CASE OF FARAON AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA (European Court of Human Rights) 40691/16 and 16 others

The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention.


FOURTH SECTION
CASE OF FARAON AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA
(Application no. 40691/16 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 Faraon 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 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.”

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 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.

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

III. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

11. In applications nos. 42182/16, 42457/16, 45745/16, 71969/16 and 6030/17, 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 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. 40691/16

02/08/2016

Adrian FARAON

1975

 

 

Aiud and Deva (Bârcea Mare) Prisons

19/03/2015 to

10/02/2017

1 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 23 day(s)

1.26 – 2.92 m² overcrowding, lack of fresh air, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of toiletries, constant electric light, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, sharing cells with inmates infected with contagious disease, lack of or insufficient quantity of food 3,000
2. 42031/16

30/08/2016

Florin MITITELU

1988

 

 

Suceava County Police Station and Botoșani Prison

21/03/2016 to

28/06/2017

1 year(s) and 3 month(s) and 8 day(s)

1.70 – 2.44 m² overcrowding (save for the period 21/03/2016 – 25/03/2016), bunk beds, mouldy or dirty cell, 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, lack or inadequate furniture, no or restricted access to shower, poor quality of food, insufficient number of sleeping places, no or restricted access to potable water, passive smoking, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or restricted access to leisure or educational activities 3,000
3. 42182/16

13/09/2016

Nicolae PECA

1966

 

 

Craiova, Drobeta-Turnu Severin and Drobeta‑Turnu Severin – Vânjuleț Exterior Section Prisons

12/01/2005 to

23/05/2017

12 year(s) and 4 month(s) and 12 day(s)

1.19 – 2.51 m² overcrowding (save for the periods 19/03/2014 – 21/03/2014, 26/11/2015 – 27/11/2015 and 15/09/2016 – 05/11/2016), bunk beds, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of or insufficient natural light, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, no or restricted access to shower, lack or inadequate furniture, poor quality of food, mouldy or dirty cell 5,000
4. 42457/16

18/07/2016

George-Alexandru SIMON

1991

 

 

Timişoara Prison

09/04/2015 to

04/10/2016

1 year(s) and 5 month(s) and 26 day(s)

1.59 – 2.25 m² overcrowding, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, bunk beds, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of toiletries, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, infestation of cell with insects/rodents 3,000
5. 44765/16

16/08/2016

Nicușor-Ovidiu ILIESCU

1982

 

 

Craiova, Drobeta-Turnu Severin – Vânjuleț Exterior Section and Ploiești Prisons

22/01/2014 to

01/11/2016

2 year(s) and 9 month(s) and 11 day(s)

1.42 – 1.48 m² overcrowding, bunk beds, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, no or restricted access to warm water, inadequate temperature, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, poor quality of food, sharing cells with inmates infected with contagious disease, lack or inadequate furniture 3,000
6. 45745/16

20/09/2016

Ilie-Ștefan STANCU

1976

 

 

Drobeta-Turnu Severin Prison

05/11/2014 to

01/08/2017

2 year(s) and 8 month(s) and 28 day(s)

1.30 – 1.94 m² overcrowding, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, bunk beds, lack or inadequate furniture, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, no or restricted access to shower, poor quality of food, lack of toiletries, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient electric light, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities 3,000
7. 58799/16

27/12/2016

Fănel-Cristian MOCANU

1979

 

 

Bucharest – Rahova, Târgu Jiu, Craiova, Giurgiu, Jilava, Focșani, Galați, Bistrița and Deva Prisons; Bucharest – Rahova and Dej Prison Hospitals

23/12/2004 to

20/09/2016

11 year(s) and 8 month(s) and 29 day(s)

1.13 – 2.90 m² overcrowding (save for the period 03/02/2015 – 09/02/2015), lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, insufficient number of sleeping places, lack or inadequate furniture, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to shower, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, bunk beds 5,000
8. 62783/16

21/11/2016

Iulică SÎRBU

1966

 

 

Bucharest and Mehedinți County Police Stations; Drobeta-Turnu Severin and Craiova Prisons

11/04/2014 to

23/05/2017

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

1.13 – 2.61 m² overcrowding, bunk beds, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of fresh air, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or insufficient electric light, lack of toiletries, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, no or restricted access to running water, no or restricted access to shower, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen 3,000
9. 62916/16

21/11/2016

Teodor POPESCU

1984

 

 

Craiova Prison

28/04/2016 to

12/05/2016

15 day(s)

 

Craiova, Drobeta‑Turnu Severin and Drobeta‑Turnu Severin – Vânjuleț Exterior Section Prisons

19/05/2016 to

03/05/2017

11 month(s) and 15 day(s)

1.30 – 2.44 m² overcrowding, bunk beds, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient electric light, no or restricted access to shower, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of toiletries, mouldy or dirty cell, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, no or restricted access to running water, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities 1,000
10. 71969/16

21/11/2016

Iuliu Iulian LUNGOCI

1976

 

 

Oradea and Satu Mare Prisons

10/11/2015 to

25/05/2016

6 month(s) and 16 day(s)

1.4 – 2.5 m² overcrowding, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, poor quality of food, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, inadequate temperature 1,000
11. 77292/16

18/01/2017

Florin CARȘAI

1985

 

 

Bistrița Prison

06/04/2015 to

09/08/2016

1 year(s) and 4 month(s) and 4 day(s)

1.61 – 2.17 m² overcrowding (save for the period 14/01/2016 – 25/01/2016), bunk beds, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, inadequate temperature, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of fresh air, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack of toiletries 3,000
12. 77297/16

18/01/2017

Gavril CARȘAI

1957

 

 

Bistrița Prison

06/04/2015 to

08/11/2016

1 year(s) and 7 month(s) and 3 day(s)

1.57 – 2.90 m² overcrowding, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, inadequate temperature, bunk beds, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of fresh air, passive smoking, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack of or restricted access to leisure or educational activities, lack of toiletries, lack or inadequate furniture 3,000
13. 78961/16

03/01/2017

Robert BALLA

1968

 

 

Bucharest – Jilava and Giurgiu Prisons

24/09/2003 to

04/08/2008

4 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 12 day(s)

 

Bucharest – Jilava, Giurgiu, Bacău, Constanța – Poarta Albă, Slobozia and Găeşti Prisons

11/08/2008 to

12/04/2017

8 year(s) and 8 month(s) and 2 day(s)

1.01 – 2.88 m² overcrowding (save for the periods 10/12/2008 – 11/03/2009, 27/02/2013 – 04/03/2013 and 12/09/2016 – 12/04/2017), lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, no or restricted access to warm water, poor quality of food, no or restricted access to shower, no or restricted access to potable water, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air 5,000
14. 79481/16

25/01/2017

Ciprian-Costel REGUȘ

1987

 

 

Suceava County Police Station; Botoşani and Iaşi Prisons

13/02/2013 to

11/08/2017

4 year(s) and 5 month(s) and 30 day(s)

1.23 – 2.41 m² overcrowding, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, no or restricted access to potable water, no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to shower, no or restricted access to warm water, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, bunk beds, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light 3,000
15. 6030/17

16/02/2017

Alexandru PETCU

1989

 

 

Slobozia Prison

22/04/2013 to

12/05/2014

1 year(s) and 21 day(s)

 

Slobozia, Constanța – Poarta Albă and Constanța – Poarta Albă – Valu lui Traian Exterior Section Prisons

19/05/2014 to

16/08/2017

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

1.64 – 2.85 m² overcrowding (save for the periods 05/05/2014 – 12/05/2014, 21/05/2014 – 04/09/2014, 15/09/2014 – 16/09/2014, 08/01/2015 – 16/01/2015 and 06/03/2017 – 16/08/2017), mouldy or dirty cell, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, poor quality of potable water, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, bunk beds, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, inadequate temperature, no or restricted access to shower, poor quality of food, constant electric light 3,000
16. 29262/17

04/04/2017

Cristian-Oliver GHERMAN

1974

Ioan Lazăr

Alba Iulia

Dâmbovița County Police Station; Mărgineni and Aiud Prisons

10/05/2016 to

14/12/2016

7 month(s) and 5 day(s)

1.62 – 2.99 m² overcrowding (save for the periods 10/05/2016 – 10/08/2016 and 09/12/2016 – 14/12/2016), lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of fresh air, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, 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, no or restricted access to shower, no or restricted access to warm water, accommodation with inmates under stricter regime, inadequate temperature, mouldy or dirty cell 1,000
17. 38862/17

23/06/2017

Gabriel-Ștefăniță SFÎRLOAGĂ

1991

 

 

Craiova and Craiova – Pelendava Prisons

12/12/2014 to

10/08/2017

2 year(s) and 7 month(s) and 30 day(s)

1.19 – 2.64 m² overcrowding (save for the periods 29/08/2016 – 13/09/2016 and 14/02/2017 – 10/08/2017), no or restricted access to warm water, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, poor quality of food 3,000

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

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