Necati Zontul v. Greece

Necati is a Turkish national living in England. In May 2001, he boarded a boat from Istanbul to Italy with over one hundred other migrants. The boat was intercepted by the Greek Coastguard and escorted to Crete. Passengers were placed in a disused school. Necati describes the conditions in detention as extremely poor, with restricted access to the lavatory, food, and basic amenities. Necati says that many of the migrant detainees were assaulted, and that he was himself raped with a truncheon by one of the Greek coastguard officials in June 2001. Necati believes he was singled out because of his sexual orientation (he is homosexual).   

Legal Case

Necati Zontul v. Greece (European Court of Human Rights) (Application No. 12294/07) 

Ever since the incident, Necati has been trying to seek justice for what happened to him. In April 2008, REDRESS filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights on Necati’s behalf, in which we argued that Greek Courts failed to treat what happened to Necati with the due seriousness that the circumstances require. 

On 23 February 2010, the European Court decided to notify the case to the Greek Government and asked it to respond. Speaking about this development, Necati said, “The events of 2001 made me feel terrible, psychologically and emotionally. Now I feel much stronger because my case is progressing and because my true story is being told”. 

The case was decided on 17 January 2012. The Chamber found that Greek coastguard officials tortured Necati and ordered Greece to pay 50,000 euro in compensation.

Photo of Necati Zontul, taken by Fiona Lloyd-Davies


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