THIRD SECTION

PARTIAL DECISION

AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

Application no. 33412/02 
by Ekrem ZEREY 
against Turkey

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 1 June 2006 as a Chamber composed of:

Mr B.M. Zupančič, President
 Mr J. Hedigan
 Mr R. Türmen
 Mr C. Bîrsan
 Mr V. Zagrebelsky
 Mrs A. Gyulumyan, 
 Mr David Thór Björgvinsson, judges
and Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 29 July 2002,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant, Mr Ekrem Zerey, is a Turkish national who was born in 1965. He is currently in prison. He is represented before the Court by Mr M. Özbekli, a lawyer practising in Diyarbakır.

A.  The circumstances of the case

The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.

On 22 July 2002 the applicant was arrested by police officers from the anti-terrorism branch of the Diyarbakır Security Directorate and was taken into custody on suspicion of membership of the Hezbollah.

On 26 July 2002 he was brought before the investigating judge at the Mardin Magistrates’ Court who ordered the applicant’s detention on remand. The applicant was placed in Mardin Prison.

On the same day, at the request of the Governor of the State of Emergency Region and the public prosecutor, pursuant to Article 3 (c) of Law-Decree no. 430, which allowed them to take further measures within the framework of the state of emergency, a single judge at the State Security Court authorised the applicant’s transfer from prison to the anti-terrorism branch of the Diyarbakır Security Directorate for further interrogation for a duration not exceeding ten days.

On 2 August 2002 the police took a statement from the applicant in relation to his activities for the Hezbollah.

On 5 August 2002, at the request of the governor and the public prosecutor, the single judge at the Diyarbakır State Security Court extended the custody period by ten days, under the terms of Article 3 (c) of Law-Decree no. 430.

On 7 August 2002 the applicant’s lawyer objected to this decision. His objection was accepted by a full Diyarbakır State Security Court. The applicant was put back in prison on 9 August 2002.

B.  Relevant domestic law and practice

At the material time, two main decrees concerning the area of South-East Turkey were adopted pursuant to the Law on the State of Emergency (Law no. 2935 of 25 October 1983). Law-Decree no. 285 (10 July 1987) instituted a governorship for the state of emergency in certain areas of the South-East. Under the provisions of Article 4 (b) and (d) of this Decree, the entire police force and gendarmerie were at the disposal of the governor of the area.

Law-Decree no. 430 (16 December 1990) reinforced the powers of the governor. It provided in Article 3 (c) that, following a proposal from the governor or a request from the public prosecutor, and by the decision of a judge, persons remanded in custody could be removed from prison for interrogation for a duration not exceeding ten days. The persons concerned could request a medical examination when leaving the prison and, again, on their return.

Article 8 of Law-Decree no. 430 of 16 December 1990 provides as follows:

“No criminal, financial or legal responsibility may be claimed against the State of Emergency Regional Governor or a Provincial Governor within a state of emergency region in respect of their decisions or acts connected with the exercise of the powers entrusted to them by this decree, and no application shall be made to any judicial authority to this end. This is without prejudice to the rights of individuals to claim an indemnity from the State for damage suffered by them without justification.”

Since 30 November 2002 the state of emergency which was in force in the last two provinces in South-East of Turkey (Diyarbakır and Şırnak) was lifted. Consequently, Law-Decree no. 430 ceased to apply as of that date.

COMPLAINTS

The applicant complains under Article 3 of the Convention that he was subjected to ill-treatment in police custody.

Invoking Article 5 §§ 3, 4 and 5 of the Convention, he alleges that, following his detention on remand, he was returned to the security directorate for interrogation pursuant to the Law-Decree no. 430, that he did not have an effective remedy to challenge the lawfulness and length of his detention as it was bound to be dismissed pursuant to the same Decree. He finally complains that he did not have a right to compensation for a breach of this Article.

THE LAW

1.  The applicant complains under Article 5 §§ 3, 4 and 5 of the Convention of the lawfulness and length of his detention at the security directorate, the absence of an effective remedy whereby he could have challenged his detention, and the lack of a right to compensation in that respect.

The Court considers that it cannot, on the basis of the case file, determine the admissibility of these complaints and that it is therefore necessary, in accordance with Rule 54 § 2 (b) of the Rules of Court, to give notice of these complaints to the respondent Government.

2.  The applicant alleges under Article 3 of the Convention that he was subjected to ill-treatment in police custody.

The Court observes that these allegations are stated in a very general manner. It notes that the applicant did not describe the conditions in which he was allegedly ill-treated or provide any proof, such as medical reports, to this effect.

The Court finds, therefore, that there is no evidence before it to suggest that the applicant was subjected to ill-treatment contrary to Article 3 of the Convention.

It follows that this part of the application is unsubstantiated and must be rejected as being manifestly-ill founded, pursuant to Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to adjourn the examination of the applicant’s complaints concerning the legality and length of his detention in police custody, the absence of an effective remedy whereby he could have challenged that detention, and his inability to obtain compensation;

Declares the remainder of the application inadmissible.

Vincent Berger Boštjan M. Zupančič 
 Registrar President

ZEREY v. TURKEY DECISION


ZEREY v. TURKEY DECISION