The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday ordered Greece to pay 6,500 euros in compensation each to two applicants who lodged a complaint regarding the conditions of their detention prior to expulsion from the country.
The applicants, Mariana de los Santos and Angela de la Cruz, both nationals of the Dominican Republic and born in 1962 and 1979 respectively, were arrested on August 10, 2011, for illegal entry into Greece and placed in detention with a view to their deportation at the Thessaloniki department for illegal immigration.
They told the court that their cell was overcrowded and their daily stipend of 5.87 euros did not allow them to purchase regular meals.
Their complaint also referred to the conditions of their detention in Athens after they were transferred to the Aliens Directorate of Attica in September of the same year, saying that conditions were unsanitary as there had been only a single shower and a single toilet for all of the female detainees.
The conditions under which they were held were deemed by the court as inhuman or degrading treatment and in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
see: EKathimerini (in English)
see also: greek reporter (in english)
Athary v. Turkey (no. 50372/09) [Article 5]
The applicant is an Iranian national who applied for asylum in Turkey in 2004. Pending a decision on his application, he was granted a temporary residence permit. In 2007 he was convicted of a drugs offence and sentenced to 18 moths imprisonment. Following his release in December 2008, he was placed in a foreigners’ removal centre from which he only was released when he was granted refugee status in The Netherlands and moved there in April 2010. He complained under Article 5 of the Convention that his detention in the removal centre had been unlawful, that he had not been informed of the reasons thereof and that he had not had an effective remedy at his disposal to challenge the lawfulness of his detention. The Court found violations of Articles 5(1), 5(2) and 5(4).
For the full text of the judgment please click here.
In the Chamber judgment of January 17, 2012, in the case Zontul v. Greece, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The applicant, Necati Zontul, is a Turkish national who was born in 1968 and lives in London (United Kingdom).
On 27 May 2001 he and 164 other migrants boarded a boat in Istanbul which was bound for Italy. On 30 May the vessel was intercepted by Greek coastguards and escorted to the port of Chania (Crete). The migrants were placed in a disused merchant navy training school. According to Mr Zontul, the conditions of detention there were poor and several detainees were deliberately attacked by guards. He alleged that, between 1 and 6 June 2001, several detainees had been taken into a room from which they had emerged with injuries and, in some cases, unable to walk. There had also been reports of mock executions and Russian roulette.
On 5 June 2001 Mr Zontul reported that two coastguard officers had forced him to undress while he was in the bathroom. One of them had threatened him with a truncheon and had then raped him with it. One of the applicant’s fellow detainees had helped him back to the dormitory after the officers had left. In protest at that incident, the detainees had decided to go on hunger strike the following morning. Some of the coastguard officers had then burst into the dining room and gathered the detainees together, before beating them with truncheons and splashing them with water and a product resembling eau de cologne. One of the detainees had been made to “jump like a rabbit”.
The Court reiterated that the rape of a detainee by an official of the State was to be considered as an especially grave and abhorrent form of ill-treatment.
Under Article 41 (just satisfaction) of the Convention, the European Court held that Greece was to pay the applicant 50,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 3,500 in respect of costs and expenses.