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JUDGMENT IN THE CASE OF EKINCI v. TURKEY
In a judgment transfered at Strasbourg on 18 July 2000 in the case of Ekinci v. Turkey, the European Court of Human Rights held that there had been no violation of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
1. Principal facts
The applicant, Seho Ekinci, a Turkish national, was born in 1962 and lives at Martigny (Switzerland). The applicant’s brother, Nuri Ekinci, a branch committee member of a pro-Kurdish political party, the HEP (Party of the Work of the People), was killed in Sason on 16 February 1994.
After the shooting, the police came to the area and investigation had started. An autopsy was performed in the public prosecutor’s presence by two general practitioners. The deceased’s wife and uncle were questioned by the Sason Public Prosecutor. They explained the event, and told that they had not been there, therefore they could not tell any suspect or suspects.
On 26 February 1998 the Sason Public Prosecutor received a letter purporting to reveal, among other things, that three members of a clan who worked as village guards had killed Nuri Ekinci. After receiving the letter, the Sason Public Prosecutor ordered the ballistic report questioned witnesses. The latter made statements before the public prosecutor in which they said that they were on a mission in the mountains on the day of the killing, but they gave the names of seven village guards as witnesses. The public prosecutor took statements from those village guards and a further statement from the deceased’s uncle, Seho Ekinci. The village guards said that they had been in the mountains on the day Mr Ekinci was killed and Seho Ekinci repeated that he did not know who the killers were and that he had never heard of the claimed killers before.
2. Procedure and composition of the Court
The application was lodged with the European Commission of Human Rights on 3 October 1994 and declared admissible on 27 October 1997. It was referred to the Court on 1 November 1999.
3. Summary of the judgment
The applicant claimed that his brother, Nuri Ekinci, had been killed by the security forces or with their conspire because of his pro-Kurdish activities.
Decision of the Court
The Court held that the applicant was not required to have had recourse to the civil and administrative remedies proposed by the Government and that that preliminary objection was unfounded.
The Court considered that there is no proof that Nuri Ekinci killed by the security forces or any other suspects.
The Court further considered that the material in the investigation file and the concrete information supplied by the Government showed that although the investigation had not resulted in the identification of the murderers, it had nonetheless been effective and the relevant authorities could not be said to have remained passive.
Having regard to the foregoing findings and having examined the various measures that were taken in the case before it, the Court concluded that the investigations into the circumstances of the death of the applicant’s brother could be considered to have been effective.
The Court held that there had been no violation of Article 2.