Miris document ID: 1084375822619
Nachova and Others v. Bulgaria
Author: European Court of Human Rights
Language: English
Source: European Court of Human Rights
Country: Bulgaria
Category: judgment/decision
Government level: International
Guiding principle: The Court held that respondent State is responsible for deprivation of life in violation of Article 2 of the Convention, as firearms were used to arrest persons who were suspected of non-violent offences, were not armed and did not pose any threat to the arresting officers or others. The violation of Article 2 is further aggravated by the fact that excessive firepower was used. The respondent State is also responsible for the failure to plan and control the operation for the arrest of Mr Angelov and Mr Petkov in a manner compatible with Article 2 of the Convention. The Court also held that the investigation following the death of Mr Angelov and Mr Petkov was characterised by a number of serious and unexplained omissions. It ended with decisions which contained inconsistencies and conclusions unsupported by a careful analysis of the facts. There has been, therefore, a violation of the respondent State's obligation under Article 2 (1) of the Convention to investigate deprivations of life effectively. . The Court considered that any evidence of racist verbal abuse by law enforcement agents during an operation involving the use of force against persons from an ethnic or other minority is highly relevant to the question whether or not unlawful, hatred-induced violence has taken place. Where such evidence comes to light in the investigation, it must be verified and – if confirmed – trigger a thorough examination of all the facts in order to uncover any possible racist motives. The Court decided that the authorities failed in their duty under Article 14 of the Convention, taken together with Article 2, to take all possible steps to establish whether or not discriminatory attitudes may have played a role in events.
Date of judgement: 2004-2-26
Document number: 43577/98 and 43579/98
Official version: yes
Legally binding: yes
Subject areas: non-discrimination; fair trial
Minority groups: Roma/Gypsies
Related laws: Criminal Code

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