ECHR fines Turkey 133,000 euros over 2000 prison operation
STRASBOURGThe European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined to Turkey 133,000 euros over severe rights violations during an intervention by security forces in a prison in 2000.
The court ruled that officials violated Articles 2, 3 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which concern the right to life, prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to a fair trial respectively.
The case was submitted by 22 inmates who were injured in the operation and the ECHR also fined Turkey a sum of 4,000 euros for expenses of the applicants.
The applicants alleged that the authorities used excessive force during the operation in Istanbul’s Bayrampaşa Prison.
The case concerned an operation conducted by security forces after a number of prisoners started hunger strikes and a death fasts.
Throughout 2000 prisoners in various Turkish prisons, including Bayrampaşa, began hunger strikes and death fasts in protest against the introduction of “F-type” prisons, which provided smaller living units for prisoners.
On Dec. 18, 2000 the governor of Bayrampaşa Prison submitted a request for an intervention to be staged by the security forces in order to provide treatment and prevent deaths among prisoners.
Following a prosecutor’s approval, security forces intervened in the prison on Dec. 19, 2000. There they were met with resistance from a number of prisoners carrying firearms and flammable products.
Amid violent confrontations 12 prisoners were killed and around 50 were injured, including the applicants.
On April 20, 2010, 39 gendarmes were charged in Turkey over the incident. Their trial in Istanbul has still yet to conclude, the ECHR ruling noted.
On July 16, 2001, a Turkish state prosecutor had also charged 155 members of the prison staff on the grounds that they had allowed firearms to be brought into the prison, as well as 1,460 gendarmes who had evacuated the prisoners at the end of the operation, accusing them of mistreating prisoners during their evacuation.