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ECHR Convicts Turkey after 10 years

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ECHR Convicts Turkey after 10 years

The ECHR has ruled on the application of trade union representatives complaining about the security forces’ intervention on May 1, 2007 during a demonstration on Taksim Square in İstanbul. Turkey has been convicted of violating the right to freedom of assembly and association. The court convicted Turkey of violating the right to freedom of assembly and association under Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and sentenced Turkey to compensate each applicant in respect of non-pecuniary damage in amount of 7,500 Euros.

Ruling on a previous case, the court had convicted Turkey on the same grounds with regards to the police violence on May 1, 2008.

In the court decision, the course of events are described as follows:
“On 19 April 2007 the DİSK, KESK, TTB and TMMOB informed the governor’s office on their intention to hold a demonstration on 1 May 2007 on Taksim Square (a symbolic location on account of the events of 1 May 1977, during which 34 people died).

“On 1 May 2007 the trade unionists, including the applicants, gathered with a view to proceeding towards Taksim Square. The police ordered them to end their meeting and disperse, but the demonstrators refused to comply. The security forces then began to disperse the group but the demonstrators resisted and a confrontation developed. The police used tear gas and water hoses. Over the course of the day 234 people, including three of the applicants, were placed in police custody and detained overnight.”

“Relying in particular on Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association), the applicants complained about the security forces’ intervention.”

“Ruling on the application against the police violence, the court convicted Turkey of violating the right to freedom of assembly and association under Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and sentenced Turkey to compensate each applicant, namely Süleyman Çelebi (then President of DİSK), Musa Çam (then General Secretary of DİSK, now a member of parliament), Adnan Serdaroğlu, Kamer Aktaş, Celal Ovat, Ali Rıza Küçükosman, Gençay Gürsoy, Arzu Çerkezoğlu and the “DISK” in respect of non-pecuniary damages in amount of 7,500 Euros.”

Mr. Aktaş and Mr. Ovat who were trade union leaders, have passed away.

Please see:
https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/app/conversion/pdf/?library=ECHR&id=003-5947744-7599331&filename=Judgments%20of%2012.12.17.pdf

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