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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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Euro Court fines Turkey



The European Court of Human Rights has delivered judgment in two more KHRP cases, finding the Turkish state to be guilty of murder and torture.

In only a matter of months, the slow moving organs of the European Court have passed a series of ground breaking judgments in cases taken by KHRP on behalf of victims of state oppression, torture, 'disappearance' and state-sponsored murder in south east Turkey.

The violation of Article 2 (right to life) in the case of Salman v Turkey finds the Turkish state guilty of not only failing to conduct a proper investigation, but of also failing to provide a satisfactory and convincing explanation of his death whilst in custody. Agit Salman was taken into custody in apparently good health on 28 April 1992. Twenty four hours later he was taken to Adana State Hospital and declared dead on arrival. His body was covered by obvious signs of torture, including bruising, swelling and a broken sternum. The Court found that the Government's claims that Agit Salman had died from a heart attack were not in keeping with the evidence taken from the autopsy. The Court also found a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture) and of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy). It awarded Behiye Salman just under £100,000 in damages and legal expenses.

In the case of Ilhan, the Court awarded the applicant just under £125,000 in legal costs and damages as a result of the violation of article 3 (prohibition of torture) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy). The applicant's brother was beaten by soldiers, and remains physically handicapped as a result of the attack.

These cases represent the twentieth and twenty-first judgment in KHRP cases.

Kerim Yildiz, Executive Director of KHRP, said "The applicants are delighted to see that justice has finally been served. We hope that the state of Turkey will take on board the strong message contained within these judgments, and begin to implement the necessary reforms needed to improve Turkey's human rights record. We also call on Turkey to immediately initiate investigations against the perpetrators of the crimes in these cases."


1. The Kurdish Human Rights Project works for the promotion and protection of human rights within the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the former Soviet Union.

2. The case of Ilhan v Turkey (torture) concerns ill treatment suffered by the applicant's brother, Abdullatif Ilhan, in Aytepe village, Mardin province, south east Turkey in December 1992. Soldiers came to the village and beat up Abdullatif Ilhan, kicking him and hitting him on the side of his head with a rifle butt. He lost consciousness and was put into a stream to revive him. The temperature was freezing and he subsequently had difficulty walking. After two days, Mr Ilhan was taken to hospital. In February 1993 Abdullhatif Ilhan was prosecuted for resisting arrest. The people responsible for injuring him were not prosecuted. As a result of his injuries, Abdullhatif Ilhan still suffers from physical infirmity. The applicant therefore complained on his brother's behalf to the European Commission in June 1993. The European Commission prepared its report on the case in April 1999 and the case was referred to the Court in September 1999. The Court, in a judgment handed down on 27 June, 2000, found Turkey to be in violation of Article 3 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Under Article 41 (just satisfaction), the Court awarded £80,600 in pecuniary damages and £25,000 in non-pecuniary damages. It also awarded £17,000 for legal costs and expenses.

3. The case of Behiye Salman v Turkey (extra-judicial killing and torture) was commenced in 1993 in respect of the death of the applicant's husband in Adana, south east Turkey, in April 1992. Agit Salman was arrested in April 1992 and taken to Adana Security Directorate. 24 hours later he was dead. The applicant claimed that this was as a result of torture inflicted on him while in detention. Mrs Salman's case, invoking Articles 2, 3, 6, 13 and 18 of the European Convention, was declared admissible in February 1995. The Court, in a judgment handed down on 27 June, 2000, found Turkey to be in violation of Article 2, 3, and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Under Article 41 (just satisfaction), the Court awarded £39,320.64 in pecuniary damages, £35,000 in non-pecuniary damages and £21,544.58 for legal costs and expenses.

4. The European Court of Human Rights was set up in Strasbourg in 1959 to deal with alleged violations of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. On 1 November 1998 a full-time Court was established, replacing the original two-tier system of a part-time Commission and Court.