European court fines Turkey over torture claims
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Hürriyet PhotoThe European Court of Human Rights has found Turkey guilty of violating Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in the case of Ayhan Mimtaş, who applied to the Court over claims that he was tortured during his transfer to Kandıra high-security prison.
The court fined Turkey over 40,000 euros for non-pecuniary damage, as well as costs and expenses for violating Article 3 through the ill-treatment of Mimtaş and the legal proceedings that followed the incident.
Mimtaş filed a complaint with the public prosecutor following the transfer, but was turned down by the Kocaeli Governor, who believed Mimtaş’s injuries had been sustained during violent riots in the prison that were frequently occurring at the time.
Several months later, however, the prosecutor went ahead with the case, trying five Kandıra prison guards and acquitting them after a two-year trial.
Turkey violated Article 3 both in Mimtaş’s treatment and in the investigative steps that followed, the Court said. Article 3 states that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Mimtaş’s transfer had taken place as part of the severe security operation called “Back to Life,” which was met with violent clashes in over 20 prisons nationwide. Some 32 people, 30 of them inmates, were killed during the clashes.