On July 10th 2001 around 6pm, Mr. Yassine Darraj a juvenile of 16 years old, was stopped in Bois-Colombes by police officers for an identity check. He volunteered his identity but was brought nevertheless to the police station of Asnieres-sur-Seine.
There he was arrested without charge. According to the applicant, he was strangled, beaten in the back, insulted because he refused to be handcuffed to a bench. He was then handcuffed hands behind his back and taken to a small corridor where he was beaten in the head and between the legs by 3 police officers.
Around 7pm30, he was transferred to the emergency room of Hospital AP-HP Beaujon in Clichy-la-garenne. An emergency surgery had to be performed during the night and his right testicle was ablated. In July 2002, the applicant was diagnosed with post-traumatic syndrome disorder (PTSD).
On September 27th 2006, the appeal court of Versailles condemned two police officers for unintentional assault (art. 220-20 of penal code) to a fine of 800 euros each. Under article 222-10 of the penal code, mutilation by police officer is punishable by up to 15 years of jail. On February 22th 2007, the legal aid office of the supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected the application for an appeal. No disciplinary action were taken against the 2 police officers.
On August 3rd 2007, the applicant filed his application with the E.C.H.R arguing that the assault by the police officers resulting in mutilation and post-traumatic syndrome disorder amounted to torture and was a violation of article 3 of the Convention. He added that his detention at the police station was a violation of article 5-1-d) of the Convention.
On June 17th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French Republic with questions to be answered before 16 weeks. On November 5th 2009, the agent submitted his observation to the Court. On December 21th 2009, the applicant replied. The applicant is represented by Me Eric Charlery (Coblence & Associes).
On November 4th 2010, the Court found that the mutilation of the applicant amounted to an inhumane and degrading treatment and a violation of article 3 of the Convention. The Court didn’t examine the allegation of violation of article 5-1. The court condemned the French Republic to pay €15,000 of damages and €4,000 for legal fees to the applicant.
On April 1st 2004, the Court found also a violation of article 3 of the Convention in a similar case (Rivas v. France (59584/00)). On January 14th 1997, Mr. Giovanni Rivas a juvenile of 17 years old, was ablated 2/3 of his testicle during an emergency surgery, following an assault by a police officer at the main police station of Noumea. On March 2nd 1999, the appeal court of Noumea acquitted the police officer charged with assault on the ground of self-defense.
On September 15th 2010, the Committee of Ministers close the examination of the case Rivas v. France with 35 others case in a single resolution ResDH(2010)122, by stating that the general measures described in infamous resolution CM/ResDH(2009)126 will prevent further violation of article 3 of the Convention.