Press Release No: Individual Application 103/21

Press Release concerning the Decision Finding Inadmissible the Alleged Violation of the Prohibition of Ill-treatment as being Manifestly Ill-Founded

On 10 November 2021, the Plenary of the Constitutional Court declared inadmissible, for being manifestly ill-founded, the alleged violation of the prohibition of ill-treatment in the individual application lodged by Muzaffer Düzenli (no. 2017/31996).

The Facts

The applicant was taken into custody for allegedly getting involved in the coup attempt staged by the Fetullahist Terrorist Organisation/Parallel State Structure (FETÖ/PDY) on 15 July 2016, being personally present at the Akıncı base, and organising the acts carried out in İstanbul within the scope of the coup attempt. The applicant, detained on remand on 19 July 2016 for attempting to overthrow the constitutional order, was placed in an F-Type High Security Prison.

On 2 June 2017 he was taken to a single-occupancy cell after having being placed at a three-occupancy cell. The prison’s management and supervisory board ordered, on 6 June 2017, that the applicant could go out to the yard for fresh air daily for an hour, that in necessary circumstances when he was allowed out of his cell, utmost attention would be paid so as to preclude his confrontation with other prisoners, and that necessary measures would be taken when he was allowed to participate in prison activities.

The applicant challenged these orders before the incumbent execution judge which, however, dismissed the challenge. The dismissal decision became final by the decision of the incumbent assize court which ultimately rejected the applicant’s appeal. Thereafter, he lodged an individual application, seeking an interim measure. The Court, examining the applicant’s application, refused his request for an interim measure as his placement in a single-occupancy cell did not pose a severe threat to his life or his physical or mental integrity.

The Applicant’s Allegations

The applicant claimed that there had been a violation of the prohibition of ill-treatment due to his placement in a single-occupancy cell and his entitlement to fresh air alone and only for an hour on a daily basis.

The Court’s Assessment

The applicant was placed in a single-occupancy cell and allowed to have access to fresh air alone and for an hour on a daily basis for a period of nearly two years until his conviction. As from 19 April 2019, when the decision convicting him became final, he continued to be held in a single-occupancy cell as a convict.

It appears that the cell where the applicant has been placed is not indeed a cell designed for solitary confinement, and that given its size and that it has a window for fresh air and appropriate and sufficient parts allocated for toilet and shower, his cell conforms to the conditions set by the European Prison Rules adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.   

Following 6 June 2017, the applicant was allowed to have access to fresh air alone and daily for an hour. Besides, during that period when he was allowed to go out yard for fresh air, he had the opportunity to communicate with the other prisoner having access to fresh air in the same yard. He also had several visits, contact and non-contact, with his family and lawyer. Therefore, the Court has considered that the applicant, who was not fully deprived of the opportunity to have contact with his family, the outside world and other prisoners, was not subject to a sensory and social isolation. In the present case, the conditions and duration of the applicant’s detention did not attain the minimum threshold required to constitute an ill-treatment.

Consequently, the Court has declared the alleged violation of the prohibition of ill-treatment inadmissible for being manifestly ill-founded.  

This press release prepared by the General Secretariat intends to inform the public and has no binding effect.