Euro Court fines Turkey 65,000 euros in domestic violence murder case
STRASBOURGThe European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled Turkey discriminated against and violated the right to life of a Turkish woman who was killed by her husband in 2008 despite the fact that she filed four criminal complaints against him and obtained three protection orders and injunctions from a local court.
Holding Turkey to pay 65,000 euros of non-pecuniary damage in the case opened by victim Fatma Babatlı’s mother, Halime Kılıç, the court found the victim’s “right to life” was violated when Turkish authorities failed to ensure the husband’s compliance with the protection orders of a family court. It also ruled that “prohibition of discrimination” was breached when authorities “turned a blind eye to the repeated acts of violence and death threats against the victim” and thus “created a climate that was conducive to domestic violence.”
Babatlı, a mother of seven, had filed her first criminal complaint against her husband, identified as S.B., in July 2008, saying that she had seven children and was subjected to repeated assaults by her husband. A family court upon hearing the woman’s case issued an initial protection measure ordering S.B.’s removal from the matrimonial home and an injunction against any violent behavior towards his wife. The decision also said that any failure to comply with the court orders would lead to a custodial sentence. In July and October 2008 Babatlı filed a further complaint of domestic violence and the court issued two further injunctions.
“The prosecution committed S.B. for trial in the criminal court, requesting that he be placed in pretrial detention, but the court rejected the request,” said the ECHR’s document on the case, adding that upon this rejection Babatlı demanded urgent assistance, complaining that her husband had abducted two of her children and made death threats, which led to her fourth filing against her husband, before being killed by him.
Upon Babatlı’s death, Kılıç lodged a complaint alleging a breach of duties by authorities and requesting the “identification and prosecution of the officials who, despite her daughter’s complaints, had allegedly failed to carry out an effective investigation, and whose shortcomings had resulted in her daughter’s death.” However, prosecutors decided to discontinue the proceedings.