|ECtHR Delivers Judgement on KHRP Village Destruction Case|
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against Turkey in the case of Aksakal v. Turkey , finding the state did not provide effective remedy for violations of human rights, in this village destruction case.
The case concerns the destruction the dwellings and farmland of Görbeyli, a village in south-east Turkey by security forces in June 1995. The applicant Mr Halis Aksakal brought a complaint to the Court with the help of KHRP on 3 November 1995, seeking redress under several articles of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), most notably articles 3 (freedom from torture and ill treatment), 8 (right to respect of family life and home) and 13 (right to an effective domestic remedy to ECHR violations).
The Court rightly ruled ‘that there were serious defects in the investigation conducted by the authorities' following complaints by Mr Aksakal subsequent to the events of June 1995. It therefore held that there had been a violation of Article 13 of the ECHR.
Disappointingly, however, the Court held that there had been no violation of Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention, ruling that the applicant's evidence did not sufficiently prove the Turkish State 's responsibility for the destruction of his village.
This judgement was passed despite acknowledgement by the court that it has in the past ‘found in numerous similar cases that security forces deliberately destroyed the homes and property of certain applicants', citing several KHRP cases as examples. This case history points to a systematic campaign of village destruction in the 80s and 90s by the Turkish State in its Kurdish regions.
In reaction to the judgement KHRP Executive Director Kerim Yildiz stated “KHRP is very pleased that the Court has found a violation of article 13. However it is disappointing that despite an established case history at the ECtHR of state involvement in village destruction, the Court chose to place the greater burden of evidence on the victim”.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Kurdish Human Rights Project
Kurdish Human Rights Project is an independent, non-political human rights organisation dedicated to the promotion and protection of the human rights of all people in the Kurdish regions. It is a registered charity, founded and based in London
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