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10 Hum. Rts. Case Dig. 42 (1999)
Ocalan v. Turkey

handle is hein.journals/hurcd10 and id is 44 raw text is: 10 HRCD [19991


Fair trial - interim measures                                        Article 6
Rule 39 (see Appendix)
Fair trial, and free access of a detainee to lawyers in connection with domestic proceedings and in
connection with his application to the Court.
While in Nairobi, Kenya, Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the PKK (Workers' Party
of Kurdistan), was arrested by Turkish security forces in circumstances which have
yet to be elucidated and taken to Turkey. On i8 February 1999, his representatives
lodged an application concerning his arrest and detention, invoking Articles 2, 3, 5
and 6. They also requested the Court under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court to
indicate interim measures which Turkey should adopt.
The Chamber, which had initially held on 23 February 1999 that it was
unnecessary to apply Rule 39, had nonetheless decided under Rule 54 (3)(a) to
request the Turkish authorities to clarify a number of points concerning the
conditions of the applicant's arrest and detention and indicated that it considered
respect of the applicant's rights to put forward his case both in the criminal
proceedings and in the proceedings concerning his application to the Court to be
of particular importance. It accordingly sought information about whether the
applicant would be permitted to receive assistance by counsel in both sets of
proceedings. In response to that request the Turkish Government provided some
information about the conditions in which the applicant was being held.
In the light of the risk that the applicant will be tried by a tribunal which the
Court has previously held in other cases does not satisfy the requirements of Article
6 and of the fact that even more is at stake in the instant case since the applicant
faces the death penalty, the Court decided on 4 March 1999 that Rule 39 should be
applied. It accordingly requested the Turkish authorities to secure compliance with
the applicant's rights under Article 6 in the domestic proceedings, to respect the
rights of the defence in full, including the applicant's right to see and to have
unrestricted, effective access to the lawyers representing him in private, and to
ensure that the applicant has an effective opportunity through lawyers of his own
free choosing to exercise his right of individual petition to the Court. The
Government has also been invited to inform the Court of the measures taken by

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