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European Rights Court Accuses Turkey of Abuse in Two Cases

The European Court of Human Rights has accused Turkey of two separate rights violations - failing to punish a policeman who mistreated a woman and sentencing 11 people taking part in a teachers' strike.

The court released a statement Thursday detailing its rulings in the cases - Candarelli v. Turkey, Urcan and Others v. Turkey.

In the woman's case, the court said Turkey violated a section of the European Convention on Human Rights that prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment. It said measures taken by authorities were inadequate to make up for the injuries Fatma Candarelli sustained while in police custody.

In the teachers' case, the court said Turkey violated the strikers' freedom of assembly and association. It called the punishment not "necessary in a democratic society."

Fatma Candarelli accused an officer of ill-treatment after she was taken to her local police station following a dispute with a neighbor. Doctors reported she had bruising on her shoulders, arms and right thigh that rendered her unfit for work for 10 days.

A criminal court in Bursa suspended proceedings against the policeman for five years in 2000. The proceedings were dropped in 2006.

The teachers were sentenced to more than three months in prison for taking part in a national one-day strike to demand improvement in the working conditions of public school teachers. All but one of the strikers were members of the union that organized the demonstration.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.