ECHR Verdict : Turkey Found Guilty of Torture “On the Street”
BIANET – 12.3.2013 – The European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of violating the torture ban, ordering the Turkish state to pay Yasin Böber, a police violence victim, a sum of 21,500 euros.
The European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of violating the torture ban. It reached a verdict on the case of Yasin Böber, a taxi driver who became subjected to police brutality, ordering the Turkish state to pay him a sum of 21,500 euros including non-pecuniary damages and court expenses.
Police broke Böber’s leg on the street
The court verdict summarized the incident leading to the applicant’s complaint as follows:
“On 28 June 2003 two police officers went to the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul following a complaint by a woman, and imposed an administrative fine on a taxi driver. Subsequently, the policemen and the taxi driver commenced a verbal dispute in the presence of the applicant, who is also a taxi driver. Böber told the police officers that he would pay the fine on his friend’s behalf. The police officers then pushed the applicant to the ground, handcuffed him and began kicking and punching him. He was subsequently put in the police car. One of the police officers closed the car door on the applicant’s leg. Police detained Böber and took him to police station, saying that he insulted the police officers. Later on, he was then taken to the Taksim Hospital. According to a medical report issued following X-rays and an orthopaedic examination of the applicant, his right leg was broken as a result of the incident.”
“Police overstepped its authority”
Following the incident, a criminal case was brought before the 12th Chamber of the Istanbul Criminal Court against Böber for insulting the police officers. Subsequently, on 20 October 2003 Böber lodged a petition with the trial court and requested that the police officers be punished for ill-treating him.
On 31 January 2005 the 12th Chamber of the Istanbul Criminal Court acquitted Böber of the charges against him in respect of one of the officers. As regards the second officer, who had closed the car door on the applicant’s leg, the court found that Böber had insulted him. However, since the officer had overstepped his authority by his actions, the court decided not to convict Böber.
On 23 December 2008 the 1st Chamber of the Istanbul Criminal Court found the police officers guilty, sentencing them to two months and fifteen days’ imprisonment. However, the court suspended the pronouncement of the judgment, saying that the officers had no previous criminal record.
ECHR: Police officers have not even been decommissioned
Turkish state claimed its case by saying that Böber’s allegations were “unproven” and “extreme”. The court reached a verdict on Tuesday. “The violence and oppression that Böber has been subjected to is beyond words,” the verdict said. It also underlined that the prosecution of the accused policemen took more than five years, while they still remained on duty. The court ordered the Turkish state to pay 21,500 euros as damages. (AS/BM)