancées de la Monnaie unique et de la liberté de circulation à l'espace Shengen, avec consequences mal-ressenties par la majorité des citoyens, bien au-délà des clivages du passé), qui a failli stopper l'integration européenne ?

Et cela, au moment même ou une globalisation galopante met l'Europe devant un choix crucial entre saut qualitatif en avant, apte à valoriser une occasion historique exceptionelle à se développer résolument, après les vaines destructions, querelles et tensions des guerres "chaudes" ou "froides" qui lui ont couté son rang dans le Monde, ou réculer définitivement en décadence...

Alors, que certains de nos amis à la Commission en Bruxelles, lui laissent au moins un peu d'espace de mouvement, et qu'ils l'aident à tenter d'insufler de l' oxygène frais et vivifiant aux rapports entre les citoyens et une Europe qui a manifestement bésoin et mérite de retrouver d'urgence un nouveau dynamisme populaire, avec un souci de réalisme mais aussi une vision passionante pour son avenir !

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Que les vrais "européens" ré-lisent au moins les fameux discours historiques sur l' Europe d'un Sarkozy bien inspiré à Strasbourg, aussi bien avant qu'après avoir gagné les élections françaises, le 21 février et le 2 juillet 2007, après son 1er sommet des Bruxelles, qui a adopté le nouveau Traité de l'UE en conclusion de la presidence allémande : Bonnes lectures pour cet été 2008, afin de préparer l' avenir qui s'ouvrira (ou fermera) à partir des élections européennes de 2009.

Peut-etre revelera-t-il plus, en ce sens, lors de ses 2 discours-debats prochains avec les eurodeputés, prévus lors des sessions plenières du Parlement Européen a Strasbourg en octobre et décembre 2008... 

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Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner had already unveiled President Sarkozy's intentions, during a particularly "hot" Press Conference in Paris, where he faced some's insistance for "sanctions", with a call for "a common EU stance". In the meanwhile, he was consulting "all these days" most of his EU, Russia and Georgia counterparts, (as Sarkozy's Spokesman, P-J. Henin confirmed to "EuroFora"). This allowed him to obtained the desired result, as EU Chairman, at a short, exceptional EU Summit in Brussels, afterwards.

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But, Sarkozy's No 1 official, Presidential palace's Secretary General Claude Gueant, active at Elysee during the 2008 Ambassadors' Conference, (together with his Top Diplomat, the experienced David Levitte), is well known for having an overall view : A link with 2009 EU Elections at the horizon ?

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