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Nusret Kaya and others v. Turkey, No 43750/06 and others, ECtHR (Second Section), 22 April 2014

Type Judgment
Case number 43750/06


Prohibition imposed on prisoners from using their mother tongue in telephone conversations with their family members. Violation of the right to respect for private and family life.

Normative references

art. 8 ECHR


Even though particular security concerns – such as preventing the risk of escape – could justify the application of a specific detention regime entailing a ban on correspondence between an inmate and his family in the language of his choosing, is essential in order to grant a prisoner’s right to respect for his family life that the prison authorities assist him in maintaining real contact with his family. Therefore, the restriction imposed on the applicants’ telephone communications with members of their family, on the ground that they wished to conduct those conversations in their own language, may be regarded as an interference with the exercise of their right to respect for their family life within the meaning of Article 8 § 1 of the Convention. Such interference cannot be considered “necessary” for one of the aims set out in Article 8 § 2 where the decision had been taken regardless of any individual assessment of the risks, in terms of security, that might stem from the person’s character or the offences with which he was charged and considering that the language was one of those most commonly spoken in the country.

(Case in which the Turkish prison administration prohibited the applicants, inmates of Kurdish ethnicity, from conversing by telephone with family members using the Kurdish language)