European court fines Turkey in the case of boy slain by police
On Nov. 26, 2004, Reşat Kaymaz filed a complaint against the police officers concerned, accusing them of deliberately killing the victims.The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) yesterday fined Turkey a total of 143,000 euros in a case regarding the 2004 killings of Ahmet and Uğur Kaymaz.
Ahmet Kaymaz and his 12-year-old son, Uğur, were shot dead by the police while walking along a street in the southeastern province of Mardin’s Kızıltepe district Nov. 21, 2004.
The ECHR ruled Turkey had breached “the right to life,” the “prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment” and “prohibition of discrimination” following the applications of Emine, Makbule and Reşat Kaymaz, wife, mother and brother of Ahmet Kaymaz, respectively. They were accusing the police of deliberately killing their relatives and criticized the Turkish authorities for failing to conduct an effective investigation into the deaths.
The ECHR ruling included just satisfaction, pecuniary damage, non-pecuniary damage and court-related expenses, which totaled 143,000 euros.
The case concerned the death of the father and son in the context of an anti-terrorist operation. “Following an anonymous denunciation to the effect that numerous armed and suspicious individuals had gone to a certain address, the home of A. Kaymaz, was placed under surveillance. On Nov. 21, 2004, A. Kaymaz and his son were shot near their home,” the ruling said.
On Nov. 26, 2004, Reşat Kaymaz filed a complaint against the police officers concerned, accusing them of deliberately killing the victims. In December 2004, an indictment was issued against four police officers for homicide resulting from the use of lethal force in circumstances that went beyond the context of self-defense. In a judgment from 2007, they were acquitted by the court and the applicants appealed on points of law. They alleged in particular that the officers’ statements had been incoherent, their weapons had not been seized and no reconstitution of the scene had been carried out. Their appeal was dismissed in 2009. In the meantime, an administrative investigation was also opened.
The investigators found it necessary, however, to wait for the outcome of the criminal proceedings. No information has been transmitted to the court as to the subsequent conduct of the investigation.
The case caused great outrage, which led to the young boy becoming a symbol of the abuse of Turkish security forces in the southeast. It has become known as the “13 bullets trial,” as the 12-year-old was shot a total of 13 times by the police.
In a separate ruling, the ECHR fined Turkey 11,500 euros in a case regarding Alican Demir.
Demir, 27, said in his complaint he had been kept in custody after the date from which he had been entitled by law to be released on probation, because the Turkish courts had not yet ruled on another part of the proceedings.
Relying on the article on the right to liberty and security, Demir argued he should have been released on probation and complained about the length of his detention.
The court decided to examine the case also under the right to have lawfulness of detention decided hastily by a court.