EPLN - European Prison Litigation Network

EPLN - European Prison Litigation Network This is the official page for the European Prison Litigation Network. We campaign accross the European continent for the protection of the fundamental rights of detained persons.

03/06/2020
Реформа в затворите

New project by the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee is evaluating the Prison Reform in Bulgaria through analysis of the legislation and the practices following the Pilot judgement of the ECtHR “Neshkov and Others". Despite partial improvements of the situation in Bulgarian prisons and remand centers, some of the main problems remain and even worsen. During the three-year period of the project BHC's monitoring team would be performing series of evaluations of the demanded reform and further suggest measures for better implementation of the international recommendations.
You can track the progress along with the BHC specialists at the project's website https://prisonreform.bg/ and its page Реформа в затворите (@prisonreform.bg).

Оценка на реформата в местата за лишаване от свобода: Законодателство и практики след пилотното решение на ЕСПЧ "Нешков и други"

03/06/2020
HUDOC - European Court of Human Rights

The European Court yesterday delivered an important quasi-pilot judgment against Russia concerning the automatic application of strict regime to all life prisoners for the first ten years of their sentence ("post Khoroshenko GC case").

The judgment relates in particular to the very restrictive detention regime, involving the confinement in a double cell and the routine use of handcuffs during movements.

The Court finds that the violation is systemic in nature and that the authorities must amend the legal framework in such a way that such a regime could only be imposed – and maintained – on the basis of an individual risk assessment of each life prisoner and be applied for no longer than strictly necessary and (or) mitigate the modalities of the regime, particularly those concerning physical restrictions, isolation and access to various activities for the purpose of socialisation and rehabilitation (§70).

The judgment contains an important clarification regarding very strict detention regimes that are not solitary confinement measures. In this respect, the Court held that "confinement in a double cell may have similar negative effects if both detainees have to spend years locked up in one cell without any purposeful activity, adequate access to outdoor exercise or contacts with the outside world. Therefore, even if the applicant’s isolation was not absolute in certain periods, as he was detained together with another prisoner, the intensity and prolonged duration of that measure in the circumstances of the present case raise an issue under Article 3 of the Convention on account of the considerable negative impact which it had on his well-being and social skills" (§44), "adequate justification is required for the prolonged detention of prisoners in double cells if the intensity and duration of their segregation are so significant that the effect is comparable to solitary detention" (§45).

http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-202633

The HUDOC database provides access to the case-law of the Court (Grand Chamber, Chamber and Committee judgments and decisions, communicated cases, advisory opinions and legal summaries from the Case-Law Information Note), the European Commission of Human Rights (decisions and reports) and the Commit...

14/05/2020

The Venice Commission has published a summary of an important judgment of the German Constitutional Court on the right to social rehabilitation of convicted persons (in this case access to escorted leave measures, to be compared with the ECtHR GC judgement in Boulois v. Luxembourg, no. 37575/04)

Headnotes:

1. The right to social reintegration rooted in fundamental rights (Article 2.1 in conjunction with Article 1.1 of the Basic Law) requires that imprisonment be aimed at enabling prisoners to live in freedom without committing any further offences in the future.

2. Even if long-term prisoners do not show any signs of (potential) detrimental effects caused by the detention or limitations of their practical abilities, the right to social reintegration entails short leave under escort, which means that the prisoner may leave the institution for a certain period of the day under the supervision of a prison officer. Prisons must provide the necessary staff. This right may be restricted only if the risk of abscondence or abuse cannot be avoided to a sufficient extent. This risk must be substantiated by specific and current facts.

Summary:

I. The applicants in the various constitutional complaint proceedings are long-term prisoners who have been detained for more than seven, twelve or fourteen years. The applicants had each requested short leave under escort for preserving their practical ability to live in freedom. Their requests had been rejected by the respective prisons. The applicants’ legal recourse against the decisions of the prisons remained unsuccessful.

II. The Federal Constitutional Court decided that the constitutional complaints were admissible and well-founded.

The decisions are based on the following considerations:

The fundamental right under Article 2.1 in conjunction with Article 1.1 of the Basic Law obliges the state to orient the penal system towards the aim of enabling the detained person to live in freedom without punishment in the future. Especially in the case of persons who have been in prison for many years, this requires actively counteracting the harmful effects of deprivation of liberty and maintaining and consolidating their ability to live in freedom. The requirement to maintain and consolidate the prisoner's ability to live in freedom is not only relevant when he already shows signs of depravation due to imprisonment. The prisoner's interest in being protected from the harmful consequences of long-term imprisonment and in maintaining their ability to live in freedom in the event of release from prison increases with the duration of the sentence.

The threat and execution of the prison sentence are constitutionally complemented by adequate treatment. Accordingly, the legislature has based the execution of the prison sentence on a treatment and reintegration concept. Provisions on the relaxation of detention conditions aim at the reintegration of prisoners. These measures also give prisoners the opportunity to prove themselves and to obtain more favourable release prognoses. If a prisoner applies for such measures, their refusal will affect them in their interest in rehabilitation protected by Article 2.1 of the Basic Law in conjunction with Article 1.1 of the Basic Law. Especially in the case of prisoners who do not yet fulfil the requirements for relaxation measures, for example due to a specific risk of flight or abuse, short leaves under escort serve to maintain and consolidate their ability to live in freedom.

Thus, even if there is no concrete prospect of release in the case of prisoners who have been in prison for many years, it may be necessary to at least allow short leaves under escort and to avert a risk of flight or abuse by means of appropriate security measures.

When refusing such a measure, prisons may not limit themselves to general assessments or to merely indicating an abstract risk of abscondence or abuse. Rather, they must, in an overall assessment, present more detailed information on the specific risk of abscondence or abuse that must be related to the individual prisoner. Whether the prisons complied with these requirements, must be reviewed by the competent courts.

If a prison refuses to relax the detention conditions on the basis of a presumed risk of abscondence or abuse, the courts will examine whether the prison has correctly interpreted and applied the undefined legal concepts. The assumption of a risk of abscondence or abuse is based on a prognosis decision. Thus, prisons have a certain latitude in that respect – which is constitutionally unobjectionable. That means that they can make several justifiable decisions when they respect the fundamental rights of the prisoner.

However, this latitude does not release the competent courts from their duty to review such matters, which is rooted in the rule of law. Accordingly, the court must comprehensively establish the facts of the case and determine whether the prison has completely investigated the facts and thus created a sufficient factual basis for its decision.

The Federal Constitutional Court merely examines whether the court has granted the prison too much latitude and has thus failed to recognise the significance and scope of the constitutionally protected right to social reintegration, and whether the challenged decision is unreasonable with respect to the standard of review of the regular courts and thus violates the prohibition of arbitrariness which follows from the general right to equality.

According to these standards, the challenged decisions cannot be upheld. They failed to take account of the weight of the right to social reintegration.

Cross-references:

Federal Constitutional Court:

- 2 BvR 2129/11, 23.05.2013, Third Chamber of the Second Panel, Bulletin 2015/II [GER-2013-2-13].

Languages:

German.

🇷🇺 Хельсинкский фонд по правам человека Helsińska Fundacja Praw Człowieka подготовил обзор основных рекомендаций из разл...
30/04/2020

🇷🇺 Хельсинкский фонд по правам человека Helsińska Fundacja Praw Człowieka подготовил обзор основных рекомендаций из различных документов, которые помогут персоналу мест лишения свободы подготовиться к профилактике COVID-19 и обеспечить соблюдение прав заключенных. Информация, содержащаяся в брошюре будет также полезна неправительственным организациям, осуществляющим мониторинг мест лишения свободы.

🇬🇧 The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights prepared a leaflet with recommendations from various documents to help personnel of place of deprivation of liberty to counteract COVID-19 and ensure the rights of prisoners. The information contained in the leaflet will also be useful for NGO's monitoring places of detention.

Przygotowaliśmy rosyjskojęzyczną ulotkę z praktycznymi wskazówkami, jak przeciwdziałać rozprzestrzenianiu się COVID-19 w miejscach pozbawienia wolności. Przedstawione zalecenia opierają się rekomendacjach międzynarodowych instytucji, takich jak WHO, Podkomitetu ONZ ds. Zapobiegania Torturom czy Penal Reform International.

🇷🇺 Хельсинкский фонд по правам человека подготовил обзор основных рекомендаций из различных документов, которые помогут персоналу мест лишения свободы подготовиться к профилактике COVID-19 и обеспечить соблюдение прав заключенных. Информация, содержащаяся в брошюре будет также полезна неправительственным организациям, осуществляющим мониторинг мест лишения свободы.

🇬🇧 We've prepared a leaflet with recommendations from various documents to help personnel of place of deprivation of liberty to counteract COVID-19 and ensure the rights of prisoners. The information contained in the leaflet will also be useful for NGO's monitoring places of detention.

EU-Russia Civil Society Forum/ Гражданский Форум ЕС-Россия Civic Solidarity Platform Uzbek Forum for Human Rights e.V. OMCT EPLN - European Prison Litigation Network

Today, Vadim Vieru, as representative of Promo-LEX and EPLN - European Prison Litigation Network, delivered a presentati...
16/04/2020

Today, Vadim Vieru, as representative of Promo-LEX and EPLN - European Prison Litigation Network, delivered a presentation on UNODC - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, United Nations Development Programme - UNDP, World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS, United Nations Human Rights joint Webinar on #COVID19 in #prisons and other closed settings.
✅The webinar was organized in the light of overcrowding in many prisons and other places of detention, which undermines hygiene, health, safety and human dignity, a health response to #COVID19 in closed settings alone is insufficient.
📌Overcrowding constitutes an insurmountable obstacle for preventing, preparing for or responding to COVID-19. A swift and firm response aimed at ensuring healthy and safe custody, and reducing overcrowding, is essential to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 entering and spreading in prisons and other places of deprivation of liberty.
📌European Prison Litigation Network and Promo-LEX recommended, among others, that International organizations and their regional offices should press States to the take rapid action to significantly reduce the prison population, firmly recalling the overriding health protection obligations incumbent on authorities, over and above the reference to penological recommendations contained in existing legal instruments.
The webinar agenda and our presentation are below.⤵️

Today, Vadim Vieru, representative of Promo-LEX and EPLN - European Prison Litigation Network, delivered a presentation on UNODC - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, United Nations Development Programme - UNDP, World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS and United Nations Human Rights joint Webinar on COVID-19 in prisons and other closed settings.

✅The webinar was organized in the light of overcrowding in many prisons and other places of detention, which undermines hygiene, health, safety and human dignity, a health response to #COVID19 in closed settings alone is insufficient.

📌Overcrowding constitutes an insurmountable obstacle for preventing, preparing for or responding to COVID-19. A swift and firm response aimed at ensuring healthy and safe custody, and reducing overcrowding, is essential to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 entering and spreading in prisons and other places of deprivation of liberty.

📌European Prison Litigation Network and Promo-LEX recommended, among others, that International organizations and their regional offices should press States to the take rapid action to significantly reduce the prison population, firmly recalling the overriding health protection obligations incumbent on authorities, over and above the reference to penological recommendations contained in existing legal instruments.

The webinar agenda and our presentation are below.⤵️

#Russia #prison #riotOn April 9-10, a major riot broke out in the penitentiary colony IK-15 in Angarsk in Irkutsk region...
13/04/2020
Заявление по бунту в ФКУ ИК-15 ГУФСИН России по Иркутской области | Совет правозащитников Иркутской области

#Russia #prison #riot

On April 9-10, a major riot broke out in the penitentiary colony IK-15 in Angarsk in Irkutsk region, Russia. The prisoners were severally repressed by authorities and according to Irkutsk human rights defenders many prisoners were injured. According to official data, one prisoner died.

Human rights defenders demand urgently to investigate all the circumstances of the incident, to initiate a criminal case on the death of a convicted person, as well as to allow human rights defenders and lawyers to see the detainees, who were since removed from the colony IK-15.

https://pravoirk.ru/archives/14012.

Домой Сибирь без цензуры #ВместеПротивПыток Заявление по бунту в ФКУ ИК-15 ГУФСИН России по Иркутской области Сибирь без цензуры#ВместеПротивПытокГромкие делаОбра...

#prison #Covid19 The Council of Europe must lead on policies to address the Covid-19 challenges Opinion of human rights ...
06/04/2020

#prison #Covid19 The Council of Europe must lead on policies to address the Covid-19 challenges

Opinion of human rights NGO and European Bar associations

"At a time when national systems are in turmoil, it is high time for the Council of Europe, in particular the Committee of Ministers currently chaired by Georgia, and the Secretary General to assume their role as a point of reference and actively work on concrete steps enabling a rapid reduction in detained populations and other necessary measures by its 47 member states. In addition, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), tasked with preventing ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, should be expected to oversee detention conditions in the current crisis. In the present circumstances, an abstention on the Council of Europe’s part would have a lasting effect on its authority."

TO READ HERE ->

https://www.prisonlitigation.org/covid-19-opinion

EPLN - European Prison Litigation Network Bulgarian Helsinki Committee L'Altro Diritto Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights Amnesty International DIGNITY - Danish Institute Against Torture MEDEL Fair Trials Médecins du Monde France AFEW International CNB Conseil National des Barreaux AVOCATS.BE Observatoire international des prisons - section française (OIP-SF) Ban Public Netherlands Helsinki Committee Norwegian Helsinki Committee Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини - УГСПЛ Фонд "Общественный вердикт" Комитет против пыток @LDH Belgique Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos Andalucía (APDHA)

Комиссар по правам человека Совета Европы призывает государства-члены Совета Европы защитить права и здоровье всех лиц, ...
06/04/2020
Пандемия COVID-19: необходимо принять срочные меры для защиты прав заключенных в Европе

Комиссар по правам человека Совета Европы призывает государства-члены Совета Европы защитить права и здоровье всех лиц, находящихся в заключении, во время глобальной пандемии COVID-19.
"Использование альтернативных лишению сводобы мер является первостепенной обязанностью в ситуациях перенаселенности мест лишения свободы и тем более в чрезвычайных ситуациях. Особое внимание следует уделять тем заключенным, у которых есть проблемы со здоровьем; пожилым людям, не представляющим угрозы для общества; и тем, кто обвиняется или осужден за незначительные или ненасильственные преступления. Сокращение численности лишенных свободы лиц по всей Европе является необходимым условием для обеспечения эффективного соблюдения санитарных правил и ослабления растущего давления на тюремный персонал и пенитенциарные системы в целом."

https://www.coe.int/ru/web/commissioner/-/covid-19-pandemic-urgent-steps-are-needed-to-protect-the-rights-of-prisoners-in-europe

Заявление Страсбург 06/04/2020 ...

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