CASE OF GÎLICE AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA (European Court of Human Rights) 73408/16 and 8 others

The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention.


FOURTH SECTION
CASE OF GÎLICE AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA
(Application no. 73408/16 and 8 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 Gîlice 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 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. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

11. 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.”

12. 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.

13. 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 applications admissible;

3. Holds that these applications disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention concerning the inadequate conditions of detention;

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. 73408/16

22/03/2017

Tomiță-Ștefan GÎLICE

1971

 

 

Olt County Police Station; Rahova, Giurgiu, Craiova and Jilava Prisons; Jilava Prison Hospital

13/03/2015 to

14/03/2017

2 year(s) and 2 day(s)

1.48-2.86 m² overcrowding, 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 or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, poor quality of food, lack of toiletries, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of or insufficient natural light, poor quality of potable water, no or restricted access to potable water, no or restricted access to toilet, lack of fresh air, lack of or restricted access to leisure or educational activities, lack of privacy for toilet, bunk beds 3,000
2. 159/17

12/12/2016

Attila-Stefan PERENYI

1968

Nicoleta Iuga

Arad

Arad and Timișoara Prisons

25/02/2015 to

01/11/2016

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

2 m² overcrowding (save for 25/02-19/03/2015; 19/08-01/11/2016), infestation of cell with insects/rodents, no or restricted access to shower, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of fresh air, inadequate temperature, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of privacy for toilet, mouldy or dirty cell, no or restricted access to toilet, lack of toiletries 3,000
3. 6993/17

22/05/2017

Dumitru CEAUȘU

1978

 

 

Neamț County Police Station; Bacău, Vaslui, Târgu Ocna, Tulcea and Focșani Prisons

24/01/2014 to

13/12/2016

2 year(s) and 10 month(s) and 20 day(s)

1.24-2.94 m² overcrowding (save for 20-25/02/2014), infestation of cell with insects/rodents, mouldy or dirty cell, poor quality of food, no or restricted access to warm water, inadequate temperature 3,000
4. 7183/17

16/01/2017

Dorel CĂLDĂRAȘI

1963

Claudia Nadina Daciana Cândea

Timișoara

Timiș County Police Station; Timișoara Prison

23/04/2013 to

17/08/2016

3 year(s) and 3 month(s) and 26 day(s)

2-2.22 m² overcrowding, insufficient number of sleeping places, lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, constant electric light, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of toiletries, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, inadequate temperature, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient quantity of food, no or restricted access to warm water 3,000
5. 12162/17

07/02/2017

Marius-Nicolae STANCIU

1979

Claudia Nadina Daciana Cândea

Timisoara

Timiş County Police Station; Timişoara Prison

21/06/2013 to

22/11/2016

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

2.25-2.33 m² overcrowding (save for 16/07-20/08/2014), lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient natural light, constant electric light, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of toiletries, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, no or restricted access to warm water, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, inadequate temperature, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient quantity of food 3,000
6. 64598/17

25/08/2017

Claudiu Ovidiu RADA

1979

 

 

Arad and Timişoara Prisons

08/04/2015 to

04/05/2017

2 year(s) and 27 day(s)

2.14-2.75 m² overcrowding (save for 07/05/2015-07/01/2016 in the Arad Prison), infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack or inadequate furniture, no or restricted access to warm water, poor quality of potable water, mouldy or dirty cell, inadequate temperature, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, bunk beds, no or restricted access to shower 3,000
7. 73118/17

29/09/2017

Vasile ANDRUȚĂ

1960

 

 

Bucharest Central Arrest; Rahova, Giurgiu, Mioveni (Colibaşi) and Jilava Prisons

24/11/2009 to

22/08/2017

7 year(s) and 8 month(s) and 30 day(s)

1.21-2.84 m² overcrowding, insufficient number of sleeping places, no or restricted access to toilet, no or restricted access to warm water, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, mouldy or dirty cell, no or restricted access to shower, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to toilet, poor quality of potable water, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, mouldy or dirty cell 5,000
8. 77777/17

27/10/2017

Ștefan IOVA

1967

Nicoleta Iuga

Arad

Arad, Timişoara and Aiud Prisons

19/12/2014 to

12/05/2017

2 year(s) and 4 month(s) and 24 day(s)

1.73-2.4 m² overcrowding (save for 19/12/2014‑08/01/2015; 02-03/07/2015; 12-13/05/2016; 01-06/06/2016; 05-22/06/2015), no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to shower, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, poor quality of food, overcrowding, bunk beds, lack of privacy for toilet, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of fresh air, inadequate temperature, lack or insufficient quantity of food, no or restricted access to toilet, poor quality of potable water, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of toiletries, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities 3,000
9. 79467/17

13/11/2017

Adrian TĂBĂROIU

1975

 

 

Argeş County Police Station; Mioveni (Colibaşi), Rahova, Giurgiu and Jilava Prisons

06/03/2013 to

23/05/2017

4 year(s) and 2 month(s) and 18 day(s)

1.38-2.89 m² overcrowding (save for 09-11/04/2013; 20/08‑11/11/2014; 21/03/2016-23/05/2017), lack of privacy for toilet, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, no or restricted access to shower, no or restricted access to running water, no or restricted access to warm water, poor quality of potable water, lack of toiletries, inadequate temperature, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack or inadequate furniture, poor quality of food, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air 3,000

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

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