Skip to content

KHRP | Kurdish Human Rights Project

narrow screen resolution wide screen resolution Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color brown color green color red color blue color

Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

You are here: 
Skip to content

Charity Awards

Charity Awards

Gruber Prize


Gruber Justice Prize

On Monday the 2nd December 1996, following an oral admissibility hearing in Strasbourg, the European Commission of Human Rights declared the case of Elci and others v Turkey ( Application No. 23145/93) admissible. The case concerns the detention and torture of 16 lawyers in Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey in November 1993.

The lawyers who were detained are: Tahir Elci, Meral Danis Bestas, Mesut Bestas, Baki Demirahan, M. Arif Altinkalem, Sinasi Tur, Nevzat Kaya, Husniye Olmez, Sebahattin Acar, M Selim Kurbanoglu, Vedet Erten, Niyazi Cem, A Gazanger Abbasioglu, Fuat Demir, Iman Sahin and Arzu Sahin. 14 of the lawyers complained that while in detention they were subjected to torture. The forms of torture inflicted include being stripped naked and blindfolded, beaten, kicked, threatened with execution, deprived of food, deprived of sleep, falaka, subjected to cold high pressure water hosing, subjected to eletric shocks.

The applicants complained that they were detained without justification and for periods of up to 26 days in violation of Article Article 5 of the Convention. The applicants complained under Article 3 ( right to freedom from ill-treatment and torture)and Article 8 and Article 1 of Protocol 1 (the right to privacy and the right to peaceful enjoyment of property).

Many of these lawyers had been active in bringing complaints on behalf of human rights victims to the European Commission of Human rights. It was argued before the Commission that this was the reason for their detention and torture. This raises an issue under Article 25 of the Convention which guarantees the right of individuals to make petitions to the European Commission of Human Rights.

In the case of all of the lawyers the Commission found their application admissible under Articles 5(1), Article 8 Article 1 of Protocol 1 and inadmissible under Article 5(3) on account of failure to complain to the Commission within the 6 month time limit. The Commission found that the complaints under Article 3 were admissible in the case of nine of the applicants but not in the case of the other seven, again because of the application of the 6 month rule. The Commission stated that it would consider further whether the complaints under Article 25 were admissible.

The Commission will now proceed to further investigate this case and will then deliver a report on the facts and on whether Turkey is in breach of the European Convention in the case.

The case of Elci and others v Turkey is one of a series of cases against the State of Turkey raising serious allegation of human rights abuses, which is being assisted by the KHRP.