French woman wins compensation for Gezi arrest in Turkey
Ayşegül Usta ISTANBULA Turkish court has ordered the government to pay compensation to a French woman who was held in detention during last year’s Gezi Park protests.
Police detained Elisa Marianne Couvert in the Socialist Democracy Party (SDP) headquarters in Istanbul’s Taksim neighborhood on June 11, 2013, after she had taken refuge while escaping from tear gas fired by police. Couvert was released by police after four days, but she remained in custody for another 10 days due to a decision to deport her.
Couvert successfully appealed against the deportation as the courts issued stay of execution orders for decisions taken by the Interior Ministry and the Istanbul Governor’s Office. The Sorbonne student, who was an intern at Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD) at the time, then sued the Finance Ministry for 50,000 Turkish Liras for non-pecuniary damages.
The 7th Istanbul Court of Serious Crimes recently ruled that Couvert’s democratic rights to safety, demonstration and free speech were violated with the unrightful detention. The court ordered the Treasury to pay Couvert 500 Turkish Liras plus interest accrued since June 14, 2013.