Violations of the Convention in a case concerning the sinking of a migrant boat

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Violations of the Convention in a case concerning the sinking of a migrant boat

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echr.coe.int | 7 July 2022

Violations of the Convention in a case concerning the sinking of a migrant boat

The case of Safi and Others v. Greece (application no. 5418/15) concerned the sinking on 20 January 2014 of a fishing boat transporting 27 foreign nationals in the Aegean Sea, off the island of Farmakonisi, resulting in the death of 11 people, including relatives of the applicants.

In today’s Chamber judgment1 in this case the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights under its procedural head. The Court found that there had been shortcomings in the proceedings and concluded that the national authorities had not carried out a thorough and effective investigation capable of shedding light on the circumstances in which the boat had sunk.

a violation of Article 2 (right to life) on account of the failure to comply with the positive obligation under this Article. The Court found that the Greek authorities had not done all that could reasonably be expected of them to provide the applicants and their relatives with the level of protection required by Article 2 of the Convention.

a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), concerning 12 of the applicants who had been on board the boat and who, after it had sunk, had been subjected to degrading treatment on account of the body searches they had undergone on arriving in Farmakonisi.

A legal summary of this case will be available in the Court’s database HUDOC.

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