ECHR rules against CyprusThe European Court of Human Rights upheld a complaint against Cyprus, in which a Polish inmate accused the state of inhumane treatment.
Robert Tadeusz Danilczuk, a 53-year-old Polish national, filed an original complaint with the ECHR against the Cyprus government, alleging degrading treatment and accusing the state of providing inadequate conditions during his detention at Nicosia Central Prisons.
Danilczuk, who is currently doing time in a Polish prison, was convicted in 2011 of a number of offences in Cyprus, including burglary, theft, road traffic offences and unlawful residence. He was given sentences ranging from six months to two years imprisonment to run concurrently.
Danilczuk complained of overcrowding conditions and lack of toilet facilities inside his cell block
He spent the entire period of his detention in three different blocks in the prison, from September 2010, when he was placed in detention on remand until May 2012, when he was released after receiving presidential pardon.
The plaintiff complained of overcrowding conditions and lack of toilet facilities inside his cell block. As a result, he had to urinate using a bottle and defecate in a garbage bag when he was locked inside the cell. He also said the lighting was inadequate and the environment was cold inside.
The ECHR upheld Danilczuk’s complaint with 4 votes in favour, relying on Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits torture and "inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
Three dissenting opinions were written by Swedish Judge Helena Jäderblom as well as jointly by Cypriot judge Georgios Serghides and Andorran Judge Pere Pastor Vilanova.
The ruling is damaging to the Republic of Cyprus as similar complaints have been made in the past.