CASE OF JURJE AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA (European Court of Human Rights) Application no. 52613/15 and 16 others – see appended list

The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention.


FOURTH SECTION
CASE OF JURJE AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA
(Application no. 52613/15 and 16 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
14 October 2021

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Jurje and Others v. Romania,

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:

Armen Harutyunyan, President,
Jolien Schukking,
Ana Maria Guerra Martins, judges,
and Viktoriya Maradudina, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 23 September 2021,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in applications against Romania lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) on the various dates indicated in the appended table.

2. The Romanian Government (“the Government”) were given notice of the applications.

THE FACTS

3. The list of applicants and the relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table.

4. The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention.

THE LAW

I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

5. Having regard to the similar subject matter of the applications, the Court finds it appropriate to examine them jointly in a single judgment.

II. THE APPLICANT’S REQUEST TO STRIKE-OUT A PART OF APPLICATION No. 52613/15

6. By letter received on 7 January 2021, the applicant’s representative informed the Court that the applicant had benefitted from the domestic compensatory remedy provided for by Law no. 169/2017. He then asked the Court to limit its examination to the period of detention prior to 24 July 2012.

7. In light of the foregoing, the Court considers that the representative’s letter is a request to strike-out the part of the application covering the period of the applicant’s detention from 24 July 2012 to 14 February 2018 – the period during which the compensatory remedy automatically applied. It thus concludes that the applicant may be regarded as no longer wishing to pursue this part of his application (Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention) and it should thus be struck out of the list in accordance with Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention.

III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3 OF THE CONVENTION

8. The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention. They relied on Article 3 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

Article 3

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

9. In all applications, the Government raised a preliminary objection concerning the applicants’ loss of victim status for the periods of detention specified in the appended table because they were afforded adequate redress based on Law no. 169/2017 amending and completing Law no. 254/2013 on the execution of sentences for those specific periods of detention.

10. The Court notes that the domestic remedy introduced in respect of inadequate conditions of detention in Romania and applicable until December 2019 was held to be an effective one in the case of Dîrjan and Ştefan v. Romania ((dec.), nos. 14224/15 and 50977/15, §§ 23‑33, 15 April 2020). This remedy was available to the applicants in the present applications and they were, indeed, afforded adequate redress for certain periods of detention (for details see the appended table).

11. Therefore, the Court accepts the Government’s objection and finds that these parts of the applications are incompatible ratione personae with the provisions of the Convention and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 §§ 3 (a) and 4 of the Convention, except for application no. 52613/15, in which this part of the application was struck out upon the applicant’s request (see paragraphs 6 and 7 above).

12. Turning to the remaining periods of the applicants’ detention as specified in the appended table, the Court notes that the applicants were kept in detention in poor conditions. The details of the applicants’ detention are indicated in the appended table. The Court refers to the principles established in its case‑law regarding inadequate conditions of detention (see, for instance, Muršić v. Croatia [GC], no. 7334/13, §§ 96‑101, ECHR 2016). It reiterates in particular that a serious lack of space in a prison cell weighs heavily as a factor to be taken into account for the purpose of establishing whether the detention conditions described are “degrading” from the point of view of Article 3 and may disclose a violation, both alone or taken together with other shortcomings (see Muršić, cited above, §§ 122 ‑141, and Ananyev and Others v. Russia, nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08, §§ 149‑59, 10 January 2012).

13. In the leading case of Rezmiveș and Others v. Romania, nos. 61467/12 and 3 others, 25 April 2017, the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.

14. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court has not found any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion on the admissibility and merits of these complaints. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the applicants’ conditions of detention were, for the periods specified in the appended table, inadequate.

15. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention.

IV. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

16. In applications nos. 41160/16, 51579/16, 58399/16, 62018/16, 62126/16, 63832/16 and 5365/17 the applicants also raised other complaints under Article 3 of the Convention, including, in some of them, related to the conditions of their detention during periods preceding the start date specified in the appended table.

17. The Court has examined these complaints and considers that, in the light of all the material in its possession and in so far as the matters complained of are within its competence, these complaints either do not meet the admissibility criteria set out in Article 34 and 35 of the Convention or do not disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Convention or the Protocols thereto.

18. It follows that this part of the above-mentioned applications must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.

V. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

19. Article 41 of the Convention provides:

“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”

20. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case‑law (see, in particular, Rezmiveș and Others, cited above), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table.

21. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,

1. Decides to join the applications;

2. Decides to strike a part of application no. 52613/15, covering the detention period after 24 July 2012, out of its list of cases;

3. Declares the complaints concerning the inadequate conditions of detention, as specified in the appended table, admissible, and the remainder of the applications inadmissible;

4. Holds that these complaints disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention concerning the inadequate conditions of detention for the periods indicated in the appended table below;

5. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts indicated in the appended table, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;

(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.

Done in English, and notified in writing on 14 October 2021, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Viktoriya Maradudina                          Armen Harutyunyan
Acting Deputy Registrar                            President

_____________

APPENDIX
List of applications raising complaints under Article 3 of the Convention
(inadequate conditions of detention)

No. Application no.

Date of introduction

Applicant’s name

Year of birth

Representative’s name and location Facility

Start and end date

Duration

Sq. m per inmate Specific grievances Domestic compensation awarded

(in days)

based on total period calculated domestically

Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses per applicant

(in euros)[1]

1. 52613/15

25/07/2016

Ionuț-Vasile JURJE

1986

Vasile Rareş Biro

Satu Mare

Sălaj County Police Station, Oradea and Gherla Prisons

28/05/2010 to

23/07/2012

2 year(s) and 1 month(s) and 26 day(s)

1.9 – 2.9 m² overcrowding (save for the period between 15-18/07/2011), lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, poor quality of food 384 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 14/02/2018

 

3,000
2. 38642/16

20/09/2016

Florin SANDU

1983

 

 

Craiova, Colibași and Giurgiu Prisons

02/03/2011 to

23/07/2012

1 year(s) and 4 month(s) and 22 day(s)

Craiova and Giurgiu Prisons

20/11/2019

pending

More than 1 year(s) and 9 month(s)

1.2 – 2.9 m²

 

 

overcrowding, lack or inadequate furniture, poor quality of food, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, mouldy or dirty cell, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of or insufficient electric light, inadequate temperature

 

 

468 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions between 24/07/2012 – 19/11/2019 3,000
3. 39463/16

02/09/2016

Marin BUZATU

1970

 

 

Craiova Prison

22/07/2008 to

18/09/2012

4 year(s) and 1 month(s) and 28 day(s)

1.1 – 2.2 m² overcrowding, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of fresh air 540 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 23/12/2019, with the exception of the period referred to in Column no. 5

 

3,000
4. 40692/16

07/02/2017

Cristian ANDRONIC

1977

Claudia Nadina Daciana Cândea

Timișoara

Timiş County Police Station, Timişoara, Rahova, Arad and Aiud Prisons

16/08/2008 to

13/09/2012

4 year(s) and 29 day(s)

1.2 – 2.6 m² overcrowding, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of toiletries, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, inadequate temperature, poor quality of food, lack of or restricted access to leisure or educational activities

 

456 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 30/10/2018, with the exception of the period referred to in Column no. 5 3,000
5. 40853/16

20/02/2017

Gheorghe Ovidiu MIHALCA

1993

Vasile Rareş Biro

Satu Mare

Maramureş County Police Station

21/03/2013 to

18/04/2013

29 day(s)

lack of fresh air, inadequate temperature, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to running water, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, mouldy or dirty cell, poor quality of food, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents

 

318 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 18/04/2013 to 14/11/2017 1,000
6. 41144/16

12/01/2017

Mitel-Ionuț BĂLTEANU

1981

Irina Maria Peter

Bucharest

Bucharest Police detention facilities no 5, Rahova Prison and Jilava Prison Hospital

28/01/2011 to

04/09/2012

1 year(s) and 7 month(s) and 8 day(s)

1.6 – 2.4 m² overcrowding (save for the period between 21/02/2011 – 05/07/2011), bunk beds, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of privacy for toilet, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, constant electric light, no or restricted access to warm water, poor quality of food, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, no or restricted access to running water, infestation of cell with insects/rodents

 

528 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 13/12/2019, with the exception of the period referred to in Column no. 5 3,000
7. 41160/16

09/08/2016

Teodor FLOREA

1965

 

 

Galaţi Prison

08/06/2010 to

23/07/2012

2 year(s) and 1 month(s) and 16 day(s)

1.2 – 1.8 m²

 

 

overcrowding, lack of fresh air, bunk beds, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, poor quality of potable water, poor quality of food, infestation of cell with insects/rodents

 

 

288 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions between 24/07/2012 – 10/01/2018 3,000
8. 48507/16

02/09/2016

Gheorghe DÎRĂ

1971

 

 

Giurgiu County Police Station and Giurgiu Prison

11/12/2011 to

23/07/2012

7 month(s) and 13 day(s)

Jilava Prison

24/12/2019 to

05/04/2021

1 year(s) and 3 month(s) and 13 day(s)

2.8 m²

 

 

overcrowding (save for the period between 11/12/2011 – 04/04/2012), lack of fresh air, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, no or restricted access to warm water, mouldy or dirty cell, poor quality of food

 

 

516 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 23/12/2019 3,000
9. 51579/16

29/11/2016

Traian ONOFREI

1961

Giliola Axinte

Bucharest

Iași Prison

13/02/2020 to

08/01/2021

10 month(s) and 27 day(s)

1.2 – 1.9 m² overcrowding, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack or inadequate furniture, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of fresh air 264 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 10/11/2015 to 23/12/2019

 

1,000
10. 56487/16

03/02/2017

Răzvan GÎLCĂ

1989

 

 

Slobozia and Rahova Prisons

22/09/2010 to

23/07/2012

1 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 2 day(s)

1.4 – 2.9 m² overcrowding, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, no or restricted access to warm water, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of fresh air 306 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions between 24/07/2012 – 25/10/2017

 

3,000
11. 58399/16

24/10/2016

Ion CIOBANU

1974

 

 

Focșani Prison

24/12/2019

pending

More than 1 year(s) and 7 month(s) and 28 day(s)

1.3 – 2.1 m² overcrowding, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack or inadequate furniture, poor quality of food, lack or insufficient quantity of food, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, mouldy or dirty cell, no or restricted access to shower

 

450 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 23/12/2019 3,000
12. 59115/16

03/04/2017

Patragică LINGURAR

1990

Vasile Rareş Biro

Satu Mare

Timiș County Police Station

05/07/2016 to

01/08/2016

28 day(s)

lack of fresh air, inadequate temperature, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of privacy for toilet, mouldy or dirty cell, poor quality of food, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of or insufficient natural light

 

78 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 02/08/2016 to 19/10/2017 1,000
13. 62018/16

04/04/2017

Nicolae-Adrian CIUCU

1975

Claudia Nadina Daciana Cândea

Timișoara

Târgu Jiu, Gherla, Drobeta Turnu Severin, Poarta Albă Prisons

13/02/2014 to

22/09/2014

7 month(s) and 10 day(s)

0.6 – 1.7 m² overcrowding, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of toiletries, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, no or restricted access to warm water, poor quality of food 504 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 16/07/2019, with the exception of the period referred to in Column no. 5

 

1,000
14. 62126/16

26/04/2017

Janos CSIZMADIA

1968

 

 

Mureș County Police Station, Târgu Mureș, Miercurea Ciuc, Jilava, Aiud, Giurgiu, Arad and Gherla Prisons and Jilava, Dej, Colibași and Rahova Prison Hospitals

08/08/2007 to

16/10/2020

13 year(s) and 2 month(s) and 9 day(s)

1.3 – 2.6 m²

 

 

overcrowding (save for the periods between 08/04/2009 – 09/07/2009 and 09/11/2012 – 18/11/2019), poor quality of food, no or restricted access to warm water, bunk beds, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack of or restricted access to leisure or educational activities, lack of toiletries, inadequate temperature

 

 

84 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 04/12/2019, on unspecified periods 5,000
15. 63832/16

04/01/2017

Daniel-Lucian GANEA

1985

 

 

Gherla, Aiud and Arad Prisons

21/10/2015 to

07/07/2016

8 month(s) and 17 day(s)

Aiud and Arad Prisons

19/03/2018 to

29/03/2019

1 year(s) and 11 day(s)

Arad Prison

05/12/2019

pending

More than 1 year(s) and 8 month(s) and 16 day(s)

 

 

 

 

 

mouldy or dirty cell, bunk beds, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of or insufficient electric light, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air

 

 

 

 

312 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 19/02/2013 to 23/12/2019, with the exception of the periods referred to in Column no. 5 3,000
16. 66613/16

11/11/2016

Virgil-Zamfir STAN

1984

Vasile Rareş Biro

Satu Mare

Satu Mare County Police Station, Oradea, Satu Mare, Gherla, Baia Mare and Jilava Prisons

20/08/2004 to

23/07/2012

7 year(s) and 11 month(s) and 4 day(s)

 

Arad Prison

14/03/2016 to

13/05/2016

2 month(s)

1.3 – 2.8 m²

 

 

overcrowding (save for the periods between 17/02/2009 – 21/05/2009, 24/07/2009 – 07/01/2010, 07-09/12/2010 – and 14/03/2016 – 13/05/2016), lack of fresh air, lack of privacy for toilet, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, poor quality of food, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or insufficient natural light, no or restricted access to warm water, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen

 

 

504 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 06/06/2019, with the exception of the period referred to in Column no. 5 5,000
17. 5365/17

27/03/2017

Gheorghe-Ciprian IORDACHE

1987

 

 

Mărgineni Prison

05/12/2019

pending

More than 1 year(s) and 8 month(s) and 15 day(s)

1.6 – 1.9 m² overcrowding, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of fresh air, lack or insufficient quantity of food 444 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions between 24/07/2012 – 04/12/2019

 

3,000

[1] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.

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