European Court Rules Turkey Tortured Kurd

(Reuter)–The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday that Turkish gendarmes raped and beat a woman’suspected of links to Kurdish separatists and ordered Ankara to pay her compensation.

The court said Sukran Aydin had been tortured by police in the town of Derik in southeastern Turkey while being held in custody for three days in 1993. She was 16 at the time.

It also found that Aydin–who was never charged with any crime–had not had any recourse to justice in Turkey–in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Turkish government has denied ever detaining her. According to government lawyers–she was described in intelligence reports as a terrorist working for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

"The Court was satisfied that the accumulation of acts of physical and mental violence and especially cruel act of rape to which she was subjected amounted to torture in breach of Article Three of the Convention," it said in a statement.

"In view of the extremely serious violation of the Convention suffered buy the applicant and the enduring psychological harm which she may be considered to have suffered on account of being raped–the Court decided to award her the sum of 25,000 sterling together with a substantial part of the legal costs and expenses claimed."

The costs amounted to a further 37,360 sterling–it said.

The rights court is part of the 40-nation Council of Europe–of which Turkey is a member. The council was set up after World War Two to promote democracy and human rights across Europe.

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