The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) released its “Annual Report 2021” yesterday (January 25). According to the statistics, after Russia, Turkey faced the highest number of applications last year.
The statistics have shown that 44,250 applications were submitted to the ECtHR in 2021. When compared with 2020, it accounted for a 6-percent increase (the number of applications was 41,700 in 2020).
In sharing the annual statistics with the international community, ECtHR President Robert Spano said, “At the end of 2020 there were 62,000 pending applications. At the end of 2021, this figure had increased by 13 percent to 70,150 applications. 70 percent of the pending cases still concerned four countries: the Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine and Romania.”
While the ECtHR found 32,961 applications inadmissible or struck them out, it gave a judgment in 3,131 cases. However, considering the merged applications, the court issued 1,901 judgments in a year.
According to the annual report, the number of priority cases pending before the ECtHR is 24 thousand. As the reason for this, the high court has referred to the applications concerning prison conditions in Ukraine and Romania as well as the unlawful detentions in Turkey.
While 24.2 percent (17 thousand) of the applications pending before the ECtHR are against Russia, 21.7 percent (15,250) of them are against Turkey, 16.2 percent (11,350 applications) are against Ukraine and 8.1 percent (5,700) of them are against Romania. These countries are followed by Italy with its total number of pending applications standing at 3,646.
In 2021, 232 judgments were against Russia, 197 were against Ukraine, 95 were against Romania and 78 ECtHR judgments were against Turkey. On the top of the list of the countries which violated the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) the most in 2021 stands Russia with 219 judgments with at least one article of the Convention violated.
While Russia is followed by Ukraine with 194 judgments, it is followed by Romania and Turkey with 76 judgments.
What about Turkey?
As of the end of 2021, there were 15,251 applications against Turkey pending before the ECtHR. A significant part of these applications were about the complaints concerning the violations of rights following the State of Emergency declared after the coup attempt. The number of applications from Turkey, with the State of Emergency, is around 11 thousand. A significant number of these applications are about detentions without reasonable evidence, long periods of arrest and right to a fair trial.
As it was also the case in previous years, Turkey ranks first in terms of the number of convictions of freedom of expression violations in 2021, when the ECtHR convicted Turkey for violating the freedom of expression of its citizens in 31 cases in total. In other words, in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, Turkey was the country which violated freedom of expression the most among the countries of the Council of Europe (CoE).
Last year, the ECtHR handed down 78 rulings on Turkey and at least one violation of rights was the case in 76 of these rulings.
Also, with 3,820 rulings pronounced from 1959 to 2021, Turkey is also on the top of the list of countries in terms of the number of rulings. With 3,358 rulings of rights violations, it is also the country that violated the ECHR the most. With 418 violations of freedom of expression and 111 violations of the freedom to assembly and association, Turkey also ranks first in that regard.
The number of Turkey’s violations of freedom of expression is followed by the violations of right to liberty and security (29 violations), the right to a fair trial (22 violations), the right to respect for privacy and family life (10 violations) and the right to property (10 violations).
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