THIRD SECTION

FINAL DECISION

AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

Application no. 36832/97

by Spyros, Antonis, Panayiotis, Maria, Costas, Niki and Paraskevi SOLOMOU

against Turkey

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section) sitting on 18 May 1999 as a Chamber composed of

Sir Nicolas Bratza, President,

Mr J.-P. Costa,

Mrs F. Tulkens,

Mr W. Fuhrmann,

Mr K. Jungwiert,

Mr K. Traja, Judges,

Mr F. Gölcüklü, ad hoc Judge,

with Mrs S. Dollé, Section Registrar;

Having regard to Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

Having regard to the application introduced on 13 February 1997 by Spyros, Antonis, Panayiotis, Maria, Costas, Niki and Paraskevi SOLOMOU  against Turkey and registered on 10 July 1997 under file no. 36832/97;

Having regard to the reports provided for in Rule 49 of the Rules of Court;

Having regard to the fact that no observations have been submitted by the respondent Government within the time-limit fixed for this purpose;

Having deliberated;

Decides as follows:

 

THE FACTS

The applicants are Cypriot citizens, born in 1941, 1964, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1974 and 1971 respectively. They all reside in Paralimini, Cyprus. In the proceedings before the Court they are represented by Messrs. M. Triantafyllides and G. Pittadjis, lawyers practising in Nicosia.

The facts of the case, as they have been submitted by the applicants, may be summarised as follows:

The first applicant is the father of Solomos Solomou, a Greek Cypriot who died on 14 August 1996.  The remaining applicants are the first applicant's children and Solomos Solomou's only siblings.  Solomos Solomou was not married and did not have any children.

On 14 August 1996 Solomos Solomou tried to climb up a pole where a Turkish flag was flying in Derinia in Cyprus.  His aim was to bring the Turkish flag down in order to protest against the presence of Turkish troops in Cyprus.  While he was still on the lower part of the pole and had not even touched the flag, he was shot repeatedly by Turkish soldiers who were within a short distance.  He died instantly.

COMPLAINTS

The applicants complain under Articles 1, 2, 3, 8, 10 and 14 of Solomos Solomou's death.

PROCEDURE

The application was introduced on 13 February 1997 and registered on 10 July 1997.

On 20 October 1997, the Commission decided to communicate the application to the respondent Government.

On 7 February 1998, 8 April 1998 and 18 May 1998 the respondent Government applied for extensions of the time-limit fixed for the submission of their observations on the admissibility and merits of the application.  All three requests were granted.

On 1 November 1998, by operation of Article 5 § 2 of Protocol No. 11 to the Convention, the case fell to be examined by the Court in accordance with the provisions of that Protocol.

On 30 November 1998 the respondent Government asked for a supplementary time-limit for the submission of their observations on the admissibility and merits of the application.  The President of the Third Section decided not to grant this request which had been submitted after the expiry of the time-limit fixed for the submission of the Government’s observations.

 

THE LAW

The applicants complain under Articles 1, 2, 3, 8, 10 and 14 of Solomos Solomou's death.

Article 1 of the Convention creates a general obligation upon High Contracting Parties to respect human rights.  Article 2 guarantees the right to life. Article 3 prohibits torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 8 ensures respect for private and family life, the home and correspondence. Article 10 protects freedom of expression and Article 14 prohibits discrimination in the securement of Convention rights and freedoms.

The Court notes that the respondent Government have not provided any observations on the admissibility of the case, although they have been given ample opportunity to do so.  It must, therefore, be assumed that they do not contest the admissibility of the application. 

The Court considers that the application raises serious questions of fact and law which are of such complexity that their determination should depend on an examination on the merits.  It cannot, therefore, be considered manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention.

No other ground for declaring the application inadmissible has been established.

For these reasons, the Court, unanimously, / by a majority,

DECLARES THE APPLICATION ADMISSIBLE, without prejudging the merits of the case.

S Dollé N. Bratza

Registrar President

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