A decision by Turkish authorities to place a gay prisoner in solitary confinement for eight months, breached human rights laws.
In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of X v. Turkey (application no. 24626/09), which is not final, the European Court of Human Rights held:
unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights,
by six votes to one, that there had been a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the Convention taken together with Article 3.
The case concerned a homosexual prisoner who, after complaining about acts of intimidation and bullying by his fellow inmates, was placed in solitary confinement for over 8 months in total. The Court took the view that these detention conditions had caused him mental and physical suffering, together with a feeling that he had been stripped of his dignity, thus representing “inhuman or degrading treatment” in breach of Article 3 of the Convention.
The Court further found that the main reason for the applicant’s solitary confinement had not been his protection but rather his sexual orientation. It thus concluded that there had been discriminatory treatment in breach of Article 14.
Just satisfaction (Article 41)
The Court held that Turkey was to pay the applicant 18,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 4,000 in respect of costs and expenses.