Europejskiego Trybunału Praw Człowieka
z dnia 6 grudnia 2016 r.
Applications nos. 4133/16 and 31542/16
Ahmet TUNÇ and Zeynep TUNÇ against Turkey
and Ahmet TUNÇ and Güler YERBASAN against Turkey
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 6 December 2016 as a Chamber composed of:
Julia Laffranque, President,
Jon Fridrik Kjølbro,
Georges Ravarani, judges,
and Hasan Bakırcı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above applications lodged on 19 January 2016 and 12 February 2016 respectively,
Having regard to the interim measure indicated to the respondent Government in the case no. 4133/16 under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court on 19 January 2016 and the decision to lift that interim measure on 24 February 2016,
Having regard to the decision to grant priority to the application no. 4133/16 under Rule 41 of the Rules of Court,
Having regard to the information submitted by the respondent Government on 21, 22 and 26 January and 15 February 2016 and by the applicants on 20 and 26 January and 3, 16 and 22 February 2016,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
1. The application no. 4133/16 was introduced by Mr Mehmet Tunç, a Turkish national who was born in 1977 and who lived in Cizre. He was represented before the Court by Mr Ramazan Demir, a lawyer practising in Istanbul. Mehmet Tunç had introduced the application on behalf of his brother Orhan Tunç.
2. Following the demise of Mehmet Tunç and his brother Orhan Tunç in February 2016, their father Mr Ahmet Tunç and a Mrs Zeynep Tunç expressed their intention to pursue the application no. 4133/16 and submitted an application form. In the application form it was stated that Zeynep Tunç was Orhan Tunç's wife. It is to be noted, however, that Zeynep Tunç is Mehmet Tunç's wife and not Orhan Tunç's.
3. On 12 February 2016 20 persons, including Orhan Tunç, lodged a separate application with the Court (Koç and Others v. Turkey, no. 8536/16). That application, in so far as it was introduced by Orhan Tunç, concerns the same events and complaints as those which are the subject matter of the present application. Following Orhan Tunç's demise his father Mr Ahmet Tunç and partner Ms Güler Yerbasan expressed their intention to pursue application no. 8536/16 and submitted an application form. For practical reasons, the complaints introduced in that application by Mr Ahmet Tunç and Ms Güler Yerbasan were subsequently registered under application no. 31542/16.
4. Mr Ahmet Tunç, Mrs Zeynep Tunç and Ms Güler Yerbasan, who will be referred to as the applicants in the present applications, are Turkish nationals, who were born in 1943, 1980 and 1999 respectively and live in Cizre. In application no. 4133/16 Ahmet Tunç and Zeynep Tunç are represented before the Court by Mr Ramazan Demir. In application no. 31542/16 Ahmet Tunç and Güler Yerbasan are represented by Mr Öztürk Türkdoğan, a lawyer practising in Ankara.
A. The circumstances of the cases
1. The applicants
5. The facts of the cases, as submitted by the applicants and as they appear from the documents submitted by them and by Mehmet Tunç, may be summarised as follows.
a. Background to the events giving rise to the applications
6. Since August 2015 a number of curfews have been imposed in certain towns and cities in south-east Turkey by the local Governors. The stated aim of the curfews was to clear the trenches dug up and the explosives planted by members of a number of outlawed organisations, as well as to protect the civilians from violence. Some of those curfews were lifted and then re-imposed on various dates.
7. On 14 December 2015 a curfew was imposed in the town of Cizre, prohibiting people from leaving their homes at any time of the day. The 24–hour curfew in Cizre continued until it was modified on 2 March 2016 whereby people were allowed to leave their homes between the hours of 5 a.m. and 7.30 p.m. Another modification of the modalities of the curfew made on 28 March 2016 allowed people to leave their homes between 4.30 a.m. and 9.30 p.m. and a final modification made on 5 June 2016 limited the curfew hours to between 11 p.m. and 2.30 a.m.
8. According to a report published by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey on 18 March 2016, the number of civilians killed between August 2015 and 18 March 2016 in areas under curfew ‐ \ including Cizre ‐ \ was at least 310. Of those 310 deceased persons, 72 were children, 62 were women and 29 were aged 60 and older. A further 79 persons killed in the area during that same period have not yet been identified.
9. The following was stated in an Amnesty International Briefing, entitled "Turkey: End abusive operations under indefinite curfews" (AI Index: EUR 44/3230/2016), which was published on 21 January 2016:
"Operations by police and the military in [curfew] areas have been characterised by abusive use of force, including firing heavy weaponry in residential neighbourhoods. The Turkish government must ensure that any use of firearms is human rights compliant, and doesn't lead to the deaths and injuries of unarmed residents.
More than 150 residents have reportedly been killed as state forces have clashed with Revolutionary Patriotic Youth Movement (YDG-H), the youth wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The dead include women, young children and the elderly casting serious doubt over the government's claims that very few of the dead were unarmed."
b. The incident and the proceedings before the Court
10. On 18 January 2015 Orhan Tunç - who was 21 years old at the time - was on his way to visit his brother Mehmet Tunç's house in Cizre when he was shot by fire opened from armoured vehicles. Although repeated calls were made by a number of persons, including the local Member of Parliament, Mr Faysal Sarıyıldız, to the emergency services for an ambulance and the police headquarters were informed of the incident, no ambulance was sent to pick up Orhan Tunç because of security concerns. The emergency services informed the callers that if they took Orhan Tunç to Dörtyol - a location some one and a half kilometres away - they could pick him up from there.
11. There were, however, no persons in the vicinity willing to carry Orhan Tunç to that location. In a number of similar incidents in the past, civilians taking injured persons to ambulances had been shot at by the security forces and, as a result, people were too scared to offer Orhan Tunç any assistance. In one such incident a three-month-old baby had been shot and injured by a bullet and her grandparents had been making an attempt to take her to hospital when they had come under fire. Both the baby and her grandfather had been killed and the grandmother had survived with injuries.
12. In the early hours of 19 January 2016 Orhan Tunç's brother Mehmet Tunç lodged an application with the Court and requested it to indicate to the Turkish Government, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, that they should enable his brother Orhan Tunç's immediate access to a hospital.
13. The same day the Court acceded to the request and indicated to the Turkish Government that they should take all measures within their powers to protect Orhan Tunç's life and physical integrity.
14. On 20 January 2016 Mr Sarıyıldız informed the Governor of Cizre of his intention to go, together with the Mayor of Cizre and approximately 30 relatives of persons who had been injured or killed in Cizre, to the Cudi neighbourhood to retrieve a number of injured persons - including Orhan Tunç - and the bodies of deceased persons. Once in the Cudi neighbourhood the group found and retrieved the bodies of a number of persons, including those of Serhat Altun, Ahmet Tunç and Mehmet Kaplan (applications lodged in respect of those deceased persons are currently pending before the Court; see Cemil Altun v. Turkey, no. 4353/16; Adem Tunç v. Turkey, no. 4552/16, and Abdullah Kaplan v. Turkey, no. 4159/16). On their way back the group came under fire from armoured vehicles, during which two of the group's members were killed and a number of others were injured, including a cameraman who was filming the incident.
15. This incident was criticised by the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights in his report of 1 February 2016. The UN High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein "urged the Turkish authorities to respect the fundamental rights of civilians in its security operations and to promptly investigate the alleged shooting of a group of unarmed people in the south-eastern town of Cizre, after shocking video footage of the event emerged last week."
16. On 3 February 2016 the applicants' legal representative informed the Court that Orhan Tunç had still not been taken to hospital and had taken refuge in the basement of a house located at Ömer Hayyam Street in Cizre. He alleged that the authorities were not taking any steps to help him or other injured persons who had also taken refuge in the same basement, other than sending ambulances to locations some 400-500 metres away from the building and inviting the injured persons to walk to those ambulances.
17. On 9 and 10 February 2016 lawyers representing a total of 31 persons, including Orhan Tunç, applied to the Constitutional Court of Turkey and claimed that the 31 persons had been injured and were waiting for medical assistance in the basements of two buildings in Cizre. They requested an interim measure from that court to ensure the 31 persons' immediate access to medical facilities. The lawyers argued that the 31 persons and their family members had contacted the emergency services on a number of occasions and asked for ambulances. However, on each occasion the emergency services had informed them that ambulances had been sent but been stopped by police officers.
18. On 12 February 2016 20 of the 31 persons, including, as explained above, Orhan Tunç, lodged an application with the Court (Koç and Others v. Turkey, no. 8536/16; the remaining 11 persons also introduced applications with the Court; Mehmet Balcal and 8 others v. Turkey, no. 8699/16 and Ferhat Karaduman and Veli Çiçek v. Turkey, no. 6758/16). The 20 applicants in Koç and Others claimed that they had all been injured and were trapped in the basement of a building in Cizre and argued that the Constitutional Court was not examining their application speedily. They requested the Court to indicate to the respondent Government, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, that they should ensure those applicants' immediate access to hospitals.
19. The same day the Court decided to suspend the examination of the request under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court until receipt of information from the respondent Government and requested the Government, under Rule 54 § 2 (a), to submit by 15 February 2016 information on a number of issues including, insofar as relevant to the circumstances of the present applications, the following:
"... Your Government are also reminded that the interim measure indicated on 19 January 2016 in relation to Mr Orhan Tunç (Tunç v. Turkey, no. 4133/16), who is also one of the applicants in the present case, is still in force and you are therefore urged to comply with that measure by taking all steps within your powers to protect his life and physical integrity. ... Your Government are also requested to inform the Court, by the same date, about the steps which will be taken by your authorities after receipt of this letter in order to comply with the interim measure indicated in the case of Tunç v. Turkey, no. 4133/16 ..."
20. The same day, after the Court requested the above-mentioned information from the Government, the Constitutional Court rejected the request made by the 31 persons on the ground of, inter alia, information which had apparently been provided to that court by the local Governor. According to that information, paramedics had gone to the addresses in question on a number of occasions but had been unable to find the injured persons. Instead, they had seen the bodies of a number of persons.
21. On 15 February 2016 the Government informed the Court that "[i]n the course of a search carried out in the building [located at 16 Akdeniz Street in Cizre] by the security forces, a body [with] a driving licence drawn up in the name of Orhan Tunç was found. It was understood as a result of the examination of the body performed by the Cizre Chief Public Prosecutor's Office that the body belonged to Orhan Tunç".
22. Before the Court forwarded to the applicants' legal representatives the above-mentioned information provided by the Government, one of the legal representatives, Mr Demir, informed the Court on 16 February 2016 that he was unable to establish contact with Orhan Tunç and his brother Mehmet Tunç. The legal representative further informed the Court that the bodies of over 100 persons had been found in the area where Orhan Tunç and his brother Mehmet Tunç had last been staying.
23. In his letter of 22 February 2016 the applicants' legal representative Mr Demir informed the Court that he and Orhan Tunç's family had learned of the death of Orhan Tunç when the Court had forwarded to them the information provided by the Government on 15 February 2016 and alleged that the authorities had not informed the family directly. The legal representative also informed the Court that the family had been informed that Orhan Tunç's brother Mehmet Tunç had also been killed (an application introduced on 23 January 2016 by Mehmet Tunç and 12 other persons in which they complained that they were trapped in the basement of a building and that their building was being shelled by the security forces, is also pending before the Court; see Yavuzel and Others v. Turkey, no. 5317/16).
24. In his letter the legal representative further informed the Court that more than 170 persons, who had been injured and who - like Orhan Tunç and his brother Mehmet Tunç - had taken refuge in the basements of a number of buildings in Cizre, had all been killed. Their families were in the process of trying to find and identify the bodies but it was proving difficult because the buildings in question had all been demolished and the rubble from the buildings, together with some of the bodies, had been dumped in a landfill. Some of the bodies had also been burned beyond recognition. The legal representative submitted photographs to the Court in which a number of body parts can be seen in the rubble dumped in a landfill, and alleged that the authorities were demolishing the buildings in order to destroy the evidence which implicated the security forces in the killings (in this connection, see below "Relevant international materials").
25. On 24 February 2016 the Court decided, in the light of the information provided by the parties regarding the death of Orhan Tunç, to lift the interim measure previously indicated in the case no. 4133/16 on 19 January 2016 under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.
26. The authorities did not allow the bodies of Orhan Tunç and his brother Mehmet Tunç to be buried in Cizre and they therefore had to be buried in Şırnak on 1 March 2016.
c. Arrest and detention of the legal representative of the applicants in application no. 4133/16
27. In the early hours of 16 March 2016 the first and the second applicants' legal representative Mr Ramazan Demir's house in Istanbul was raided by officers from the counter-terrorism department of the police and he was taken into custody.
28. In the evening of 17 March 2016 a prosecutor wanted to question him at the police station. Mr Demir refused to answer the prosecutor's questions, stating that according to the applicable procedure he could only be questioned at a court house and not at a police station.
29. During the questioning the prosecutor asked Mr Demir questions such as whether he had ever been imprisoned for a PKK-related offence; whether he had any relatives who had links to the PKK or who were in prison for PKK-related activities; whether he visited any relatives or any of his clients in prison; whether he was a member of any association; whether he uses social media; and details of all telephone lines he has had.
30. Mr Demir did not answer any of the questions. In the same statement the prosecutor also accused Mr Demir of the following: "... it is considered that [Mr Demir] will be meeting and conducting interviews with a person, whom he named as Delegasyon, as part of his propaganda and agitation activities and as part of his activities to weaken our country inside and at the international arena by making allegations of torture and alleging violations of human rights."
31. After his above-mentioned questioning Mr Demir continued to be detained at the police station until he was brought before a judge on 19 March 2016 and his release on bail was ordered by that judge. When questioned by the judge Mr Demir and the lawyers representing him referred to the above-mentioned accusation made by the prosecutor and argued that the real reason for his arrest was to prevent him from representing applicants before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning the curfews. They alleged that doing so was in breach of Article 34 of the Convention.
32. After his release the prosecutor objected to Mr Demir's release and an arrest warrant was issued for Mr Demir on 22 March 2016.
33. On 6 April 2016 Mr Demir went to the courthouse and informed the judge that the reason why he had not surrendered immediately after the arrest warrant had been issued on 22 March 2016 was because he had had to complete a number of application forms and submit them to the Court as he owed a duty to his clients to do so. The judge ordered his detention in a prison, pending the introduction of criminal proceedings against him.
34. On 20 April 2016 Mr Demir authorised his legal representative Ms Ayşe Demir-Bingöl to act on his behalf before the Court regarding a total of 16 applications - including the present one. Mr Demir was released on bail from prison on 7 September 2016.
2. The Government
35. On 21, 22 and 26 January 2016 and on 15 February 2016 the Government provided information and comments regarding the applicants' allegations and the interim measure indicated by the Court.
B. Relevant international materials
36. On 2 December 2016 the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights published his Memorandum on the "Human Rights Implications of Anti-Terrorism Operations in South-Eastern Turkey" (CommDH(2016)39). The Memorandum's conclusions and recommendations are as follows:
"5. Conclusions and recommendations
118. The Commissioner is fully aware of the extent of the terrorist threat faced by Turkey and recognises the right and duty of the Turkish state to fight against terrorism in all its forms. The Commissioner also understands the circumstances in South-Eastern Turkey, where an armed, separatist organisation, recognised as terrorist by the EU, NATO and many countries, has systematically used violence and terror in a decades-long conflict which has claimed tens of thousands of lives. Nothing in this memorandum should be considered as justifying the actions of the PKK or any other terrorist activity in South-Eastern Turkey.
119. At the same time, the response of the Turkish state, in accordance with its international obligations, must adhere to the principles of rule of law and human rights standards, which require any interference with basic human rights to be defined in law, necessary in a democratic society and strictly proportionate to the aim pursued. In this respect, Turkey has a very long record of extremely grave human rights violations recognised as such by the European Court of Human Rights, with the most severe forms of violation having occurred in South-Eastern Turkey in the 1990s. Following a period of relative peace during the so-called "solution process", the Commissioner deeply regrets the resumption of hostilities and their rapid escalation in South-Eastern Turkey.
120. For the purposes of this memorandum, the Commissioner examined the response of the Turkish authorities to the situation in the South-East since the summer of 2015, which mainly took the form of declaration of curfews accompanied by police and/or military operations. In the light of this examination as set out in the body of this memorandum and in view of the applicable international and European standards, as well as of the tremendous restrictions on the enjoyment of core human rights that they imposed, the Commissioner considers these measures to have been neither legal, in the sense of being sufficiently foreseeable and defined in law, nor roportionate to the legitimate aim pursued by Turkey.
121. In the opinion of the Commissioner, therefore, the response the Turkish authorities developed since August 2015, characterised by the declaration of open-ended, 24-hour curfews, have caused a number of very serious human rights violations simply by virtue of having been imposed on the affected local populations. The Commissioner urges the Turkish authorities in the strongest possible terms to put an immediate end to this practice. Any future measures deployed in the region must show much higher regard to the human rights of the local civilian population when balancing them against the imperative of the fight against terrorism.
122. As regards numerous allegations of human rights violations committed by security forces, the Commissioner finds them to be extremely serious and consistent. He considers many of these allegations to be credible, given their sources and considering past patterns of human rights violations committed by Turkish security forces during anti-terrorism operations in the South-East, as well as the Turkish authorities' efforts to reinforce the immunity of security forces from prosecution during this period. At any rate, given the fact that these allegations concern violations in areas cut off from the world during operations which were under the complete control of the authorities, it is for the Turkish authorities to prove convincingly that they are unfounded.
123. The Commissioner observes that the Turkish authorities not only have not shown any willingness to tackle the long-standing problem of impunity and to implement the recurrent recommendations of the Commissioner's Office on this issue, but that the patterns which have led to serious human rights violations in the past remained in operation during the period in question. All evidence indicates that the authorities did neither treat with the requisite seriousness the allegations of human rights violations, nor conduct ex officio criminal investigations into lives lost during the operations in a way that would be liable to shed light on the events. The priority seems to have rather been to reassure and shield from prosecution the security forces, who have only been subjected to disciplinary sanctions for particularly egregious forms of misconduct with the exception of very few criminal cases where members of security forces were treated as suspects, while at the same time vilifying human rights NGOs and lawyers bringing these allegations. In the Commissioner's opinion, this situation falls woefully short of Turkey's international obligations.
124. For investigations into these allegations to be considered effective, they should have been immediate, diligent and thorough. Unfortunately, given the elapsed time since some of the operations, the fact that evidence might have been actively destroyed with heavy machinery in the affected zones, as well as the general attitude of prosecutors, it seems very improbable that any future investigation will fully satisfy the criteria for effectiveness. Turkish authorities will therefore have to contend with the fact that Turkey will be presumed to have committed many serious human rights violations, including violations of the right to life, during the period in question.
125. This situation brings home the urgency for a mentality shift in Turkey when it comes to the accountability of state agents. The Commissioner considers that impunity has been a nefarious influence throughout Turkey's recent history, legitimising and fostering behaviour fundamentally at odds with human rights, and undermining all efforts to protect and promote them. It is true that the authorities took swift action to punish state agents suspected of involvement in the coup attempt of 15 July 2016, but the Commissioner regrets that one of the first measures taken in this connection was to give administrative, legal and criminal immunity to other state agents enforcing emergency decrees. In the opinion of the Commissioner, a crucial test for human rights in Turkey is whether the same diligence can be shown when the actions are not directed against the state but the human rights of its individual citizens.
126. The Commissioner once more urges Turkey in the strongest possible terms to finally tackle the numerous root causes of impunity in Turkey (see paragraph 83 above) and implement the recommendations he repeatedly made to Turkey for combatting it.
127. In the light of his examination set out in this memorandum, the Commissioner considers that numerous human rights of a very large population in South-Eastern Turkey have been violated in the context of the anti-terrorism operations conducted since August 2015. The priority for Turkey must therefore be to abandon the approach which has led to this situation, followed by the demonstration of a clear will to remedy its effects.
128. This requires, firstly, public recognition by the authorities of the mistakes and human rights violations committed. This must be accompanied by serious efforts to compensate moral and material damages suffered by the people concerned, be it because of the failure of the Turkish state to protect them from terrorism or the direct effect of the anti-terrorist operations themselves. The Commissioner gained the impression that the Turkish authorities do not grasp the scale of the efforts needed in this connection and the existing framework for compensation appears clearly insufficient in many respects. Regarding the approach to expropriate the local population in certain cities affected by the operations, the Commissioner thinks that such a measure would represent a double punishment for the persons affected and cannot be considered a form of redress.
129. The Commissioner wishes to stress his willingness to pursue his constructive dialogue with the Turkish authorities and to offer his assistance and support to their efforts to improve the protection and promotion of human rights in Turkey."
37. The applicants complain under Article 2 of the Convention that, although the authorities knew Orhan Tunç's location and owed him a duty of care under national law, they did not intervene to save his life. In this connection they refer to the positive obligation under Article 2 of the Convention and argue that if the authorities knew or ought to have known of the existence of a risk to the life of a person but failed to take measures in order to prevent that risk from materialising, they will have acted in breach of the right to life.
38. Under the same provision the applicants also allege that Orhan Tunç was killed by agents of the State while in the building in which he was trapped.
39. Also under the same provision the applicants argue that no steps were taken by the prosecutors to investigate the death of Orhan Tunç.
40. The applicants complain that their suffering on account of the combination of factors (such as keeping Orhan Tunç's body in the basement for weeks during which his body deteriorated and lost its integrity; their and their family's inability to give Orhan Tunç a burial; and finally, the national authorities' indifference to their calls for help to retrieve Orhan Tunç's body for many weeks) amounted to inhuman treatment within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention.
41. Under the same provision they also allege that the fear of death that Orhan Tunç must have felt on account of hearing the constant bombing in the vicinity of the basement where he was trapped amounted to ill-treatment.
42. Under Article 5 of the Convention the applicants argue that the curfew was executed so strictly that Orhan Tunç was not permitted to leave the basement to get medical assistance. They add that the residents of the whole town were effectively imprisoned in their homes because the security forces shot and killed anyone seen on the streets.
43. The applicants complain that the body of Orhan Tunç was not handed over to them for weeks and that the family members were not given the opportunity to organise and to be present during the funeral, in breach of their right to respect for their private lives within the meaning of Article 8 of the Convention.
44. Relying on Articles 1 and 34 of the Convention the applicants Ahmet Tunç and Zeynep Tunç complain that the respondent State failed to comply with the interim measure indicated by the Court in application no. 4133/16 by not taking any steps to protect the physical integrity and life of Orhan Tunç and by preventing other persons from offering him assistance.
45. Finally, under Article 34 of the Convention the applicants Ahmet Tunç and Zeynep Tunç also allege that the real reason for the arrest and detention of their legal representative, Ramazan Demir, was his representation of applicants from the curfew areas and complain that Mr Demir's arrest and detention constitute a serious interference with their right of individual application.
A. Joinder of the applications
46. In accordance with Rule 42 § 1 of the Rules of Court, the Court decides to join the applications, given their similar factual and legal background.
B. Complaints under Articles 2, 3, 8 and 34 of the Convention
47. The applicants complain under Article 2 of the Convention that Orhan Tunç lost his life not only as a result of the national authorities' failure to take him to hospital after he was shot and seriously injured, but also as a result of having been killed by the security forces. Under the same provision they also complain that the national authorities failed to carry out an effective investigation into his death. They allege that the fear which Orhan Tunç must have felt when he heard the constant bombing amounted to ill-treatment within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention. They further complain that their own rights under Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention were breached on account of the national authorities' indifference to their calls for help in retrieving Orhan Tunç's body.
48. Finally, the applicants complain that the Government, by failing to comply with the interim measure and by arresting and detaining the first two applicants' legal representative, acted in breach of their obligations under Article 34 of the Convention.
49. The Court considers that it cannot, on the basis of the case-file, determine the admissibility of these complaints and that it is therefore necessary, in accordance with Rule 54 § 2 (b) of the Rules of Court, to give notice of them to the respondent Government.
C. Complaint under Article 5 of the Convention
50. The applicants in application no. 4133/16 argue under Article 5 of the Convention that the curfew was executed so strictly that their relative Orhan Tunç was not permitted to leave the basement to get medical assistance. They add that the residents of the whole town were effectively imprisoned in their homes because the security forces shot and killed anyone seen on the streets.
51. The applicants in application no. 31542/16 argue that "the continuous curfews must be regarded as house arrests, in breach of Article 5 of the Convention".
52. Having regard to all the material in its possession, and in so far as this complaint falls within its competence, the Court finds that there is no appearance of a violation of the provision invoked. It follows that this part of the application must be rejected as manifestly ill-founded, pursuant to Article 35 §§ 3 (a) and 4 of the Convention.
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
Decides to join the applications;
Decides to adjourn the examination of the applicants' complaints under Articles 2, 3, 8 and 34 of the Convention;
Declares the remainder of the applications inadmissible.
Done in English and notified in writing on 15 December 2016.