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Bilen v. Turkey, No. 34482/97, ECtHR (Fourth Section), 21 February 2006


Proportionality of derogating measures from the European Convention on Human Rights in time of emergency. Deprivation of liberty of alleged terrorists in breach of Article 5 ECHR. 

Normative references

Art. 15 ECHR
Art. 5 ECHR


The need to protect the nation from a terrorist threat does not allow neither the incommunicado detention of alleged terrorists, nor the lack of guarantees against potential abuses, regardless of the existence of an emergency situation under Article 15 ECHR. Indeed, these measures are not strictly required by the exigencies of the situation.
(In the instant case, an alleged member of the armed organization Yekbun (Kurdistan United People’s Party) was detained for eighteen days without judicial intervention and he was not entitled to take proceedings to have the lawfulness of his detention decided by a judge. The Court found the violation of Article 5, paras. 3 and 4 ECHR, regardless of the notice of derogation issued by Turkey pursuant to Art. 15 ECHR).