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Timurtas v. Turkey

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a) It is of the utmost importance for the effective operation of the system of individual petition that States should furnish all necessary facilities to make possible a proper and effective examination of applications. It is inherent in certain proceedings that solely the respondent Government has access to information capable of corroborating or refuting allegations. Failure on a Government's part to submit such information without a satisfactory explanation might give rise to the drawing of inferences as to the well-foundedness of the allegations. Turkey had failed to cooperate in this case with regard to documentary evidence.

b) In the absence of a body, an issue could arise under Article 2 of the Convention from the failure by the authorities to provide a plausible explanation as to a detainee's fate. This depends on all the circumstances of the case, and in particular on the existence of sufficient circumstantial evidence, based on concrete elements, from which it could be concluded to the requisite standard of proof that the detainee must be presumed to have died in custody. In this respect the period of time which has elapsed since the person has been placed in detention, although not decisive in itself, is a relevant factor to be taken into account.

c) Reactions and attitudes of the authorities when a disappearance is brought to their attention can constitute inhuman and degrading treatment such as when members of the security forces display callous disregard for the applicant's concerns by denying, to the applicant's face and contrary to the truth, the situation with regard to the detained person.

d) Disappearance during an unacknowledged detention discloses a particularly grave violation of the right to liberty and security of person.


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