The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has found the Turkish government guilty of failing to carry out an effective investigation in the case of a transgender woman who was harassed by a police officer.
In the judgment, issued on Nov. 8, in the case of Esma Halat, the ECtHR ruled “by five votes to two, that there had been a violation of the procedural aspect of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights [ECHR]. The case concerned allegations of ill-treatment in police custody.” Article 3, which refers to the prohibition of torture, states, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Halat had complained about a police officer who took her to the Beşiktaş Police Station in İstanbul by force when she was on her way home on Oct. 21, 1999. Halat, who was exposed to physical and psychological harassment by Barış Gözen, deputy police chief of the Beşiktaş police, applied to the ECtHR after domestic remedies had been exhausted. Gözen was tried in İstanbul at the time and was found not guilty. The ECtHR ruled that Turkey should pay Halat 17,000 euros in compensation.