Ergi v Turkey: ECHR 28 Jul 1998

A village girl was shot dead when she went out onto the veranda of her home after security forces had been engaged in an ambush of PKK members close to the village where she lived. Nobody asked her family about the circumstances of the shooting, and the local gendarmes conducted no interviews with villagers or with the members of a commando unit which had also been involved in the incident. There had been no communication with the family since the date of the autopsy. There was a dispute as to whether the shot could have been fired by the security forces.
Held: The court had to consider whether the security forces’ operation had been planned and conducted in such a way as to avoid or minimise to the greatest extent possible any risk to the lives of the villagers from the firepower of PKK members caught in the ambush. It could reasonably be inferred that insufficient precautions had been taken to protect the lives of the civilian population. Neither the prevalence of violent armed clashes nor the high incidence of fatalities could displace the obligation under Article 2 to ensure that an effective, independent investigation was conducted into deaths arising out of clashes involving the security forces, the more so where the circumstances were in many respects unclear.
23818/94, [1998] ECHR 59, (1998) 32 EHRR 388
Worldlii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 2
Human Rights
Cited by:
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Updated: 22 August 2021; Ref: scu.165631