Turkey: Teen torture victim awarded €45,000 after human rights victory

A Turkish teenager, beaten on the soles of his feet during a police interrogation, has been awarded €45,000, after a successful complaint to human rights judges.

Ateşoğlu v. Turkey (application no. 53645/10)

The applicant, Musa Ateşoğlu, is a Turkish national who was born in 1985 and lives in Kars (Turkey).

On 27 April 2002, Ateşoğlu, who was 17 years old at the time, was arrested by police officers in Kars on suspicion of robbery and taken to the local police station. He alleges that, during his ensuing interrogation, the police beat him and subjected him to falaka (beating on the soles of his feet).

He was questioned a few days later by the public prosecutor, who noted his complaint of ill-treatment and then released him.

In May 2002, the prosecuting authorities initiated criminal proceedings against four police officers accusing them of ill-treatment and ultimately, in June 2010, the Kars Assize Court found the officers guilty of torture with the aim of extracting a confession.

Each officer was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and banned from public service for six months.

The judgment was, however, subsequently suspended in accordance with Article 231 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, thus cancelling the judgment with all its legal consequences, including the sentence, provided that the officers abided by the suspension order.

Relying in particular on Article 3 (prohibition of torture and of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, Ateşoğlu alleged that he had been subjected to illtreatment while in police custody and complained about the excessive length of the ensuing criminal proceedings against the police officers as well as the suspension of the resulting judgment against them.

Violation of Article 3 (torture)
Violation of Article 3 (investigation)
Just satisfaction: 45,000 euros (EUR) (non-pecuniary damage)

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