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Case of nine men beaten by police helps strengthen protections against abuse

Denizci and Others v. Cyprus  | 2001

Case of nine men beaten by police helps strengthen protections against abuse

Article 3 enshrines one of the most fundamental values of democratic societies … [it] prohibits in absolute terms torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, 23rd May 2001

Background

Nine men originally from Northern Cyprus came to work in the South. They were taken into custody by the Cypriot police, beaten, forced to sign declarations that they wanted to return to the north, and then expelled.

Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights

The Strasbourg court ruled that a number of the men had sustained serious injuries from the police violence and that all of them had been subjected to inhuman treatment.

The case followed another in the previous year, in which the Cypriot authorities had also been found to have ill-treated detainees.

Follow-up

Following these cases, a series of reforms were introduced to protect detainees from police abuse. These included legal requirements for detention centre managers to protect detainees, greater powers for the Attorney General to investigate abuse, and heavier punishments for offending officers.