Enforced Disappearance Legal Database

Cyprus v. Turkey

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Deprivation of Liberty | Evidence | Systemic Practice | State/Non-State Agents | Duty to Investigate | Extraterritorial Jurisdiction | Burden of Proof | Admissibility

The Grand Chamber confirmed that a distinction could be made between the procedural obligations in Article 2 (the obligation to undertake an effective investigation) and the substantive obligation for which evidence "beyond reasonable doubt" was required. The Court also found that a violation of Article 5 could be established where, while it was not proven that the victims were in the custody of the state, the state failed to conduct an investigation into the fate of the missing persons when there was an arguable claim that the victims were within its custody at the time of their disappearance.

Judgment Date

May 10, 2001

Country

Turkey

Judicial Body

European Court of Human Rights

Articles violated

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

Articles not violated / not dealt with

Article 2 (substantive) [ECHR], Article 4 [ECHR], Article 5 [ECHR], Article 3 [ECHR], Article 6 [ECHR], Article 8 [ECHR], Article 10 [ECHR], Article 13 [ECHR], Article 14 [ECHR], Article 17 [ECHR]

Facts of the Case

The case concerned the occupation of the Northern part of Cyprus by Turkey and in particular Turkey's operations in the region in the summer of 1974. Cyprus alleged that 1,491 Greek Cypriots were disappeared by Turkey and their fate remained unknown to their relatives approximately 20 years after they were last seen alive in Turkish custody.

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