Enforced Disappearance Legal Database

Çicek v. Turkey

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Deprivation of Liberty | Evidence | Judicial Protection | Systemic Practice | Burden of Proof

The Court found that the unacknowledged detentions could be presumed to be life-threatening given the general context in south-east Turkey in 1994, the lack of accountability of members of the security forces during this time, and the fact that six and a half years had lapsed since the victims were last seen alive. The Court rejected the applicant's argument that there was a violation of Article 3 vis-à-vis her sons and grandson because the very fact of a disappearance in the context in south-east Turkey at the time must be deemed to have exposed the victims to psychological torture; there was eye-witness evidence of ill-treatment; and, there existed high incidences of torture of detainees at the time of the events in south-east Turkey. Instead the Court found that the applicant had to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that her sons had been subjected to ill-treatment which met the minimum level of severity of Article 3 and that the applicant's concerns regarding the unacknowledged nature of the detention could be considered an aggravating aspect of the violations under Article 5.

Judgment Date

February 27, 2001

Country

Turkey

Judicial Body

European Court of Human Rights

Articles violated

Article 2 (procedural) [ECHR], Article 2 (substantive) [ECHR], Article 3 [ECHR], Article 5 [ECHR], Article 13 [ECHR]

Articles not violated / not dealt with

Article 3 [ECHR], Article 14 [ECHR], Article 18 [ECHR]

Facts of the Case

The Court found that the applicant's sons, Mr. Tahsin and Mr. Ali İhsan Çiçek, were abducted on 10 May 1994 by soldiers who raided their village and gathered the villagers at the local mosque. After some time, the soldiers released the women but kept the men behind. Eye-witness testimony showed that Tahsin and Ali were later taken into custody and ill-treated. The applicant also alleged though the Court did not find that, on 27 May 1994, Mr. Çayan Çiçek, the applicant's grandson, was taken away by security forces from the garden of their family home. Çayan, who was sixteen years old at the time of the events, is visually impaired.

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