ECHR rules in the case Ocalan versus Turkey

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The European Court of Human Rights delivered its court judgement Tuesday in the case of Ocalan versus Turkey

The European Court of Human Rights delivered its court judgement Tuesday in the case of Ocalan versus Turkey

STRASBOURG, France - The European Court of Human Rights delivered its court judgement Tuesday in the case of Ocalan versus Turkey, ruling that there had been a violation of Article 3 with a judgement of four votes to three on the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment of the European Convention on Human Rights as to the conditions of Ocalan’s detention up to 17 November 2009. 

The Court also ruled by six votes to one that there had been no violation of Article 3 as regards the conditions of his detention during the period subsequent to 17 November 2009; and it ruled unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 3 as regards his sentence to life imprisonment without any possibility of conditional release; It ruled by four votes to three that there had been no violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life); and unanimously that there had been no violation of Article 7 (no punishment without law).

"This does not mean a retrial. We will appeal," Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. 

Abdullah Ocalan, founding member of the organization known by Turkey, EU and the U.S. as a terrorist organization, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has been imprisoned in Imrali since his capture in Nairobi by Turkish security forces in 1999. 

Ocalan had complained mainly about the irreducible nature of his sentence to life imprisonment, and about the conditions of his detention, in particular his social isolation and the restrictions on his communication with members of his family and his lawyers.

The conflict between Turkey and the PKK has resulted in over 40,000 deaths, including PKK members, the Turkish military, and Kurdish and Turkish civilians.

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