MOSCOW, December 10 (RAPSI) - The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) held Tuesday that Turkey had violated the rights of female prisoners in connection with an October 2000 hunger strike and the operation that subsequently ended it, according to a release issued by the court.

Specifically, the ECHR found that Turkey had violated procedural elements of Article 2 (Right to life) and Article 3 (Prohibition of torture) of the European Convention on Human Rights (Convention) in the cases of six of the applicants.

The case, which was filed by 20 women, revolved around what was termed a “death fast” – a hunger strike staged by female prisoners to challenge plans to reduce the size of prison cells. Some of the women refused medical treatment, according to the ECHR release.

In December 2000, security forces intervened and violent clashes ensued in an operation dubbed, “Back to life.”

Four prisoners and a gendarme were killed in the prison where the applicants were serving out their sentences at the time. In their complaint, the prisoners asserted that they had sustained injuries and that the operation had featured an excessive and disproportionate use of force.

The court found violations of the procedural limbs – as outlined above, but not of the substantive limbs.

The court ordered Turkey to pay out EUR 8,000 in just satisfaction to one of the applicants, and EUR 5,000 each to five of the others, as well as EUR 3,200 jointly to the six awarded applicants in order to cover costs and expenses.