Sakik and Others v. Turkey
European Court of Human Rights
Case No. 87/1996/67/897-902, 58 Eur. Ct. H.R. (1997)
In March 1994, Sirri Sakik, Ahmet Turk, Mahmut Alinak, Leyla Zana, Mehmet Hatip Dicle, and Orhan Dogan (collectively, the applicants) (plaintiffs) were arrested by the Republic of Turkey (the state) (defendant) for alleged terrorist offenses in Ankara. The applicants were former members of the Turkish National Assembly, but their parliamentary immunity was lifted on March 4. The applicants were held in police custody for between 12 and 14 days on the basis that further investigation was needed. Pending trial, the National Security Court ordered the applicants’ detention given the character and nature of the offenses alleged and the evidence obtained, and the court would not allow the applicants to challenge the lawfulness of their detention. On appeal, the order was upheld. On December 8, the National Security Court sentenced Sakik and Alinak to 42 months’ imprisonment for separatist propaganda and sentenced Turk, Zana, Dicle, and Dogan to 15 years’ imprisonment for membership in an armed gang. The applicants filed applications with the European Commission of Human Rights against the state for violations of Articles 1, 3, 4, and 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (the European Convention). The applicants argued that the Notice of Derogation issued in 1990, which excluded Ankara from the provinces listed in a state of emergency, and the subsequent amendments did not apply. The state argued that the exclusion of Ankara did not bar the Notice of Derogation’s applicability. The European Commission found that the Notice of Derogation was not applicable and referred the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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