On 3 December 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held that Turkey violated the rights to liberty and protection from ill-treatment of 19 Uzbek nationals by repeatedly detaining and deporting them to Iran in 2008.
The applicants, who had been recognized as refugees by UNHCR, were allegedly invited to Turkish police headquarters to collect food rations and school stationery on 12 September 2008. However, on arrival, they were instead detained, driven to the border, and deported to Iran on the same day. They re-entered Turkey irregularly the following week, only to be collected from their homes by police officers and deported to Iran for a second time on 11 October 2008.
The ECtHR noted that the applicants were recognised refugees, mostly children, and in possession of valid residence permits. Furthermore, the Turkish government had failed to answer questions and submit evidence of a formal deportation order communicated to the applicants, of an admission guarantee from the Iranian authorities, and of any official record of the deportation. On this basis, the ECtHR ruled that there was a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
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