CASE OF DASCĂLU AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA (European Court of Human Rights) 2676/16 and 19 others

The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention.


FOURTH SECTION
CASE OF DASCĂLU AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA
(Application no. 2676/16 and 19 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 Dascălu 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.

3. In application no. 31872/16, by letter dated 8 September 2020, the applicant notified the Court that she had changed her name, the new one being Raluca‑Mădălina Tomoiu. The Court advised the parties on 23 February 2021 that it would continue processing the application under the case name of Dănăiață‑Tomoiu v. Romania. This corresponded to the applicant’s name as referred to in her application lodged with the Court.

THE FACTS

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

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 principally 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 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).

9. 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.

10. Having examined all the material submitted to it and the arguments raised by the parties, including the Government’s objections related to the non-exhaustion of domestic remedies, 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 case the applicants’ conditions of detention, as described in the appended table below, were inadequate.

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

III. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

12. In applications nos. 28409/16, 34383/16 and 35013/17, the applicants also raised other complaints under Article 3 of the Convention.

13. 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

14. 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.”

15. 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.

16. 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 for the periods 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 Amount awarded for pecuniary and non‑pecuniary damage and costs and expenses per applicant

(in euros)[1]

1. 2676/16

14/12/2015

Florin-Beniamin DASCĂLU

1992

 

 

Bistrița and Târgu Mureș Prisons

25/02/2015 to

22/03/2016

1 year(s) and 27 day(s)

1.2 – 2.1 m² overcrowding, insufficient sanitary facilities, lack of adequate heating and fresh air, lack of furniture, infestation of the cell with insects, poor quality of food, small courtyard 3,000
2. 27898/16

30/06/2016

Gabriel VIŞAN

1994

 

 

Galați, Bacău and Iași Prisons

04/03/2015 to

18/08/2016

1 year(s) and 5 month(s) and 15 day(s)

1.20 – 2.57 m² overcrowding (save for the periods 17/03/2015 – 24/03/2015, 07/04/2015 – 26/05/2015 and 09/08/2016 – 18/08/2016), mouldy or dirty cell, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to toilet, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of fresh air, poor quality of food, lack or inadequate furniture, no or restricted access to shower, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen 3,000
3. 28409/16

06/06/2016

Constantin DIN

1956

 

 

Mioveni (Colibaşi) Prison and Mioveni (Colibaşi) Prison Hospital

26/10/2015 to

07/06/2017

1 year(s) and 7 month(s) and 13 day(s)

1.92 – 2.32 m² overcrowding (save for the periods 08/12/2015 – 19/01/2016, 16/02/2016 – 15/03/2016, 12/04/2016 – 19/04/2016, 26/07/2016 – 11/08/2016, 03/01/2017 – 05/01/2017 and 16/05/2017 – 07/06/2017), lack of fresh air, mouldy or dirty cell, no or restricted access to shower, poor quality of food, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air 3,000
4. 28491/16

18/07/2016

Emil NICU

1974

 

 

Giurgiu, Bucharest – Jilava, Drobeta Turnu Severin – Vânjuleţul Mare, Focşani and Târgu-Jiu Prisons

25/07/2012 to

31/05/2016

3 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 7 day(s)

1.01 – 2.87 m² overcrowding, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of fresh air, bunk beds, no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to shower, no or restricted access to running water, lack or inadequate furniture, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of toiletries, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, poor quality of potable water, poor quality of food 3,000
5. 29101/16

11/06/2016

Ion PAVEL

1961

Peter Irina Maria

Bucharest

Mărgineni, Ploieşti and Găeşti Prisons; Bucharest – Jilava and Mioveni (Colibaşi) Prison Hospitals

20/10/2012 to

01/03/2016

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

0.95 – 2.48 m² overcrowding (save for the periods 09/11/2012 – 26/11/2012 and 29/01/2016 – 01/03/2016), bunk beds, no or restricted access to shower, mouldy or dirty cell, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, no or restricted access to running water, poor quality of potable water, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, inadequate temperature, lack of fresh air 3,000
6. 29130/16

14/06/2016

Marcel FILIP

1967

 

 

Vaslui and Iaşi Prisons

07/07/2015 to

13/12/2016

1 year(s) and 5 month(s) and 7 day(s)

1.28 – 2.29 m² overcrowding, mouldy or dirty cell, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack or inadequate furniture, no or restricted access to shower, lack of or insufficient natural light, constant electric light, poor quality of food, sharing cells with inmates infected with contagious disease 3,000
7. 31570/16

06/07/2016

Valentin Marian STATE

1985

 

 

Focșani, Galați, Bucharest – Rahova and Arad Prisons; Târgu Ocna Prison Hospital

20/12/2012 to

27/09/2016

3 year(s) and 9 month(s) and 8 day(s)

Focșani Prison

14/10/2016 to

28/02/2017

4 month(s) and 15 day(s)

1.2 – 2.67 m²

 

 

overcrowding (save for the periods 27/01/2015 – 02/03/2015 and 26/05/2015 – 09/06/2015), lack of fresh air, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or insufficient natural light

 

 

3,000
8. 31864/16

11/07/2016

Paul DOBRE

1956

 

 

Vâlcea County Police Station; Mioveni (Colibași), Târgu Jiu, Aiud, Gherla and Deva (Bârcea Mare) Prisons; Mioveni (Colibași), Bucharest – Jilava and Dej Prison Hospitals

24/03/2014 to

27/09/2016

2 year(s) and 6 month(s) and 4 day(s)

1.67 – 2.98 m² overcrowding (save for the periods 01/04/2014 – 15/04/2014, 05/08/2015 – 26/10/2015, 31/03/2016 – 18/04/2016, 19/04/2016 – 09/05/2016, 12/05/2016 – 04/09/2016 and 05/09/2016 – 27/09/2016), bunk beds, lack of privacy for toilet, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, constant electric light, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack or inadequate furniture, poor quality of potable water, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, no or restricted access to warm water, poor quality of food 3,000
9. 31872/16

27/07/2016

Raluca‑Mădălina TOMOIU

(former Dănăiață‑Tomoiu)

1987

 

 

Gorj County Police Station; Craiova and Craiova – Ișalnița Section Prisons

23/10/2014 to

18/10/2016

1 year(s) and 11 month(s) and 26 day(s)

0.85 – 2.74 m² overcrowding, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of fresh air, no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to shower, 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, lack or inadequate furniture, bunk beds, sharing cells with inmates infected with contagious disease 3,000
10. 31884/16

11/07/2016

Andrei-Mircea BĂBAN

1990

 

 

Gherla and Baia Mare Prisons

31/10/2015 to

11/01/2017

1 year(s) and 2 month(s) and 12 day(s)

1.86 – 2.35 m² overcrowding, insufficient number of sleeping places, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, poor quality of food, lack of fresh air, no or restricted access to warm water 3,000
11. 32338/16

16/08/2016

Gheorghe CIULIN

1972

 

 

Iași, Bucharest – Rahova, Botoșani and Bistrița Prisons

10/11/1997 to

08/02/2017

19 year(s) and 2 month(s) and 30 day(s)

1.28 – 2.48 m² overcrowding (save for the period 26/01/2012 – 02/03/2012), lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of or insufficient electric light, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, inadequate temperature 5,000
12. 32792/16

08/09/2016

Claudiean CIUPITU

1972

 

 

Olt County Police Station; Craiova, Bucharest – Jilava and Mioveni (Colibaşi) Prisons

03/01/2006 to

26/02/2012

6 year(s) and 1 month(s) and 24 day(s)

Mioveni (Colibași) Prison

01/03/2012 to

11/04/2013

1 year(s) and 1 month(s) and 11 day(s)

Mioveni (Colibași) and Târgu Jiu Prisons

16/04/2013 to

07/07/2016

3 year(s) and 2 month(s) and 22 day(s)

1.21 – 2.82 m²

 

overcrowding, no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to running water, poor quality of potable water, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, no or restricted access to shower, lack or inadequate furniture, bunk beds, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of fresh air, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, poor quality of food

 

5,000
13. 34383/16

05/12/2016

Florea COTOI

1961

 

 

Bistrița Prison

03/07/2015 to

15/11/2016

1 year(s) and 4 month(s) and 13 day(s)

1.75 – 2.17 m² overcrowding, lack of fresh air, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack or inadequate furniture, poor quality of potable water, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of or insufficient electric light, lack of toiletries, no or restricted access to warm water 3,000
14. 35262/16

19/10/2016

Iosif PINCZES

1979

Omota Georgeta

Baia Mare

Maramureș County Police Station; Gherla, Timișoara, Aiud and Baia Mare Prisons; Dej Prison Hospital

10/04/2013 to

14/06/2016

3 year(s) and 2 month(s) and 5 day(s)

1.33 – 2.50 m² overcrowding (save for the periods 29/05/2013 – 12/06/2013, 22/01/2014 – 23/01/2014 and 28/07/2015 – 24/02/2016), no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to potable water, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, no or restricted access to shower, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, bunk beds 3,000
15. 35349/16

12/07/2016

Ovidiu ILAŞC

1974

Ilașc Elena‑Claudia

Galați

Galați Prison

17/09/2012 to

18/08/2016

3 year(s) and 11 month(s) and 2 day(s)

1.20 – 1.50 m² overcrowding, mouldy or dirty cell, lack or inadequate furniture, bunk beds, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to shower, lack of toiletries, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, poor quality of potable water 3,000
16. 35959/16

05/08/2016

Octavian STERE

1975

 

 

Mărgineni, Ploiești, Ploiești – Berceni Section and Găești Prisons

16/09/2014 to

19/01/2017

2 year(s) and 4 month(s) and 4 day(s)

0.88 – 2.15 m² overcrowding (save for the periods 18/02/2015 – 20/03/2015 and 18/02/2016 – 19/01/2017), infestation of cell with insects/rodents, bunk beds, mouldy or dirty cell, no or restricted access to shower, no or restricted access to warm water, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, lack of toiletries, lack of privacy for toilet, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, sharing cells with inmates infected with contagious disease, lack of or restricted access to leisure or educational activities, lack of or insufficient electric light 3,000
17. 38093/16

25/07/2016

Viorel ARDELEAN

1956

 

 

Maramureș County Police Station; Gherla and Baia Mare Prisons; Dej Prison Hospital

05/04/2012 to

20/12/2016

4 year(s) and 8 month(s) and 16 day(s)

1.56 – 2.35 m² overcrowding (save for the periods 23/05/2012 – 29/05/2012, 06/12/2013 – 18/12/2013, 17/09/2014 – 01/10/2014 and 13/10/2015 – 10/11/2015), lack of fresh air, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to potable water, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, bunk beds, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, poor quality of food, poor quality of potable water 3,000
18. 40594/16

16/08/2016

Ioan-Lucian MARINCAȘ

1979

 

 

Cluj County Police Station; Gherla and Bistrița Prisons

30/05/2014 to

18/10/2016

2 year(s) and 4 month(s) and 19 day(s)

1.37 – 2.95 m² overcrowding, lack of or insufficient natural light, no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to potable water, mouldy or dirty cell, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, bunk beds, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack or inadequate furniture 3,000
19. 29709/17

03/04/2017

Ninel-Dorin MĂCEŞANU

1979

 

 

Jilava Prison Hospital

15/07/2014 to

14/03/2017

2 year(s) and 8 month(s)

1.5 – 3 m² overcrowding, bunk beds, lack of fresh air, no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to running water, no or restricted access to shower, poor quality of potable water, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, mouldy or dirty cell, inadequate temperature, constant electric light, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack of or restricted access to leisure or educational activities 3,000
20. 35013/17

04/05/2017

Florea DUMITRU

1967

Cadar Andreea‑Gabriela

Galați

Constanța – Poarta Albă Prison

04/08/2016 to

13/11/2016

3 month(s) and 10 day(s)

1.81 – 1.86 m² overcrowding, bunk beds, lack of toiletries, mouldy or dirty cell, poor quality of potable water, poor quality of food, no or restricted access to shower, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, inadequate temperature, lack of or insufficient electric light, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack or inadequate furniture, infestation of cell with insects/rodents 1,000

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

code