Case of Opuz v. Turkey


Case of Opuz v. Turkey. European Court of Human Rights; 2009.


Facts: The applicant’s mother was shot and killed by the applicant’s husband in 2002 as she attempted to help the applicant flee the matrimonial home. In the years preceding the shooting the husband had subjected both the applicant and her mother to a series of violent assaults, some of which had resulted in injuries which doctors had certified as life-threatening. The incidents had included beatings, an attempt to run the two women down with a car that had left the mother seriously injured and an assault in which the applicant was stabbed seven times. The incidents and the women’s fears for their lives had been repeatedly brought to the authorities’ attention. Although criminal proceedings had been brought against the husband for a range of offences, including death threats, serious assault and attempted murder, in at least two instances they were discontinued after the women withdrew their complaints, allegedly under pressure from the husband. However, in view of the seriousness of the injuries, the proceedings in respect of the running down and stabbing incidents continued to trial. The husband was convicted in both cases. For the first offence, he received a three-month prison sentence, which was later commuted to a fine, and for the second, a fine payable in instalments. The violence culminated in the fatal shooting of the applicant’s mother, an act the husband said he carried out to protect his honour. For that offence, he was convicted of murder in 2008 and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was, however, released pending appeal and renewed his threats against the applicant, who sought the authorities’ protection. It was not until seven months later, following a request for information from the European Court, that measures were taken to protect her.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 07/23/2015