Turkey fined by European court over convict’s complaint

Turkey fined by European court over convict’s complaint

Turkey fined by European court over convict’s complaint

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) fined Turkey 8,000 euros, finding it guilty in the case of a life-sentenced convict who had no prospects of conditional release.

Emin Gurban, 39, serving a sentence of life imprisonment in Kocaeli F-Type Prison, has complained to the ECHR on the grounds that his irreducible life sentence without any prospects of review and release amounted to violation of the European Convention of Human Rights’ Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment). He also complained of the allegedly excessive length of the criminal proceedings against him and maintained that he had not had an effective remedy in respect of that complaint, relying on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial within a reasonable time) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy). 

The court ruled that the finding of a violation constituted sufficient just satisfaction for the non-pecuniary damage sustained by the applicant in relation to his complaints under Article 3; it further awarded him 3,000 euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage sustained in relation to his other complaints and 5,000 euros due to costs and expenses.

Arrested and placed in pre-trial detention in October 1996, Gurban was charged with membership of an illegal organization and taking part in two counts of murder for the organization.

In June 2001, the now-abolished Istanbul State Security Court convicted him and sentenced him to death under the Criminal Code in force at the time. The judgment was subsequently quashed on procedural grounds and the case was remitted. In September 2002, the Istanbul State Security Court again convicted Gurban of the same offences but due to recent amendments to the relevant provision, sentenced him to life imprisonment instead. The judgment was upheld on appeal in June 2003.