Rights court rules against Turkey, Poland, France

14th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

STRASBOURG, 13 Sept (AFP) - The European Court of Human Rights condemned Turkey on Tuesday over the killing of two men by security forces in 1996 during an operation against suspected members of the separatist rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

STRASBOURG, 13 Sept (AFP) - The European Court of Human Rights condemned Turkey on Tuesday over the killing of two men by security forces in 1996 during an operation against suspected members of the separatist rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The court ruled that Turkey had violated article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the right to life and also criticised the "inadequate inquiry" by the Turkish authorities into the killings of Omer Bayram and Ridvan Altun in the southern Adana region.

It awarded EUR 31,000 in damages to Hamiyet Kaplan, the partner of Bayram and 1,200 euros to Fatma Kaya, the wife of Altun, as well as EUR 20,000 to the legal beneficiaries of each man.

In a separate case, Turkey was condemned by the Strasbourg-based court for violation of the right to freedom of expression after a member of the Popular Democratic party was sentenced to one year's jail and fined after an address to his party's congress in 1997.

The court found that his address could not be qualified as a 'speech of hate' and his conviction by the State Security Court under an anti-terrorism law was "disproportionate" and "not necessary in a democratic society".

It ordered damages of EUR 6,000 be paid to Tahir Han.

But in a second freedom of expression case, Turkey was cleared by the court over the two year prison sentence, later reduced to a small fine, given to an editor over insults to 'God, Religion, the Prophet and the sacred book' in a provocative publication entitled 'Yasak Tumceler' (the banned sentences).

The court ruled that the conviction "aimed to provide a protection against offensive attacks concerning the questions considered as sacred by Muslims".

Poland was condemned over a child custody case for "lack of diligence" and "ignorance of the law in respect to family life" after a Polish woman took her three children from her Norwegian husband, who had legal custody, in 1999.

The court ruled that the legal delays were "largely due to the Polish authorities" which under article six of the convention are required to react promptly.

The man, who got one of his children back to Norway in July 2002 and the other two in April 2003, was awarded EUR 10,000 in damages and EUR 12,000 in expenses.

France was also condemned by the court for excessive temporary detention of a man, who was sentenced on appeal to 20 years, down from 30 years, for participating in a murder.

Patrick Gosselin was held for three years, six months and 16 days, after his arrest in March 1997,  in violation of article five of the convention which states that defendants should be tried within a reasonable period or released.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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