CASE OF PĂDURARIU AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA (European Court of Human Rights) 37813/15 and 12 others

The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention.


FOURTH SECTION
CASE OF PĂDURARIU AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA
(Application no. 37813/15 and 12 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
13 January 2022

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

In the case of Pădurariu 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 9 December 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. In application no. 39773/16, on 20 August 2020 the applicant notified the Court that he had changed his name from Vinogruschi to Hassan. The Court advised the parties that it would continue processing the application under the case name of Vinogruschi v. Romania. This corresponded to the applicant’s name as referred to in his application lodged with the Court.

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

THE LAW

I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

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

II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3 OF THE CONVENTION

7. 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.”

8. The Government raised a preliminary objection concerning loss of victim status by some of the applicants 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.

9. 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).

10. 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.

11. 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, §§ 122‑41, and Ananyev and Others v. Russia, nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08, §§ 149‑59, 10 January 2012).

12. 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.

13. Having examined all the material submitted to it and the arguments raised by the parties, including the Government’s objection related to the non‑exhaustion of domestic remedies in some cases, 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 (including its findings in the recent case of Polgar v. Romania, no. 39412/19, §§ 94-97, 20 July 2021), the Court considers that in the instant cases the applicants’ conditions of detention, as described in the table appended below, were inadequate.

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

III. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

15. In applications nos. 31001/16, 38447/16, 47983/16, 78413/16 and 4786/20, the applicants also raised other complaints under Article 3 of the Convention.

16. The Court has examined the applications listed in the appended table 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 Articles 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.

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

IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

17. 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.”

18. 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.

19. The Court further 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. Declares the complaints concerning the inadequate conditions of detention, for the periods specified in the appended table, admissible, and the remainder of the applications inadmissible;

3. Holds that these complaints disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention concerning the inadequate conditions of detention, as specified in the appended table below;

4. 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 13 January 2022, 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. 37813/15

24/08/2015

Emilian PĂDURARIU

1969

 

 

Bucharest Police facilities nos. 4, 5 and 12, Rahova Prison and Colibași Prison Hospital

30/10/2009 to

23/07/2012

2 year(s) and 8 month(s) and 24 day(s)

2.06-2.75 m²  overcrowding (save for 22/01-23/02/2010, 25/11/2010 – 22/08/2011, 31/10/2011-24/04/2012 and 26/04-14/08/2012), bunk beds, lack of privacy for toilet, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of fresh air, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, poor quality of food 390 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 27/12/2017 3,000
2. 31001/16

22/06/2016

Aurel OLTEAN

1962

 

 

Dej Prison Hospital

25/05/2018 to

21/06/2018

28 day(s)

Dej Prison Hospital

23/05/2019 to

04/06/2019

13 day(s)

Deva Prison

24/12/2019

pending

More than 1 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 18 day(s)

2.33 m² overcrowding (save for 25/05-21/06/2018 and 23/05-04/06/2019), lack or inadequate furniture, no or restricted access to shower, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air 516 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 23/12/2019 save for the periods mentioned in column no. 5 3,000
3. 32318/16

06/07/2016

Ion EVULESCU

1957

Irina Elena Arsenie

Târgu-Jiu

Bucharest Central Arrest and Gorj County Police

07/07/2012 to

04/12/2012

4 month(s) and 28 day(s)

2.16 m² overcrowding (save for 26/11-04/12/2012), bunk beds, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of fresh air, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, no or restricted access to toilet 330 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 05/12/2012 to 17/11/2017

 

1,000
4. 38447/16

18/08/2016

Remus BANFI

1979

 

 

Miercurea Ciuc Prison

24/12/2019

pending

More than 1 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 18 day(s)

1.92 m² overcrowding, bunk beds, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of toiletries, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, poor quality of food 486 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 23/12/2019

 

3,000
5. 39245/16

25/08/2016

Vasile SĂRĂCUȚU

1976

 

 

Jilava Prison

24/12/2019

pending

More than 1 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 18 day(s)

1.25 m² overcrowding, poor quality of food, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, poor quality of potable water, mouldy or dirty cell 282 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 12/01/2016 to 23/12/2019 3,000
6. 39773/16

18/11/2016

Bogdan HASAN (previously VINOGRUSCHI)

1986

Aneta Grigoras

Botoșani

Iași Prison

25/05/2017 to

08/06/2017

15 day(s)

Iași Prison

26/03/2020 to

08/01/2021

9 month(s) and 14 day(s)

Iași Prison

18/02/2021 to

20/05/2021

3 month(s) and 3 day(s)

Iași Prison

14/06/2021

pending

More than 4 month(s) and 28 day(s)

1.60 m² overcrowding, lack or inadequate furniture, mouldy or dirty cell, poor quality of food, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, bunk beds 270 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 16/12/2015 to 23/12/2019, except for the period from 25/05/2017 to 08/06/2017 3,000
7. 46691/16

08/11/2016

Florin-Viorel BUSUIOC

1984

Irina Maria Peter

Bucharest

Bucharest Police facilities nos. 3 and 12, Rahova, Jilava, Giurgiu and Colibași Prisons

24/02/2009 to

23/07/2012

3 year(s) and 5 month(s)

Rahova Prison

22/09/2017 to

16/10/2017

25 day(s)

Rahova Prison

21/10/2017 to

15/11/2017

26 day(s)

1.29-2.90 m²  overcrowding (save for 22/09-16/10/2017 and 21/10-15/11/2017), bunk beds, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, inadequate temperature, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, poor quality of food, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, mouldy or dirty cell, no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to shower, poor quality of potable water 408 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 24/04/2018, except for 22/09/2017 to 16/10/2017 and 21/10/2017 to 15/11/2017 3,000
8. 47568/16

02/09/2016

Florin-Constantin GORDIN

1978

 

 

Timișoara Prison

11/04/2016 to

11/07/2017

1 year(s) and 3 month(s) and 1 day(s)

1.25-2.40 m² overcrowding, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of toiletries, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, poor quality of food 3,000
9. 47778/16

13/09/2016

Ekrem TURHAN

1965

 

 

Bucharest General Police, Jilava, Rahova, Drobeta Turnu Severin, Poarta Albă, Timișoara and Giurgiu Prisons and Rahova Prison Hospital

06/12/2002 to

23/07/2012

9 year(s) and 7 month(s) and 18 day(s)

Jilava Prison

24/12/2019

pending

More than 2 year(s) and 3 month(s) and 18 day(s)

0.66-2.85 m² overcrowding (save for 19-21/05/2009, 14-16/11/2011, 17/02-14/05/2012), lack of fresh air, inadequate temperature, poor quality of potable water, no or restricted access to shower, no or restricted access to warm water 516 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 to 23/12/2019 5,000
10. 47983/16

19/09/2016

Constantin TURCESCU

1968

 

 

Colibași Prison

24/12/2019

pending

More than 1 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 18 day(s)

2.13-2.75 m² overcrowding, lack of fresh air, mouldy or dirty cell, no or restricted access to running water, no or restricted access to toilet, 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, poor quality of food 516 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/07/2012 – 23/12/2019 3,000
11. 78413/16

11/07/2017

Ismail DERVIS

1974

Andreea-Gabriela Cadar

Galați

Poarta Albă Hospital Prison

23/03/2016 to

29/03/2016

7 day(s)

Poarta Albă Hospital Prison

16/08/2016 to

29/09/2016

1 month(s) and 14 day(s)

Poarta Albă Hospital Prison

26/02/2018 to

06/03/2018

9 day(s)

Poarta Albă Hospital Prison

14/06/2018 to

27/06/2018

14 day(s)

Poarta Albă Hospital Prison

28/02/2019 to

07/03/2019

8 day(s)

1.66-2.50 m² overcrowding, poor quality of food, lack of toiletries 258 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 13/02/2016 to 12/12/2019, except for the periods referred to in column. no. 5 1,000
12. 10896/17

27/07/2017

Gheorghe Viorel LAZĂR

1991

 

 

Deva Police Station

26/07/2016 to

20/10/2016

2 month(s) and 25 day(s)

1 m² overcrowding, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of fresh air 150 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 21/10/2016 to 09/02/2017 and from 27/11/2017 to 22/12/2019 1,000
13. 4786/20

17/02/2020

Ovidiu Ilie CIOBOTEA

1990

 

 

Târgu Jiu Prison

23/12/2019

pending

More than 1 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 19 day(s)

2.12-2.65 m² overcrowding (save for 05-07/02/2020), lack of fresh air, inadequate temperature, no or restricted access to shower 18 days in compensation for a total period of detention spent in inadequate conditions from 24/09/2019 to 22/12/2019 3,000

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

code