Assenov and Others v. Bulgaria (Application no. 90/1997/874/1086)
A selection of key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.CASE-OF-ASSENOV-AND-OTHERS-v.-BULGARIA
102. The Court considers that, in these circumstances, where an individual raises an arguable claim that he has been seriously ill-treated by the police or other such agents of the State unlawfully and in breach of Article 3, that provision, read in conjunction with the State’s general duty under Article 1 of the Convention to “secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in … [the] Convention”, requires by implication that there should be an effective official investigation. This investigation, as with that under Article 2, should be capable of leading to the identification and punishment of those responsible (see, in relation to Article 2 of the Convention, the McCann and Others v. the United Kingdom judgment of 27 September 1995, Series A no. 324, p. 49, § 161, the Kaya v. Turkey judgment of 19 February 1998, Reports 1998-I, p. 324, § 86, and the Yaşa v. Turkey judgment of 2 September 1998, Reports 1998-VI, p. 2438, § 98). If this were not the case, the general legal prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment, despite its fundamental importance (see paragraph 93 above), would be ineffective in practice and it would be possible in some cases for agents of the State to abuse the rights of those within their control with virtual impunity.