In the case of Dougoz v. Greece,
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J.-P. Costa, President,
Mr C.L. Rozakis,
Mr L. Loucaides,
Mr P. Kuris,
Mrs F. Tulkens,
Mr K. Jungwiert,
Sir Nicolas Bratza, judges,
and Mrs S. Dollé, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 8 February 2000 and 13 February 2001,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on the last-
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL LAW AND PRACTICE
"The court may order the expulsion of an alien who has been given a prison sentence under Articles 52 and 53 of the Criminal Code, provided that the country's international obligations are respected. An alien lawfully present in Greece may only be expelled if given a sentence of at least three months' imprisonment. The expulsion takes place immediately after the alien has served his or her sentence or is released from prison. The same applies when the expulsion has been ordered by way of a secondary penalty."
"54. The principal detention facilities at the Athens Police Headquarters were situated on the 7th floor of the Headquarters building. They consisted of 20 cells divided into two sections. The cells measured just over 12 m2, and were equipped with fixed benches for rest/sleeping purposes; the lighting was adequate, as would be the ventilation in the absence of overcrowding. In principle, the cellular accommodation could be considered as acceptable for persons obliged to remain in police custody for a relatively short period, on condition that the premises are kept clean and those obliged to spend the night in custody are provided with mattresses and blankets.
For the most part, the detainees were being held two or three to a cell, though a cell reserved for women was accommodating five detainees. The delegation was told by persons detained that in the very recent past, ten or more persons had been held per cell. Given the cells' dimensions, such occupancy levels would be grossly excessive.
Further, some persons detained under the Aliens legislation stated that they had received no information about the procedure applicable to them (at least not in a language they understood). On the other hand, such detainees did have access to a telephone.
Toilet and shower facilities were situated alongside the cells, and no complaints were heard about access to those facilities; however, detainees did complain that they had not been provided with towels or soap. The state of cleanliness and overall state of repair of the toilets/shower facilities was appalling, although an attempt to improve the situation was made between the delegation's different visits.
– that no-one be held in these facilities for longer than is absolutely necessary;
– that there be a maximum occupancy level of four persons per cell (with a possible exception as regards persons only staying a few hours in custody);
– that persons detained overnight be provided with both blankets and mattresses;
– that the toilet/shower facilities be renovated in a hygienic condition, and detained persons provided with the wherewithal to keep themselves clean;
– that means be sought of enabling persons detained for more than 24 hours to be offered outdoor exercise on a daily basis;
– that persons detained under the Aliens legislation be strictly separated from criminal suspects;
– than an information leaflet be given to persons detained under the Aliens legislation explaining the procedure applicable to them and their related rights; this leaflet to be available in the languages most commonly spoken by such persons and, if necessary, the services of an interpreter provided."
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3 OF THE CONVENTION
"No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
The Court observes that the Government did not deny the applicant's allegations concerning overcrowding and a lack of beds or bedding.
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 5 OF THE CONVENTION
"1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:
(f) the lawful arrest or detention of a person to prevent his effecting an unauthorised entry into the country or of a person against whom action is being taken with a view to deportation or extradition.
...4.. Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful.
In the present case the expulsion of the applicant was ordered by a court and not by an administrative decision. Moreover, the applicant was not considered a danger to public order. The Indictments Division, which ordered his release from prison in July 1997, held that it transpired from the applicant's conduct during detention that he was not going to commit any further offences when released and that it was not necessary to prolong his detention.
III. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
"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."
A. Damage and costs
B. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final according to Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, GRD 5,000,000 (five million drachmas) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and costs, plus any value-added tax that may be chargeable;
(b) that simple interest at an annual rate of 6% shall be payable from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement;
Done in English, and notified in writing on 6 March 2001, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
S. Dollé J.-P. Costa