ECtHR - A.F. v. Greece, Application No. 53709/11

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Country of Applicant: 
Iran
Date of Decision: 
07-10-2013
Citation: 
Application No. 53709/11
Court Name: 
First Section; European Court of Human Rights
Keywords: 
Headnote: 

Detention conditions for asylum seekers in Greece tantamount to a violation of Article 3 ECHR, in particular due to overcrowding.

Facts: 

The Applicant is an Iranian national who lived in Athens when the application was lodged. At the time of the judgment, he lived in the United Kingdom, where he had applied for asylum. He entered Greece in 2010 and was arrested at the border. His removal was ordered, but it could not be carried out. He was kept in detention from October 2010 until January 2011 in the premises of the border police. In this time, he filed an asylum application, but the police rejected it. After being released, he left for the UK at an unspecified date.

Relying on Article 3, he complained of the conditions of detention in the premises of the border police. He pointed in particular to overcrowding, deficient hygienic conditions, impossibility to exercise and limited access to medical care. 

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Court found a violation of Article 3 owing to the absence of sufficient space for the detainees in the border facility where the Applicant was held. This had been alleged by the Applicant and confirmed by international reports, while the Greek government, having admitted that the facility in question was not adequate for long periods of detention, had not brought before the Court any elements to contradict such findings.

Outcome: 

The Court found a violation of Article 3 and granted 8,000 Euros in compensation for non-pecuniary damage.

Case Law Cited: 

ECtHR - Iatridis v. Greece [GC], Application No. 31107/96

ECtHR - Sejdovic v. Italy [GC], Application No. 56581/00

ECtHR - Dougoz v. Greece, Application No. 40907/98

ECtHR - Kudla v Poland [GC], Application No. 30210/96

ECtHR - Shamayev v Georgia (April 2005) (Application no. 36378/02)

ECtHR - Labita v. Italy [GC], Application No. 26772/95

ECtHR - Akdivar v Turkey, Application No. 21893/93

ECtHR - Ananyev et al. Russia, Application Nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08

ECtHR - Selmouni v. France [GC], Application No. 25803/94

ECtHR - Remli v. France, Application No. 16839/90

Greece - Council of State, Judgment No. 2893/2008

ECtHR - Alver v Estonia, Application No. 64812/01
Attachment(s): 
Other sources cited: 
  • European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CPT) report of 10 January 2012, following the visit of 19 to 27 January 2011;
  • Report of the National Commission on Human Rights and the Ombudsman after visit from March 18 to 20, 2011;
  • Report of the Special Rapporteur of the UN on torture and other cruel treatment or inhuman or degrading punishment following visit from 10 to 20 October 2010;
  • 2012 ProAsyl report "Walls of Shame"
Authentic Language: 
French
State Party: 
Greece
National / Other Legislative Provisions: 
Greece - Act to the Civil Code - § 105
Greece - Act to the Civil Code - § 57
Greece - Act to the Civil Code - § 932
Greece - Code of Civil Procedure - Article 1050 § 2
Greece - Ministerial Decision No. 400/2009 on the execution of administrative decisions to expel foreigners - Art 5
Greece - Penal Law (Law No. 2776/1999) - Art 6
Greece - Penal Law (Law No. 2776/1999) - Art 21
Greece - Law No. 3386/2005 - Article 81
Greece - Decree No. 141/1991 on jurisdiction of the bodies of the Ministry of Public Order - Article 97 (Protection of Minors)
Greece - Decree No. 141/1991 on jurisdiction of the bodies of the Ministry of Public Order - Article 66
Greece - Decree No. 141/1991 on jurisdiction of the bodies of the Ministry of Public Order - Article 91
Greece - Decree No. 141/1991 on jurisdiction of the bodies of the Ministry of Public Order - Article 92
Greece - Decree No. 254/2004 on the Code of Conduct for police officers - Articles 2
Greece - Decree No. 254/2004 on the Code of Conduct for police officers - Articles 3