Judgment 60846/19

Applicant name HALİT KARA
Applicant type Natural person (prisoner)
Number of applicants 1
Country Turkey
Application no. 60846/19
Date 12/12/2023
Judges Arnfinn Bårdsen, President,
 Jovan Ilievski,
 Egidijus Kūris,
 Saadet Yüksel,
 Lorraine Schembri Orland,
 Diana Sârcu,
 Davor Derenčinović
Institution Court
Type Judgment
Outcome Art. 8 Violation
Reason Not necessary (prevention disorder and crime)
Type of privacy Procedural privacy; Informational privacy
Keywords Correspondence
Facts of the caseThe case concerns the refusal of the prison authorities to dispatch a letter addressed by the applicant to his brother. The applicant complained of a violation of Articles 8 and 10 of the Convention.
AnalysisThe Court reiterates that for the inferference with correspondence, the de minimis rule should be interpreted such that the mere monitoring of prisoners’ correspondence by the authorities amounted to an “interference”, meaning that the actual content of the correspondence is immaterial in determining whether a restrictive measure constitutes an “interference”: what counts is whether the private correspondence was interfered with. Accordingly, the Court concludes that the authorities’ refusal to dispatch the letter in question, which was addressed by the applicant to his brother, amounted to an interference with the applicant’s right to respect for his correspondence under Article 8 § 1 of the Convention.

The Court accepts that the interference had a legal basis and served the interest of preventing disorder and crime. It adds that the life of the nation, Article 15 ECHR could be said to be at stake. As to the question of balancing under the necessity test, the Court finds that the domestic authorities did not fulfil their task of balancing the competing interests at stake and preventing an arbitrary interference with the applicant’s right to respect for his correspondence.  As the applicant did not benefit from a minimum degree of protection against arbitrary interference, the Court considers that the impugned measure cannot be said to have been strictly required by the special circumstances of the state of emergency.
Other Article violation? No violation 10 ECHR
Damage awarded The applicant did not submit a claim for just satisfaction. Accordingly, the Court considers that there is no call to award him any sum on that account.
Documents Judgment