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Turkey is 2nd on list of human rights violators

2 January 2013

Turkey has come second in a list of countries which have violated human rights in 2012 compiled by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Currently, there are around 18,000 cases filed against Turkey. Russia made its name at the top of the list with 30,000 cases while Italy came 3rd and the UK was listed as 10th.

The European Court of Human Rights will publish its final figures at the end of January.

The total number of cases filed against Turkey in 2011 was 15,950. The ECHR announced its judgements for 174 cases against Turkey in 2011 and ruled against Turkey in 159 of them. Turkey was the country with the highest number of violations of the ECHR in 2011 – the third year in a row.

The ECHR was drafted in 1950 and came into force in 1953. Members are expected to ratify the convention. Turkey, which became a member state of the Council of Europe in 1949, has still not ratified some of the protocols of the convention despite having signed them.

Turkey is likely to adopt a law that will establish a commission to review on going cases against Turkey at the ECHR and decide whether to offer compensation to the plaintiffs in an attempt to decrease the number of cases before the court.

In November, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin explained the specifics of the proposal. He said that as of December 2011, the court had fined Turkey 2,404 times, finding it guilty of having violated a number of provisions of the ECHR since 1959, the year the country acknowledged the right of individual applicants to file cases with the European court. This makes Turkey the most frequently fined country by the European court, followed by Italy and Russia, the minister said. He said 493 of the rulings against Turkey were made due to lengthy trial periods, adding that exceeding a reasonable period in the judicial process is the main reason behind the frequency of the rulings against Turkey.

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