CASE OF CRISTIAN-CONSTANTIN POP AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA (European Court of Human Rights) 32009/16 and 16 others

The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention.


FOURTH SECTION
CASE OF CRISTIAN-CONSTANTIN POP AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA
(Application no. 32009/16 and 16 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 Cristian-Constantin Pop 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. 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. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3 OF THE CONVENTION

6. 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.”

7. 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).

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

9. 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, 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.

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

III. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

11. In applications nos. 32009/16, 45155/16, 45189/16, 67614/17, 68678/16, 65248/17 and 69924/17 the applicants also raised other complaints under Article 3 of the Convention.

12. 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

13. 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.”

14. 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.

15. 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. 32009/16

12/07/2016

Cristian-Constantin POP

1983

 

 

Iaşi Prison

09/11/2010 to

23/07/2012

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

1.26-2.19 m² overcrowding, lack or inadequate furniture, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, poor quality of food, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, mouldy or dirty cell, bunk beds 3,000
2. 38889/16

25/07/2016

Ioan SAVU

1978

 

 

Sibiu County Police, Aiud, Bârcea-Mare and Drobeta Turnu Severin Prisons

14/07/2010 to

20/09/2016

6 year(s) and 2 month(s) and 7 day(s)

1.16-2.60 m² Overcrowding (save for the periods between 16 – 30/08/2010 and 27/06/2012 – 28/01/2013), bunk beds, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of toiletries, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack or inadequate furniture, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack of or insufficient electric light, poor quality of food, no or insufficient disinfection of barbering and haircutting tools, lack of privacy for toilet, no or restricted access to shower, poor quality of potable water, no or restricted access to running water, lack of fresh air 5,000
3. 42872/16

01/09/2016

Augustin-George BUCIU

1993

 

 

Timişoara Prison

04/03/2015 to

27/09/2016

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

2.00 -2.75 m² overcrowding, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of toiletries, mouldy or dirty cell 3,000
4. 44485/16

08/07/2016

Ioan DELEANU

1973

 

 

Brăila County Police and Galaţi County Police, Codlea, Bistriţa, Brăila, Târgu Mureş, Mărgineni, Timişoara and Jilava Prisons, Dej Prison Hospital

05/02/2013 to

09/02/2016

3 year(s) and 5 day(s)

1.16-2,93 m² Overcrowding (save for the periods between 22/03/2013-05/04/2013, 29/10/2013 – 07/11/2013; 16/10/2014-06/01/2015; 18/04/2013-14/11/2013; 27/06/2013 – 08/07/2013, 24/10/2014-15/12/2014 and 09/01/2015 – 24/08/2015), lack of fresh air, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, bunk beds, lack or inadequate furniture, constant electric light 3,000
5. 45155/16

26/07/2016

Gheorghe MUNTEANU

1984

Ionela Mărgărit

Bucharest

Brăila Prison

26/01/2016 to

09/02/2017

1 year(s) and 15 day(s)

Brăila Prison

21/02/2017 to

23/05/2017

3 month(s) and 3 day(s)

1.66-2.00 m²

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

3,000
6. 45189/16

05/10/2016

Paul SURDU

1979

 

 

Giurgiu Prison

16/04/2015 to

11/03/2017

1 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 24 day(s)

2.82-2.84 m² overcrowding, insufficient number of sleeping places, bunk beds, 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, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, no or restricted access to running water, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to shower, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air 3,000
7. 45915/16

27/07/2016

Petrică Raul STAN

1984

Maria Alina Stan

Băicoi

Mărgineni Prison

10/03/2015 to

08/05/2017

2 year(s) and 1 month(s) and 29 day(s)

1.47-2.74 m² Overcrowding (save for the periods between 01-23/04/2015 and 01/02/2017 – 08/05/2017), no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to shower, no or restricted access to running water, lack of fresh air, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, lack of or insufficient natural light, bunk beds, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, insufficient number of sleeping places, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack of or restricted access to leisure or educational activities 3,000
8. 46283/16

14/10/2016

Cosmin-Nicolae LUGOJAN

1986

 

 

Timişoara Prison

13/08/2015 to

11/07/2017

1 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 29 day(s)

2.04-2.25 m² overcrowding, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of toiletries, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, infestation of cell with insects/rodents 3,000
9. 46341/16

16/10/2016

Gheorghe SAVIUC

1975

 

 

Suceava County Police, Botoşani Prison

01/09/2015 to

10/11/2016

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

1.33-2.44 m² overcrowding, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of fresh air, inadequate temperature, no or restricted access to running water, no or restricted access to toilet, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, no or restricted access to shower, lack or inadequate furniture, bunk beds, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, lack of or restricted access to leisure or educational activities, lack of privacy for toilet 3,000
10. 67614/16

02/03/2017

Nicolae MACXIM

1989

Ionela Mărgărit

Bucharest

Brăila Prison

09/06/2015 to

29/08/2017

2 year(s) and 2 month(s) and 21 day(s)

1.45-2.31 m² overcrowding, bunk beds, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack or inadequate furniture, no or restricted access to potable water, lack of or insufficient electric light, no or restricted access to running water, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to shower, lack of privacy for toilet, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, mouldy or dirty cell 3,000
11. 68678/16

16/12/2016

Ionel NIȚĂ

1975

Andreea-Gabriela Cadar

Galati

Poarta Albă Prison

22/04/2016 to

25/04/2017

1 year(s) and 4 day(s)

Poarta Albă Prison

23/05/2017 to

07/06/2017

16 day(s)

1.33-2.04 m²

 

 

 

 

1.57 m²

overcrowding, bunk beds, no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to potable water, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to shower, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or insufficient electric light, lack of fresh air, inadequate temperature, lack or inadequate furniture, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, no or restricted access to running water, lack of or restricted access to leisure or educational activities, poor quality of potable water 3,000
12. 68872/16

17/11/2016

Valerian DRAGOMIR

1980

Loredana Daniela Dragomir

Timisoara

Timişoara and Arad Prisons

20/06/2015 to

04/08/2017

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

2,25 m² Overcrowding (save for the period between 14/07/2015-21/01/2016 when the applicant was in detention in Arad Prison), lack or inadequate furniture, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of toiletries, no or restricted access to warm water, poor quality of potable water, bunk beds, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light 3,000
13. 44243/17

12/07/2017

Constantin MITU

1975

Nicolae Anghel

Bucharest

Bucharest Police detention facilities no. 22, Rahova and Jilava Prisons

16/12/2013 to

22/08/2017

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

1.54-2.45 m² Overcrowding (save for the period between 15/04/2015 – 21/04/2016, insufficient number of sleeping places, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, mouldy or dirty cell 3,000
14. 47834/17

20/06/2017

Alexandru-Florin MARINOIU

1980

Lucian Stuparu

Craiova

Rahova, Craiova and Pelendava Prisons

16/07/2014 to

21/12/2016

2 year(s) and 5 month(s) and 6 day(s)

0.94-2.80 m² Overcrowding (save for the period between 10/06/2015 – 21/12/2016), bunk beds, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, mouldy or dirty cell, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of privacy for toilet, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to running water, no or restricted access to shower, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack of or restricted access to leisure or educational activities, lack of fresh air, no or restricted access to potable water, inadequate temperature 3,000
15. 65248/17

22/08/2017

Gavril IUHAS

1955

Paul Cristea

Oradea

Oradea and Satu Mare Prisons

12/12/2016 to

11/05/2017

5 month(s)

Satu Mare Prison

26/05/2017 to

02/08/2017

2 month(s) and 8 day(s)

1.44-2.89 m²

 

 

 

 

2.16 m²

Overcrowding (save for the period between 05/01/2017-06/02/2017), mouldy or dirty cell, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to shower, no or restricted access to toilet, lack of privacy for toilet, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, poor quality of food, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, inadequate temperature

 

 

1,000
16. 69602/17

13/09/2017

Ionuț RĂILEANU

1983

Raluca Adriana Voinigescu

Bacau

Bacău, Iaşi and Vaslui Prisons

20/10/2014 to

28/03/2017

2 year(s) and 5 month(s) and 9 day(s)

1.22-2.86 m² Overcrowding (save for the period between 25-27/04/2015), insufficient number of sleeping places, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, poor quality of food, no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to shower, lack of or insufficient natural light, inadequate temperature, lack of fresh air, constant electric light, no or restricted access to warm water, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, bunk beds, lack of toiletries, no or restricted access to running water, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air 3,000
17. 69924/17

13/12/2017

Gheorghe BODEANU

1963

 

 

Poarta Albă and Jilava Prisons

05/09/2016 to

20/07/2017

10 month(s) and 16 day(s)

1.45-2.84 m² Overcrowding (save for the periods between and 24-28/11/2016), lack of or insufficient quantity of food, poor quality of food, no or restricted access to shower, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of privacy for toilet, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack or inadequate furniture, mouldy or dirty cell 1,000

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

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