Turkey/Council of Europe: Statement to the case of Osman Murat Ülke
(19.03.2009) The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which provides that the Committee supervises the execution of final judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” and “the Court”);
Having regard to the judgment in the case of Ülke transmitted by the Court to the Committee for supervision of its execution once it became final on 24 April 2006;
Recalling that, in its judgment, the Court found that the applicant’s repeated convictions and imprisonment for having refused to perform compulsory military service on account of his beliefs as a pacifist and conscientious objector amounted to degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention;
Emphasising that, according to the Court, the numerous prosecutions already brought against the applicant and the possibility that he is liable to prosecution for the rest of his life amounted almost to “civil death” which was incompatible with the punishment regime of a democratic society within the meaning of Article 3;
Recalling that the Court further found that the existing legislative framework was insufficient, as there was no specific provision in Turkish law governing the sanctions for those who refused to perform military service on conscientious or religious grounds and that the only relevant applicable rules appeared to be the provisions of the Military Criminal Code, which made any refusal to obey the orders of a superior an offence;
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Noting with grave concern that, despite the Court’s judgment, the applicant was summonsed on 09 July 2007 to present himself in order to serve his outstanding sentence resulting from a previous conviction and that his request for a stay of execution of his sentence was rejected by the Eskişehir Military Court on 27 July 2007;
Recalling the Committee’s first interim resolution adopted at the 1007th meeting (October 2007) in which it urged “the Turkish authorities to take without further delay all necessary measures to put an end to the violation of the applicant’s rights under the Convention and to adopt rapidly the legislative reform necessary to prevent similar violations of the Convention”;
Strongly regretting that, despite the Committee’s interim resolution, no concrete steps have been taken by the Turkish authorities to bring to a close the continuing effects of the violation;
Noting with concern that, in the absence of any measures taken by the Turkish authorities, the applicant’s situation remains unchanged in that he is at present in hiding and is wanted by the security forces for execution of his sentence;
FIRMLY RECALLS the obligation of every state, under Article 46, paragraph 1, of the Convention, to abide by the judgments of the Court, including through the adoption of individual measures putting an end to the violations found and removing as far as possible their effects for the applicant, as well as general measures to prevent similar violations;
STRONGLY URGES the Turkish authorities to take without further delay all necessary measures to put an end to the violation of the applicant’s rights under the Convention and to make the legislative changes necessary to prevent similar violations of the Convention;
DECIDES to continue examining the implementation of the present judgment at each human rights meeting until the necessary urgent measures are adopted.
Committee of Ministers of Council of Europe : Interim Resolution CM/ResDH(2009)45. Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 19 March 2009 at the 1051st meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies. Regarding Application No. 39437/98, judgment of 24 January 2006, final on 24 April 2006 – Interim Resolution CM/ResDH(2007)109. Source: https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1423229&Site=CM