The European Court of Human Rights has found Turkey guilty of human rights violations in two cases Greek Cypriots had brought before the Court. The Court unanimously ruled that Ankara is guilty of violating Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights in respect of the killing of Anastasios Isaak and Solomos Solomou.
The Court also ruled that Turkey is guilty of violating Article 2 in respect of the failure to conduct an effective investigation into the circumstances in which Anastasios Isaak and Solomos Solomou were killed.
Under Article 41 (just satisfaction) of the Convention, the Court awarded 80,000 euro to Anastasios Isaakʼs widow for pecuniary damage. In respect of non-pecuniary damage, the Court awarded 35,000 euro each to Anastasios Isaakʼs widow, his parents, and to Solomos Solomouʼs father, and also 15,000 euro to each of Anastasios Isaakʼs and Solomos Solomouʼs siblings. The applicants in both cases were also awarded 12,000 for costs and expenses.
The two applications were filed to the Court by the families of Tasos Isaak and Solomou Solomou, both of whom were murdered by Turkish or Turkish Cypriots during demonstrations in 1996.
The 25-year-old Tasos Isaak was beaten to death on 11 August 1996 by a Turkish mob, while taking part in an anti-occupation demonstration at Dherynia, on the east of the island. The killing took place in the UN-controlled buffer zone, which separates the northern Turkish occupied north from the southern government controlled part of the country.
Solomos Solomou, then aged 26, was killed on 14 August 1996, after being shot three times by Turkish snipers, while trying to climb a pole in order to remove a Turkish flag from its mast. The killing happened after the funeral of his cousin Tassos Isaak.
The appeals to ECHR against Turkey were based on Articles 2 (right to life), 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and 14 (prohibition of discrimination), whilst in the case of Solomou was also based on Articles 1 (obligation to respect human rights) and 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment).
President of the Republic of Cyprus Dimitris Christofias expressed his contentment at European Court of Human Rights ruling about the violation of human rights in Cyprus by Turkey.
“It is fortunate that the continuous violation of human rights in Cyprus is condemned by the European Court of Human Rights”, President Christofias said here Tuesday.
Invited to comment on the Courtʼs decisions to find Turkey guilty in respect of the killing of Anastasios Isaak and Solomos Solomou in 1996, and guilty of human rights violations in the case of Eleni Foka, President Christofias noted, “These are good news. However, I would like to stress once again that the violation of human rights in Cyprus due to the Turkish occupation remains; thus, we should intensify our struggle and our efforts to put an end to occupation”.
President Christofias pointed out that the efforts to restore human rights of all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, should also be intensified. “I believe that the Turkish occupation violates the human rights of both, Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot”, he added.
Regarding the decision the left –wing and main ruling party to vote against the Treaty of Lisbon, and invited to comment on other political partiesʼ reaction to itʼs decision, President Christofias stressed that he fulfils his pre-election commitments. “What I promised to the people of Cyprus at the pre-election period, I put it in practice”, he said.
“I have met all the European leaders, and I have explained the situation in Cyprus and all accepted it and expressed their satisfaction”, President Christofias added and assured that Cyprus is not facing any problems within the European Union.
President Christofias also pointed out that the elected government of Cyprus is the countryʼs representative to the European Union Cyprus.