Dilsiz and Others v. Turkey (71844/01)

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Date 20080520
Article 5(3)
Decision violation

(Five applicants) Violation of Article 5 § 3

Dilsiz and Others v. Turkey (no. 71844/01)

The six applicants, Mehmet Dilsiz, Bedurhan Dilsiz, Halil Zeyrek, Muhsin Gasır, Ali Güven and Ömer Tunç, are Turkish nationals who were born in 1949, 1970, 1978, 1948, 1944 and 1954 respectively and live in Cizre (Turkey).

Between 2000 and 2001 the applicants were arrested and taken into custody for being members of and assisting the illegal PKK organisation (Workers’ Party of Kurdistan) and drug trafficking. Relying on Article 5 (right to liberty and security), they complained of having been arrested several times without any plausible reason and taken into custody for excessively long periods.

The Court reiterated that a period of detention in police custody amounting to four days and six hours without judicial supervision fell outside the strict constraints permitted by Article 5 § 3, even if it was intended to protect the community as a whole from terrorism. Noting that the period spent in police custody by Mehmet Dilsiz, Halil Zeyrek, Muhsin Gasır, Ali Güven and Ömer Tunç had exceeded that time-limit, the Court concluded that there had been a violation of Article 5 § 3. It awarded the five applicants a total amount of EUR 6,000 for non-pecuniary damage and EUR 1,500 for costs and expenses, less the EUR 850 already paid by the Council of Europe in legal aid. The Court declared the remainder of the application inadmissible. (The judgment is available only in French.)