ECtHR - De los Santos and de la Cruz v. Greece, Applications Nos. 2134/12 and 2161/12

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Country of Applicant: 
Dominican Republic
Date of Decision: 
Additional Citation: 
Court Name: 
ECtHR, First Section
Relevant Legislative Provisions: 

A violation of Article 3 of the Convention in respect of the applicants’ detention conditions in the Thessaloniki department for illegal immigration pending removal. 


The applicants are nationals of the Dominican Republic who were arrested in August 2011 for irregular entry into Greece and detained in the Thessaloniki department for illegal immigration pending removal.

The applicants state that the Thessaloniki detention centre was overcrowded, poorly ventilated and insufficiently lit due to wire mesh covering the windows; they also state that there was inadequate recreation provision. Conditions were such that the first applicant required transfer to Papageorgiou Hospital in Thessaloniki after a little over a month of detention.  The applicants also submit that the sum of 5.87 euros allocated to them per day was insufficient to purchase a meal each.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The ECtHR noted that is has on several occasions found deficiencies in detention conditions in Greece, particularly with respect to overcrowding and lack of recreation provisions (Siasios et al. v. Greece, no. 30303/07; Vafiadis v. Greece, no. 24981/07; Shuvaev v.  Greece, no. 8249/07; Tabesh v.  Greece, no. 8256/07; Efremidi v.  Greece, no. 33225/08; and Aslanis v. Greece, no. 36401/10).

The Court held that in the present case the applicants were placed in a cell where the area was less than 3 square meters per person, where the majority of inmates slept on mattresses on the ground, the only exercise consisted of walking into a small hallway, and they had only poor access to light. Finally, the Court noted that it has repeatedly stressed the inadequacy of the allocation of a sum of 5.87 euros per day for food (see, among others, Chkhartishvili v. Greece, no. 22910/10).

The ECtHR found that there was no cause for it to reach a different conclusion in this case than that which it had reached in the various cases cited. The Court found for both applicants a violation of Article 3 ECHR during their stay in Thessaloniki.

The Court found unnecessary to examine the conditions of detention in the foreigners’ detention centre in Attica where the applicants have stayed only one day.


A violation of Article 3 ECHR during their stay in Thessaloniki.

The applicants were granted 6,500 Euros each as compensation for non-pecuniary damage.

Case Law Cited: 

ECtHR - Aslanis v. Greece, Application No. 36401/10, UP

ECtHR - Chatzivasiliadis v Greece, Application No. 51618/12, UP

ECtHR - Efremidze v. Greece, Application No. 33225/08

ECtHR - Shuvaev v. Greece, Application No. 8249/07

ECtHR - Vafiadis v. Greece, Application No. 24981/07

ECtHR - Siasios et al. v. Greece, Application No. 30303/07

ECtHR - Ramirez Sanchez v. France [GC], Application No. 59450/00

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

ECtHR - Tabesh v. Greece, Application No. 8256/07
Authentic Language: 
State Party: 
National / Other Legislative Provisions: 
Greece - Presidential Decree no 254/2004
Greece - Presidential Decree no 141/1991