ECHR fines Turkey over malpractice in rape case trail
STRASBOURGThe European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled in favor of a 32-year-old sexual assault victim who alleged that she was raped in 2002 by her stepfather, who was later acquitted by a Turkish court.
The ECHR ruled that the investigation and trial of the case had numerous malpractices and thus violated the victim’s rights, including the “prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment/lack of an effective investigation” and “right to respect for private and family life.”
In 2002 the victim, identified only by the initials G.U., went to a police station alleging that she had been raped by her stepfather, identified as M.S.
G.U. was examined in hospital on the same day and it was revealed that “her hymen had been torn some time previously but that it was impossible to determine when, and that there was no physical trace of rape.”
In the subsequent trial of the case, during which G.U. said she was raped by M.S., she had to give testify in an open court, as the local court did not reply to a request that the proceedings be held in private.
As result, G.U. applied to the ECHR complaining of lack of an effective procedure, based on Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights “prohibiting inhuman or degrading treatment/lack of an effective investigation.”
Under Article 6 “right to a fair hearing,” the victim also alleged that the criminal proceedings at the local court were unfair, while under Article 8 she alleged that “right to respect for private and family life” had been violated as she was obliged to give evidence in an open court. She also alleged that she was the victim of a crime in which the perpetrator went unpunished.
The ECHR ultimately ruled that the investigation carried out in the case, and particularly the approach taken by the local court, did not satisfy “the requirements inherent in the obligations appertaining to the State with regard to the enactment of criminal-law provisions and their effective application.”
It ordered Turkey to pay the applicant 15,000 euros in non-pecuniary damages and 2,000 euros in respect of costs and expenses.