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On September 28th 2005, Mr. M.K was arrested in a theft investigation. During his police custody, he was fingerprinted and photographed. At an unspecified date, his personal data was stored on the police database FAED along with his name, his father’s name, his mother’s name, his date and place of birth, and the offence investigated (art.4 of executive order 87-249).
On February 2nd 2006, the prosecutor of the district of Paris decided not to charge the applicant. On May 31st 2006, the prosecutor rejected the applicant’s request to have his private data deleted from the police database FAED (art.7-1 of executive order 87-249). On August 26th 2006, a judge of the tribunal of Paris ruled without any hearing that the private data of the applicant should be kept on the police database FAED. On December 21st 2006, a senior judge of the appeal court of Paris ruled without any hearing that the private data of the applicant shouldn’t be deleted on the ground that he was a suspect in an investigation, and that the decision not to charge him was not a ground for deletion.
On February 28th 2009, Mr. M.K filed an application with the ECHR on the ground that the refusal to delete his private data from the police database FAED is a violation of article 8 of the Convention. He added that the absence of hearings on the matter and the non adversarial procedure are violations of article 6-1.
On March 8th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the French Republic. On April 18th 2013, the 5th section of the ECHR found a violation of article 8 of the Convention on the ground that the storage of the private data of an innocent citizen on the police database for 25 years wasn’t “necessary in a democratic society“(45-46). It added that the judicial process to have the private data deleted was a “deceptive guarantee” (44). The 5th section also ruled the allegations of violation of article 6-1 to be inadmissible.
The applicant was represented by Me Christophe Meyer (Strasbourg).
On June 19th 2009, the French prime minister Fillon issued an executive order 2009-724 forbidding citizens to cover their faces in an area where a gathering is taking place. Covering his own face without a “legitimate reason” and if there is risk of “a breach of public order” carries a penalty of a €1,500 fine (art. R645-14 of the penal code).
On April 11th 2011, Act 2010-1192 entered into force. It forbids citizens to cover their faces in any area open to the public unless the covering is legally required, work-related, on health ground, to practice sport or during artistic and “traditional” events. Under this law, covering his own face illegally carries a penalty of a €150 fine.
The prime minister Fillon requested public employees to forbid entrance to all public facilities (train stations, metro stations, airports, courts, prisons, police stations, museums, schools, universities, hospitals, stadiums, libraries, town-halls, polling stations, driving license offices, immigration and asylum offices…) and to refuse service to citizens on the ground that their face is covered (note PRMC1106214C) even though the citizen is offering to show his face for identification purpose. In Paris, two women covering their face were arrested by male plainclothes police officers preventing them to express their opinions to journalists and to demonstrate peacefully (see below video).
On the same day Ms. S.A.S a Muslim woman, filed an application to the ECHR on the ground that the criminalization of the covering of her face when she is in areas open to public, is a violation of her right to privacy (art.8), her freedom of religion (art.9), her freedom of expression (art.10) and her freedom to peaceful assembly (art.11). She added that the ban from public facilities, the refusal of service and the risk to be fined were degrading treatments in violation of article 3. She stated that these discriminatory policies were also in violation of article 14 of the Convention.
On February 1st 2012, the application was communicated to the agent of the French Republic with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. The applicant is represented by Mr. Sanjeev Sharma (Birmingham, UK).
On December 17th 2008, the Portuguese-language newspaper Contacto owned by the media conglomerate Saint-Paul Luxembourg, published an article on children custody rights in Luxembourg. In the article, the citizens interviewed, named 2 teenagers in cases handled by Mr. Kapitene of the office of the general prosecutor (SCAS).
On January 5th 2009, Mr. Kapitene filed a criminal complain. On January 30th 2009, an investigative judge opened at the request of the prosecutor of Luxembourg, an investigation for “slander” (art.443 of the penal code) and for revealing the name of the 2 teenagers (art.38 Law August 10th 1992).
On March 30th 2009, the investigative judge Scheer ordered the police to search* the Contacto office (art. 65 of the code of criminal procedure) “to identify the offender” described as the “journalist of Contacto who wrote the article“. On May 7th 2009, 3 police officers searched the office of Contacto and seized documents and computer files on CD and USB flash drive. According to the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the police officers didn’t inform the Council of Press in violation of the directive of March 28th 2006 on article 7-a) of the Code of ethics.
On May 20th 2009, the tribunal rejected secretly the motion of Saint-Paul Luxembourg to suppress the search*. On October 27th 2009, the appeal court confirmed the secret ruling*.
On April 26th 2010, Saint-Paul Luxembourg filed an application with the ECHR on the ground that the police search of Contacto office was a violation of articles 8 and 10 of the Convention. On December 5th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. The applicant is represented by Me Patrick Kinsch (Luxembourg).
* : On January 10th 2012, Ms. Catherine Fabeck of the office of the prosecutor general (CREDOC) informed us that the order of the investigative judge and the rulings of the tribunal and appeal court were all “secret” and couldn’t be communicated to ECHR News.
On March 17th 2011, Mr. Joseph Etute detained at the prison of Sandweiler (CPL), received a letter of the Court dated March 9th 2011. The letter was already opened. The applicants complained to the prison officials who apologized. They explained to the Ombudsman of Luxembourg, ECHR ex-Judge Fischbach (1998-2003) that it was their policy to open all large envelope and parcel received by detainees.
Under executive order of March 29th 1989 of unelected Grand Duke Jean, the right to correspondence of detainees is severely restricted. Under article 219, convicted detainees require an authorization of the director of the prison to write to anyone other than their family, lawyers, Luxembourg officials (judges, prosecutors, public servants, congressmen and the head of state) and consulate officers. The content of the letters can only be about family and private matters and cannot contain any “allegation” or “accusation” (art. 221).
The prison officials can routinely open all the letters and read them (art.223) except for the letters to lawyers and Luxembourg officials. The director of the prison can censor and seized any letter which he considers in violation of article 221 (art.224 and 225). The investigating judge can read all letters of detained suspect (art.218) and can order suspension of his right to correspondence except to his lawyer (art.226). Detainees in disciplinarian cells have also their right to correspondence automatically suspended except to their lawyers, Luxembourg officials and consulate officers (art.199)
On April 2nd 2011, Mr. Etute filed an application with the ECHR arguing that the opening by prison officials of his correspondence with the Court was a violation of article 8 of the Convention. On May 6th 2011, the applicant received a letter of the Court dated April 11th 2011. The letter was already opened. On June 27th 2011, he received another letter of the Court already open, dated June 17th 2011.
On December 5th 2011, the Court communicated the application to the agent of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. On December 22th 2011, the minister of Justice Bilgen announced a bill on the rights of detainees. But article 31 on the right of correspondence still doesn’t authorize detainees to have a private correspondence with the European Court of Human Rights (see below).
In 2004, Ms. A.Y arrived from Guinea to claim asylum. She alleged to have been detained, tortured and raped by military officers in 2003 due to her political activity in U.F.R party. In May 2005, she moved in with her partner a EU citizen from Netherlands. In 2006, she suffered an miscarriage which ended her pregnancy. On June 4th 2009, Ms. A.Y and her partner registered a civil partnership (PACS)with the intent to get married at a later date.
On May 2nd 2008, the national court of asylum (CNDA) rejected her appeal on the decision of the asylum officers of OFPRA to deny her asylum. On May 5th 2009, the prefect in Annecy ordered her deportation to Guinea due to her “unlawful” stay. On May 15th 2009, Ms. A.Y filed an application to the ECHR on the ground that she will be submitted to torture (art.3), separated from her partner (art.8) and not able to get married (art.12) if deported. The French government suspended the deportation order following request from the E.C.H.R (art.39).
The French government never transposed the articles 2-2-b) and 3-2-b) of the directive 2004/38/EC in national law (code of migration and asylum). These articles allow registered partner and partner in durable relation with a EU citizen to obtain a 5 years residence card upon registration. The deadline of the transposition of the directive 2004/38/EC was April 30th 2006. On July 25th 2008, the European Court of Justice ruled in case Metock (C-127/08) that any EU citizen’s family member have legal status under the directive 2004/38/EC irrespective of the lawfulness of his entry or stay before becoming a family member (99). The Court added an unlawful stay before becoming a family member can’t be a ground for deportation of the family member (97).
In its observation to the Court, the French government didn’t allege that the personal conduct of Ms. A.Y represents any “threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society” . But it stated if the applicant is deported to Guinea, the couple could live there.
In its decision of October 11st 2011, the Court found that the deportation order to Guinea was in “accordance with the law“. On the contrary, the deportation order on the ground of “unlawful stay” (art. L511-1 of the code of migration and asylum) was taken in violation of articles 3-2-b) and 27 of the directive 2004/38/EC and the ECJ judgment Metock (C-127/08). The Court added that from May 2005 to April 2009, the couple couldn’t have a “legitimate expectation that right of residence would be granted to the applicant“. On the opposite, the applicant should have a legitimate expectation that the French government will respect the directive 2004/38/EC and the case-law of the European Court of Justice, and acknowledge her right of residence.
Finally, the Court ruled the application inadmissible as manifestly ill-founded on the surprising ground that if Ms. A.Y is deported to Guinea her EU citizen partner could live with her. But there is no provision under the Guinean immigration executive order 94/059 to grant an immigrant visa and a residence card to the partner or spouse of a citizen of Guinea. On the opposite, Ms. A.Y could live with her partner in any of the 27 countries of the European Union under articles 2-2-b), 3-2-b) and 7 of the directive 2004/38/EC.
This decision A.Y v. France (25579/09) raises serious concerns about the respect of the European Union Law and the case law of the European Court of Justice, by the European Court of Human Rights. The applicant was represented by Me Michele Blanc (Annecy).
In France in 2011 (5th republic), demonstrations are still regulated by the executive order of October 23rd 1935 of the president of council Pierre Laval (3rd republic), who was executed for “treason” on October 15th 1945 by a firing squad in the notorious prison of Fresnes.
Articles 1 and 2 of the the executive order require organizers of a demonstration to notify the prefect or the mayor of the reason, date, location and itinerary of the demonstration, 3 to 15 days before it should take place. “Traditional” demonstrations are exempted from the requirement. Article 3 of the the executive order allows head of local police, prefect and mayor to “forbid” the demonstration if it may disrupt “public order“. The executive order doesn’t define a demonstration or the minimum number of people required for a demonstration.
Participating in a “forbidden” or a “non notified” demonstration is not an offense under the French penal code. But a prefect, a mayor or any police officer can decide to disperse any demonstration that he thinks may disrupt “public order” (art. 431-3 of the penal code). Once the legal warnings have been made to the demonstrators by bullhorn or by firing a “red rocket” (art. R431-1 of the penal code), it is an offense to continue participating in that demonstration. It carries a penalty of 1 year in jail and a fine of €15,000 (art.431-4 of the penal code).
On January 26th 2011, a demonstration was organized to protest against a meeting at the Automobile Club of Paris in the 8th district of Paris. No dispersion order was taken. On the opposite, 70 peaceful demonstrators were kettled by military riot police (gendarmerie mobile). They were then arrested, searched, detained in a police bus and transported to a police station in the 11th district of Paris before being released without charge. According to the police department of Paris, the peaceful demonstrators were arrested to “verify their identity.” But this arrest is only authorized under art.78-3 of the code of penal procedure if the citizen refuses to disclose his identity upon request. According to witnesses and videos of the events, the demonstrators were not even requested for their identity before being arrested. Once arrested, they were not advised of their rights to a phone call and to have the prosecutor informed of their detention. Upon release, they didn’t receive the mandatory police report stating the reasons of their detention. (art.78-3 of the code of penal procedure).
On May 10th 2011, a gathering was organized in the Luxembourg gardens in the 5th district of Paris to celebrate the executive order of April 27th 1848 (2nd republic) making slavery illegal in French colonies. No dispersion order was taken. But 8 peaceful citizens were kettled by plainclothes police officers. Then they were arrested, searched, detained in a police bus and transported to a police station before being released without charge. Once again, the citizens were not requested for their identity before being arrested and upon release they also didn’t receive the mandatory police report stating the reasons of their detention. On May 26th 2011, a demonstration was organized in place de la Rotonde in the 10th district of Paris to protest against the G-8 meeting in Deauville. No dispersion order was taken. But the peaceful demonstrators were kettled by riot police (CRS) and plainclothes police officers. 95 peaceful demonstrators were then arrested, searched, detained in a police bus (video 2, video 3, video 4) and transported to the police stations of 5th, 11th and 18th district before being released without charge. They were also not advised of their rights and didn’t received the mandatory police report.
On June 19th 2011, a demonstration of “indignés” was organized in front of Notre Dame in the 4th district. No dispersion order was taken. But the peaceful demonstrators were kettled by riot police (CRS), military riot police (gendarmerie mobile) and plainclothes police officers. They were then arrested, searched, detained and transported to police stations before being released without charge (video 1, video 2).
On July 8th 2011, 5 citizens were waiting on the sidewalk of the embassy of Russia in the 16th district. They wanted to submit a 14,000 signatures petition urging Russia to execute ECHR judgment Alekseyev v. Russia (4916/07; 25924/08; 14599/09) by allowing gay-pride demonstration to take place safely in Moscow. No dispersion order was taken. But the 5 citizens including the Russian applicant Mr. Alekseyev were all arrested, detained and transported to the police station of the 4th district. Mr. Alekseyev was released only 8 hours later. On July 9th 2011, peaceful demonstrators supporting Palestine were kettled and arrested (video 2) in the 4th district.
On September 14th 2011, the French minister of interior threatened to use violence if any regular peaceful gathering of Muslims for Friday prayers will take place after September 16th 2011. On September 16th 2011, the police department of Paris expressed its “satisfaction” that Muslims renounced to gather for Friday prayers in the 18th district of Paris. On September 17th 2011, Xavier Dor organized a gathering to “pray” against the opening of an abortion clinic at the hospital Tenon in 10th district. The organizer an extreme right activist, was already condemned to fines and jail for behaviors toward abortion patients, doctors and nurse interfering with patient’s abortion (art. L2223-2 of the health code). Even though the gathering was in front of the hospital, no dispersion order was taken and no demonstrators were arrested. On September 19th 2011, peaceful demonstrators “indignés” were kettled, assaulted by pepper spray, arrested and searched in the 6th district by police officers (video 2,video 3). On September 21st 2011, peaceful demonstrators “indignés” showing their passports and identity cards were kettled, arrested, assaulted, searched, detained in police bus and transported to police stations (video 1, video 2, video 3, video 4). On September 23rd 2011, 11 citizens “indignés” were on the sidewalk, just released from the cells of the “dépôt” (jail) of the tribunal of Paris in the 1st district. A plainclothes police officer asked them illegally to disperse their gathering (see video below).
These examples shows that the police department of Paris have an administrative practice in 2011 to unlawfully detain some peaceful demonstrators to interfere with their exercise of their freedom of peaceful assembly. The unlawful detention by a police officer, is an offense carrying a maximum penalty of 7 years in jail and a 100,000 euros fine (art. 432-4 of the penal code). These interference are not prescribed by law and seems to target peaceful demonstrators on the ground of their opinion, sexual orientation and religion. In the newsletter PPrama of the police department of Paris (no181), an official acknowledged that the demonstrators “indignés” are trying to gather peacefully. But he stated that police officers have to “very reactive to strangle at birth this kind of inclination“.
Therefore the unlawful detention of peaceful demonstrators on discriminatory grounds to interfere with their freedom of peaceful assembly is a violation of articles 5-1 and 11 of the Convention in conjunction with article 14.
From April 9th to April 18th 2008, the applicant accused of armed robbery, appeared at the criminal court of Pau. Each day of court appearance, the applicant was strip searched naked for up to 8 times and asked by masked guards of the ERIS to bend over and/or squat. When the applicant was bending over and/or squatting, the ERIS guards were doing a visual inspection of his anus. These acts were videotaped by one of the guard. On April 11th 2008, the applicant refused to squat. Nevertheless the masked guards coerced him to squat naked. Later in the day, they forcibly removed his clothes, coerced him to squat naked and forced him to appear in court.
On April 11th 2008, the judge presiding the criminal court ruled that he couldn’t order the ERIS guards to stop these acts. On April 15th 2008, the judge of the administrative tribunal of Pau ruled that only the judges of the criminal court of Pau could order the ERIS guards to stop. On November 14th 2008, the administrative supreme court annulled the ruling of the administrative tribunal of Pau (case 315622) but refused to rule on the violation of article 3 of the Convention.
On October 15th 2008, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the multiple strip searches, the bending over, the coerced squatting, the visual inspection of his anus and the videotaping of these acts were violations of articles 3 and 8 of the Convention. He added that the lack of effective remedy was a violation of article 13 and also that these acts prevented him to defend himself during the trial in violation of articles 6-1 and 6-3. On June 16th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On January 20th 2011, the Court found a violation of article 3 of the Convention on the ground that the multiple strip searches, the bending over, the forced squatting. and their videotaping by masked guards were overall a degrading treatment. The Court also found that the applicant didn’t have any effective remedy to obtain redress, in violation of article 13 but forgot to examine the allegations of violations of articles 6-1 and 6-3.
The applicant was represented by Me Patrice Spinosi (Paris) who was not available for comments.
On July 12th 2007, the national council of bar in France (CNB) established in the decision JUSC0757656S the rules for lawyers in reporting confidential information to the government agency Tracfin. Tracfin is a national intelligence agency of the ministry of finance gathering information on money laundering and financing of terrorism.
On October 10th 2007, Mr. Patrick Michaud who is a lawyer in Paris, lodged his case to the administrative supreme (conseil d’etat) to annul the decision JUSC0757656S. On July 23rd 2010, the supreme court annulled partially the decision (case 309993).
On January 19th 2011, the applicant lodged his case (see below) to the Court arguing that the mandatory report of confidential information to Tracfin was a violation of both articles 8 and 6 of the Convention. He added that the disciplinary sanctions for lawyers who didn’t report the information are violations of article 7 He is represented by Me Bertrand Favreau (Bordeaux).
On December 8th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the French Republic with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On February 21th 2008, the Court found a violation of article 6-1 of the Convention in judgment Ravon and others v. France (18497/03) on the ground that the applicants couldn’t appeal the tribunal order of searches of their offices and their home. The searches in Marseilles and Paris were at the request of the tax administration (art.L16B of book of tax procedure). The applicants were advised by Me Delphine Ravon (Paris).
On August 4th 2008, article 164 of law 2008-776 modified article L16B and introduced the right to appeal the tribunal order to the president of the appeal court. This right is extended retroactively to almost all tax searches carried since January 1st 2005 even though an appeal to the supreme court was rejected.
According to Me Delphine Ravon (see below), the right to appeal was applied retroactively to prevent tax cases to be dismissed by the administrative tribunals, saving the French government €1.3 billion (years 2006-2007). She believed that this measure will provoke further violations of article 1 of protocol 1 and article 6-1 of the Convention and complained that it is not possible for citizens and companies to reach the judge during the searches.
In fact, the Court strike out cases SAS Arcalia (33088/08), Naco Trading v. France (29377/08) and found inadmissible cases Sarl Comptoir Aixois des Viandes (19863/08), Provitel (29437/08) and Etoc v. France (40954/08) on the ground that the right of appeal was available.. after they filed their cases at the Court. The Court rejected the allegations of the applicants (Provitel v. France (29437/08)) that the appeal is not effective and affirmed that the effectiveness of this new remedy can’t be judged on the first 6 months of its case-law.
Furthermore, the supreme court (Cour de cassation) will have to rule again on cases it had previously rejected and it raises the issue of the impartiality and the composition of the supreme court to respect article 6-1 of the Convention.
Mr. Ernst Haas is suffering from bipolar disorder for the last 20 years. On July 1st 2004, he became a member of the NGO Dignitas in order to commit suicide. Then, he requested in vain from several psychiatrists to prescribe him the lethal drug pentobarbital sodium. On August 3rd 2005, the health department of the county of Zürich refused to deliver him this drug without prescription.
On November 17th 2005, the administrative tribunal of Zürich rejected his challenge of the decision of the health department. On December 20th 2005, the federal department of interior refused also to deliver him the lethal drug without prescription. On November 3rd 2006, the federal tribunal rejected his appeal and ruled that a mental health exam was required before prescribing the lethal drug.
On July 18th 2007, the applicant lodged his case to the Court arguing that that the refusal to deliver him the lethal drug without a prescription and a mental health exam was a violation of article 8 of the Convention. On October 16th 2008, the application was communicated to the agent of the Swiss government. On November 17th 2008, The NGO Dignitas submitted a brief amicus curiae to the Court (see below).
On January 20th 2011, the Court found no violation of article 8 of the Convention on the ground of the “margin of appreciation” and didn’t rule if States have a positive obligation to ensure that one can end his life with dignity. The appeal to the grand chamber was not accepted by the Court. The applicant was represented by Me Patrick Schaerz (Zürich) .
On October 15th 2009, Mr. Michel Duval was detained pending investigation. On February 3rd 2000, he was handcuffed and shackled during an ultrasound test at the hospital of Laon. Prison guards and police officers were present in the room during the test. On October 1st 2004, he was again handcuffed and shackled for a cardiac test at the hospital of Amiens. On May 14th, 15th, 18th 2005, he was detained under the same security measures for a cardiac test at the hospital of Laon and on June 14th 2005 for an ultrasound test.
On September 28th 2005, handcuffed and shackled, he had a digital rectal exam in front of 2 prison guards in the hospital of Laon. These security measures were taken under an executive order JUSK0440155C of the minister of Justice of November 18th 2004.
On October 15th 2007, the administrative supreme court (conseil d’etat) rejected the motion of the applicant to have the executive order JUSK0440155C annulled.
On April 15th 2008, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that to be shackled and handcuffed during medical exams in front of police officers and prison guards was a violation of articles 3 and 8 of the Convention. He added that the condition of detention during the transfers to the hospital were in violation of article 3. On September 14th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On May 26th 2011, the Court found a violation of article 3 of the Convention on the ground that the security measures and the presence of guards during the medical exams were a degrading treatment.
The applicant was represented by Me Patrice Spinosi (Paris) who was not available for comments.
In February 1998, Mr. Abdalwahab Guerni was contacted by an undercover police officer R. He was introduced to him through a police informant D. The undercover police officer R. asked to purchase drugs. On March 5th 1998, the applicant was arrested when delivering the drugs.
On November 18th 2003, the tribunal of Brugges convicted the applicant to 4 years in prison and to a fine. The applicant had argued that the covert operation was not authorized by law. On May 31th 2006, the appeal court of Gent rejected his appeal and his request to examine the prosecution witnesses R, D and the investigation judge. On 31th October 2006, the supreme court rejected his appeal.
On May 2nd 2007, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that his conviction was based on an entrapment and an illegal covert operation in violation of articles 8 and 6-1 of the Convention. He added that the investigation files were secret for the court in violation of article 6-1 and that he couldn’t examine the prosecution witnesses in violation of article 6-3-d).
On May 5th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the Belgium government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. The applicant is represented by Mr. Hans Rieder (Gent) who didn’t reply our request for comments.
On July 14th 1998, Mr. Claude Baudoin was arrested for “assault” on a hospital security guard and then detained on mental health ground by the order of the mayor of Bordeaux. On July 16th 1998, the prefect of Gironde ordered his mental health detention. He was detained in the special detention unit (UMD) of the hospital Cadillac.
On July 28th 1998, the applicant submitted a motion to be released. On May 30th 2002, the appeal court of Bordeaux rejected his motion. On February 14th 2004, the president of the supreme court denied the applicant legal aid to appeal the decision.
In several decisions, the administrative tribunal and the administrative appeal court of Bordeaux annulled all the orders of detention from July 16th 1998 to May 17th 2004 which were giving a legal basis for 6 years of detention.
On August 13th 2003, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that his mental health detention was a violation of article 5-1-e) of the Convention, the absence of information on the ground for detention a violation of article 5-2 and his condition of detention for 6 years in hospital Cadillac was a violation of article 3 of the Convention.
He added that following his arrest he was not brought to a judge in violation of article 5-3 of the Convention, that the requirement to challenge his mental health detention both in administrative and judicial courts was a violation of articles 5-4 and 5-5, that the length of proceedings in administrative court was a violation of article 6-1, that the refusal of legal aid by the supreme court was a violation of article 6-1, that forced medical treatments and seizure of his letters by the hospital were in violation of article 8, keeping him in a detention ruled illegal by the court was also a violation of article 3 and the lack of remedies a violation of article 13. The applicant was represented by Mr Philippe Bernardet a sociology researcher of CNRS.
On July 8th 2005, the motion to be released of the applicant of June 2nd 2004 was rejected by the appeal court of Bordeaux. On February 2006, the motion of October 12th 2005 was again denied.
On September 27th 2007, the Court ruled that most of the allegations of violations of the Convention were inadmissible under articles 35-1 and 35-3 of the Convention on surprising and conflicting grounds. The Court ruled that the applicant was not arrested for “assault” on July 14th 1998 under article 5-1-c) so the allegation of violation of article 5-3 was inadmissible. This means that his arrest didn’t have any legal basis as there is no provision under French law for an arrest on mental health ground (art.5-1-e)) but the Court failed to acknowledge its own allegation of violation of article 5-1 of the Convention. Furthermore the Court ruled that the allegations of violations of article 3 and 8 of the Convention were inadmissible on the ground that the applicant didn’t submit them to the French courts. But the Court didn’t specify which remedies where available to the applicant and which case-law of the French court makes these remedies effective. The Court also found the allegation of violation article 5-5 inadmissible even though it took 7 years for the applicant to have an administrative court annulled the order of detention of July 16th 1998, and that he needed to start another litigation in a civil court to obtain damages following the administrative court ruling. The Court also found inadmissible the allegation of violation of article 5-1-e) for the mental detention of 6 years (except from October 21th 2004 to November 9th 2004) because the administrative court annulled all the orders of detention even though the applicant didn’t receive any damages for this illegal detention.
On November 18th 2010, the Court found a violation of article 5-1-e) of the Convention, on the ground that there was no order of detention from October 21st 2004 to November 9th 2004. The Court also found a violation of article 5-4 on the ground that the applicant didn’t benefit from a speedy and effective remedy . It awarded the applicant €20,000 for damages and €3,000 for his legal fees.
Mr. Christian Pascaud was born on February 8th 1960 in the village of Saint-Emilion. On April 8th 1961, C.P recognized the applicant as his son even though it was public knowledge that W.A was the father.
On October 24th 2000, the applicant start legal proceeding to annul the recognizance of C.P and be recognized by the court as the son of W.A. On November 12th 2001, a court ordered DNA test confirmed that W.A was the father of the applicant with a chance of 99.999%. On March 7th 2002, W.A died.
On September 24th 2006, the appeal court of Bordeaux dismissed all the claims of the applicant. On October 17th 2007, the supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected his appeal.
On April 15th 2008, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the refusal of the court to recognized him as a son of W.A was a violation of articles 8 and 14 of the Convention. He added that the lack of recognizance was also violation of article 1P1 and the lack of remedies a violation of articles 6-1 and 13. The applicant was represented by Me Bertrand Favreaux (Bordeaux).
On September 28th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. On May 6th 2010, the applicant submitted his observations and requested a public hearing (see below). The request was denied.
On June 16th 2011, the Court found a violation of article 8 of the Convention on the ground that the interest of the applicant to be recognized as a son of W.A outweigh the common interest to legal certainty. It awarded €10,000 for legal fees and €10,000 for moral damages. The amount of material damages will be evaluated at a later date.
On July 1st 1992, a Belgium bank received from Nigeria a “contract” to transfer $45 millions to the bank account of Mr. Dimitrios Coussios. It seems to have been an attempt for an advanced fee fraud (also called 419 fraud). Nevertheless, the bank informed the employer of Mr. Dimitri Coussios (the European Commission) of the contract. The district attorney of Brussels didn’t open any investigation.
On December 1st 1993, the European Commission fired the applicant for having formed a contract as a member of the European Commission. On June 17th 1994, the applicant sued the Belgium bank for damages, for disclosing the “contract” to his employer. On November 2nd 2007, the supreme court rejected the appeal of the applicant, putting an end to a civil litigation of 13 years.
On April 22nd 2008, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that a civil litigation lasting 13 years was a violation of article 6-1 of the Convention. He added that the civil appeal court of Mons considered him guilty of “fraud” was a violation of article 6-2, his dismissal was a violation of articles 6-3 and 8 and the lack of remedies a violation of article 13. The applicant is represented by Me Xavier Magnee (Brussels).
On January 12th 2010, the ECHR ruled in judgment Gillan and Quiton v. United Kingdom, that the “stop and search” of the 2 applicants, were not “in accordance with the law” because the power to stop and search under section 44 of the terrorist act 2000, was not subject to a requirement of “reasonable suspicions” (§86) and to adequate legal safeguards (§87). Therefore the Court found a violation of article 8 of the Convention and didn’t examine the allegation of violation of article 5.
The article 78-2 of the French code of penal of procedure, allows “stop” with no requirement of “reasonable suspicions”, to protect “public order” or on a road, highway near a land border, in airports, in train stations or in an area defined by an order of the local prosecutor of the Republic. Frisks and “volontary” searches are not allowed by law but widely practiced. The “stop and search” is not officially recorded if the citizen is not brought to the police station. It makes it extremely difficult for an individual to challenge a “stop and search” in an action for damages (art.5-5 and art. 13).
Furthermore, searches of vehicles on the road or in parking lots are allowed under article 78-2-2 of the code of penal procedure with no requirement of “reasonable suspicions” in an area defined by an order of the local prosecutor of the Republic. Police officers can even detain any individual stopped for up to 4 hours under article 78-3 for further verification if the individual can’t or refuse to prove his identity. The detainee is not informed of the legal basis of the “stop” (art.5-2) but can request in case of further verification, the notification of the prosecutor of the Republic and upon release a custody record. Under French law, there is no proceedings by which the lawfulness of this detention could be decided by a court (art.5-4).
In June 2009, the NGO Open Justice Initiative released his report “Profiling Minorities: A Study of Stop-and-Search Practices in Paris“, with findings of discriminatory “stop and search” based on ethnic profiling and made recommendations to the French authorities. No amendment were made to the law.
On June 22th 2010 the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in cases Melki (C-188/10) and Abdeli (C-189/10) that a section of article 78-2 was in violation of the Schengen Borders Code (EC) 562/2006 due to the lack of requirement of “behaviour and of specific circumstances giving rise to a risk of breach of public order”. No amendment were made to the law.
In conclusion, the French “stop and search” law raises serious concern of compliance with articles 5-1, 5-2, 5-4, 5-5, 8 and 13 of the Convention. The practice of discriminatory “stop and search” could add a violation of article 14 of the Convention to the previous violations.
After a first reading of Bill 563 at the National Assembly on November 25th 2010 (see previous post), the Bill 563 was sent back to the Senate for a second reading.
On November 30th 2010, at the 1100th meeting of the Committee of Ministers, it was announced that France didn’t submit yet any observation regarding the general measures taken following judgment Medvedev (3394/03) on March 29th 2010.
On 7th December 2010, the rapporteur Senator Dulait couldn’t answer the question of the president of the foreign affairs commission on how the release of the detainee will be organized following a judge order, as there is no provision in Bill 563 for this occurrence.
On December 22th 2010, Senator Boutant questioned the compliance of Bill 363 with the judgments Medvedyev v. France (3394/03) and Moulin v. France (37104/06) as the arrest of a sailor is not notified to a judge (art.5-1-c) but to the prosecutor of the Republic and there is no provision for detainee to have access to a lawyer (art.6-1, 6-3). Mr. de Raincourt representing the defense minister at the hearing, answered that he didn’t want to discuss this mater because it was not “his mission“.
A few minutes later, Bill 563 was passed by the Senate with no amendment. On January 5th 2011, President Sarkozy signed Bill 563 into Law 2011-13.
Law 2011-13 allows in derogation of the code of penal procedure, the arrest and the indefinite incommunicado detention of sailors who were on board ships which are suspected of drug trafficking, attempt of illegal entry in France or piracy. Law 2011-13 creates a French Guantanamo in the high seas.
Following our request for comments on our previous post, Mr. Tobias Thienel a contributor to the Invisible College Blog of the School of Human Rights Research, submitted us the following opinion on Bill 563 (see below).
The court docket of the ECHR contains two pending cases on the arrest and detention in high seas. Case Vassis and others v. France (62736/09) on the detention of the sailors of Junior was filed on October 29th 2009. Case Samatar and others v. France (17301/10) regarding the detention of Somali citizens pending the opening of an investigation on the hostage taking aboard the Ponant, was filed on March 16th 2010. Both have not yet been communicated to France
In 2003 and 2004, the 5 applicants were all arrested on the suspicion to be members of the organization ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna). Within 2 to 4 days of their arrest, they were all suspected by an investigating judge of “membership of a group whose goal is to commit terrorist act” (article 421-2-1 of the penal code) and were ordered to be detained pending investigation.
On January 23th 2007, the investigating judge decided that they were enough evidence against the 5 applicants to go to trial. The 5 applicants were detained while awaiting trial.
On July 25th 2008, the investigation chamber ordered further detention for 6 months of the 5 applicants. On November 26th and December 2th 2008, the supreme court rejected the appeals of the 5 applicants (08-86233, 08-86234, 08-86230, 08-86235 , 08-86236).
On December 17th 2008, the 5 applicants were condemned respectively to 19 years, 10 years, 17 years, 6 years and 10 years in jail.
On May 25th 2009, the 5 applicants filed each an application with the E.C.H.R arguing that their detention of up to almost 6 years, pending investigation and while awaiting trial were a violation of article 5-3 of the Convention, that the fact that the 5 applicants chose to exercise their rights to remain silent justified for the French judges to extend their detention was another violation of article 5-3 and that the detention of the 5 applicants in temporary detention jails (maison d’arret) before and after their trial was a violation of article 8 of the Convention.
On April 21th 2010, the 5 applications (29119/09, 29101/09, 29116/09, 29095/09, 29109/09) were communicated to the agent of the French Republic with questions to be answered before 16 weeks. The applicants are represented by Me Amaia Recarte (Bayonne) who didn’t return our emails.
On July 1st 2008, Human Rights Watch released a report “Preempting Justice” on investigations and trials on terrorism charges in France. In this report, HRW describes the due process to order detention pending investigation “Presumption in Favor of Detention” (p27) and made recommendations to the ministry of Justice to “prevent unjustified lengthy pretrial detention” (p79).
On January 16th 2000, Ms. Sonja Suder and her partner Mr. Christian Gauger were arrested following an extradition request from Germany for an investigation on crimes committed for political reasons from 1975 to 1978. The couple have been living in France since the 1980s. On March 22th 2000, they were both released.
On March 28th 2001, the investigation chamber of the court of appeal of Paris ruled against the extradition of the applicants to Germany on the ground that the crime committed from 1975 to 1978, could not longer be prosecuted under French statute of time limitation.
On October 30th 2007, the applicants were again arrested following a new request from Germany for the same investigation on crimes committed for political reasons from 1975 to 1978. On November 14th 2007, Mr. Gauger was released from thejail of La Santé, and on November 28th 2007, Ms. Suder was released from jail of Fresnes.
On February 25th 2009, the investigation chamber of the court of appeal of Paris ruled in favor of the extradition of the applicants to Germany. On May 27th 2009, the supreme court rejected the appeal from Ms. Suder (09-81731) and from Mr. Gauger (09-81732).
On July 29th 2009, the prime minister signed a decree of extradition for both applicants. On December 3rd 2010, the administrative supreme court rejected the appeals of both applicants (334683 and 334684) on the decree of extradition.
On October 22th 2010, the applicants filed two applications Gauger v.France (61393/10) and Suder v. France (61467/10) with the E.C.H.R arguing that the extradition of Ms. Suder (77 years) and Mr. Gauger who suffered a brain stroke in 1997, will be a violation of article 2,3 and 8, and that the new ruling on the new request for the extradition of the applicants was a violation of article 6-1 and article 4 of protocole 7. The applicants are represented by Me Irene Terrel (Paris).
In December 2010, the Court rejected the application for suspension of the extradition proceeding (art.39). On September 14th 2011, the applicants were arrested and extradited to Germany to be detained in prison.
In 1998, Ms. Marie-Claude Patoux was detained in a psychiatric ward following a personal conflict with her ex-doctor T. She became a fugitive after a temporary release at an unknown date. On December 17th 2002, she was condemned for a “premeditated assault with no bodily injury” (art.222-13 of penal code) on T. to 3 years of probation. In 2005, she was arrested again for “premeditated assault with no bodily injury“.
On March 29th 2006, she was arrested and detained in police custody being suspect of “premeditated assault with no bodily injury” on T. on the same day. On March 30th 2006, she was detained by an order of the mayor of Villiers-Saint-Paul under article L3213-2 of the code of public health. This order allows the detention for up to 48h, of patient suffering from mental illness who are “an imminent threat to public safety“. She was transferred to the notorious mental health center “CHI Clermont Oise” . On March 31th 2006, the prefect of Oise ordered her detention for one month in this health center, despite the lack of an eligible medical certificate, in violation of article L3213-1 of the code of public health.
On April 3rd 2006, the husband of the applicant filed a motion at the tribunal of Beauvais to have his wife immediately released . On April 26th 2006, the prefect of Oise ordered the detention of the applicant for 3 months. On May 14th 2006, the applicant became a fugitive for failing to return to the health center after an authorization of the prefect for a 2 days temporary release. On May 19th 2006, the judge denied the habeas corpus motion for release 46 days after the application.
On June 26th 2006, the applicant was condemned by the tribunal of Senlis to 12 months in jail for a “premeditated assault with no bodily injury” in 2005 and a warrant was issued for her arrest. On 30th July 2006, the prefect of Oise ordered the detention of the fugitive applicant for 6 months. On September 13th 2006, the applicant was arrested and detained at the jail of Beauvais pending trial at the appeal court of Amiens.
On January 31th 2007, the appeal court of Amiens ruled on the appeal. On February 5th 2007, the applicant was condemned by the tribunal of Senlis to 9 months in jail for a “premeditated assault with no bodily injury” on March 29th 2006. On October 17th 2007, the appeal court of Amiens condemned the applicant to a lesser sentence of 4 months in jail.
On May 19th 2008, the applicant was released from jail.
On August 21th 2006, the couple Patoux filed an application with the E.C.H.R arguing that the detention in the health center was a violation of articles 5-1-e) and 5-2, that the ruling on the motion for release from the ward was a violation of article 5-4, that the forced medication was a violation of article 8, that the applicant was not brought to a judge after her arrest in violation of article 5-3, and that the detention of the applicant in the jail of Beauvais with no access to health care, was in violation of article 3. They also complained that the rulings on the motion for release from jail pending trial was a violation of article 5-4. On June 30th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered before 16 weeks. The applicants were not yet represented.
In June 2009, the national regulatory body for health centers (Haute Autorite de Sante) issued a report on the “CHI Clermont Oise“. It states that the condition of detention are degrading (21b) and that the patient consent into taking medications is not recorded (20a). A review was announced before November 2010. The mental health center didn’t answer our email for comments.
On April 14th 2011, the Court ruled that the wait of the applicant for 46 days before the judge rule on its habeas corpus was a violation of article 5-4 of the Convention. It condemned the French Republic to pay the applicant €5,000 of damages for n and €2,500 for the legal fees.
Surprisingly, the Court found the allegation of violations of article 3 due to the lack of health care in the jail of Beauvais to be inadmissible (art.35-1) because the applicant should have invoke these allegations in her motion to be release from jail pending trial (§58). The 5th section of the Court seems to ignore that there is no provision in the code of penal procedure to be released from detention pending trial, for health reasons or violations of article 3 of the Convention.
On April 1st 2011, the bill 400 was filed at the Senate to introduce a provision allowing judges to suspend detention pending trial on health ground.
The applicant was represented by Me Raphael Mayet (Versailles).
On March 29th 2010, the Grand Chamber of the ECHR ruled [en] that the arrest and the detention of the sailors of the cargo ship “Winner” by the French Navy was in violation of article 5-1-c) of the Convention. It was found that their arrest and their detention on the high seas for 13 days was not lawful for lack of legal basis. Controversially, the Grand Chamber didn’t find a violation of article 5-3 of the Convention by 9 votes against 8 because it was alleged by the French Republic that the detainees “met” an investigating judge within 8 hours of their arrival on French soil.
On November 25th 2010, bill 563 was passed by the National Assembly to introduce provisions in the code of defense in derogation of the code of penal procedure, for the arrest and detention on the high seas, of sailors on board ships which are suspected of drug trafficking, attempt of illegal entry in France or piracy.
According to new article L-1521-12 of the code of defense, no cause is needed for the arrest and detention by the French Navy of sailors and no judge is notified of their arrest. Furthermore, according to new article L-1521-14, their detention is deemed indefinite until a transfer to an “authority“.
Bill 563 is therefore in violation of articles 5-1-c) of the Convention for a lack of legal basis. The French Republic still didn’t take appropriate general measure to prevent further violation of article 5-1-c) of the Convention, so there is violation of articles 1 and 46-1 of the Convention.
After 2 days of detention, the French Navy may request a judge to authorize further detention. The judge have no right to access the military files regarding the arrest and the detention of the sailors, and no power to order their immediate release to their own ship, the nearest ship or a port.
If the sailors are finally brought to the French Republic, the lawfulness of their arrest and detention on the high seas will be only reviewed by an investigation chamber if their defense lawyers submit a motion to dismiss, within 6 months of their indictment (art. 170, 173-1 of the code of penal procedure). In the case of the detainees of the “Winner“, the chamber ruled 3 months after the arrival in France. In other recent cases, the investigation chamber ruled 9 months (case “Junior” CC 09-80157), 11 months (case “Ponant” CC 09-8277) and 12 months in (case “Carré d’As” CC 09-87254) after the arrival.
Bill 563 is in violation of article 5-3 of the Convention which requires an automatic, prompt review of the lawfulness of the arrest and the detention (§124,125 Grand Chamber judgment Medvedyev v. France (3394/03)).
Moreover, bill 563 doesn’t create a “habeas corpus” remedy for the detainees on the high seas in violation of article 5-4 of the Convention or an enforceable right to compensation for the victim of unlawful detention in violation of article 5-5 of the Convention.
Finally, bill 563 brings serious concerns about the protection of the detainees on the high seas against violations of article 3 and 8 of the Convention. The high sea detainees are held incommunicado with no access to a lawyer, a doctor, family members, delegates of UNHCR, ICRC and NGOs, and consulate officers (art. 36 of the Convention of Vienna on consular relations). The new article L-1521-13 allows only one mandatory examination by a military doctor within 10 days of a health check by a military nurse, itself within 24 hours of the arrest.
Even worse, new article L-1521-14 allows extra-judicial rendition to any “authory” of any countries. The rendition to countries known to practice death penalty or torture (ex: Somalia) will results in violations of articles 2 and 3 of the Convention and article 3 of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The rendition of detainee claiming asylum will be in violation of article 33 of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
On April 13th 2005 at 14:35, Me France Moulin was arrested and searched in the tribunal of Orleans. She was placed in police custody and transferred to Toulouse to witness a police search of her office. An arrest warrant (“mandat d’amener“) was then issued by the investigating judge for her arrest. She was released from police custody in Toulouse only to be rearrested under the new warrant and detained in a local jail.
On April 18th 2005, she was charged by an investigating judge of the tribunal of Orleans and another judge ordered her detention in local jail pending the investigation. She was released on May 12th 2005 from the local jail of Bourges.
On October 13th 2005, the request of the applicant to have her case dismissed was rejected by the appeal court of Orleans. On March 1st 2006, her appeal to the Cour de cassation failed.
On September 4th 2006, she filed an application with the Court arguing that the searches of her clothes, her office and her bags were a violation of article 8 of the Convention, her detention in police custody for 5 days was a violation of article 5-3, and that the inability to be represented by a lawyer of her choice was a violation of articles 6-1 and 6-3. The applicant is represented by Me Patrice Spinosi who didn’t answer our email for comments.
On January 10th 2008, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On November 23rd 2010, the Court found a violation of article 5-3 of the Convention on the ground that the prosecutor of the Republic is not an “officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power“. The Court awarded the applicant €5,000 for damages and €7,500 for legal fees reimbursement.
In 1978, Mr. Hassan Boutagni immigrated to France at the age of 11 years old. In 1994, he got married and his 3 children were born in France. He was a legal permanent resident of France and his parents, sisters and brothers are living in France.
On July 11th 2007, he was found guilty by the tribunal of Paris of helping youths to go to Syria to train with the terrorist organization GICM. His sentence was 5 years in jail and a life ban to stay in France.
On September 2th 2008, a deportation order to Morocco was served to the applicant who was detained in the immigration detention center of Palaiseau. On September 5th 2008, the E.C.H.R notified France that a suspension of the deportation order was appropriate until its ruling (art.39). On September 6th 2008, he was ordered to live in the department Manche under a penalty of 3 years of jail (art. L624-4 of immigration code).
The request to cancel the deportation order is still pending at the administrative tribunal of Versailles.
On September 5th 2008, the applicant filed an application with the E.C.H.R arguing that the deportation order to Morocco was a violation of articles 3, 8 the Convention. On November 13th 2008, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered before 16 weeks. Mr. Hassan Boutagni is represented by Me Denis Solanet (Versailles) who didn’t answer our request for comments.
On June 25th 2010, the French government “promised” by a letter to the Court not execute the deportation order of September 2th 2008 and incidentally the future judgment of the administrative tribunal of Versailles. But the French government didn’t cancel the deportation order.
On November 18th 2010, the E.C.H.R surprisingly didn’t confirm the case-law Daoudi v. France (19576/08) by declaring that the execution of the deportation order will be a violation of article 3 of the Convention. The Court ruled that the issuance of the deportation order was not a violation of article 3 of the Convention because of the “promise” of the French government not to execute it. The Court also invite the applicant to request an interim measure (art.39) if the deportation order to Morocco was executed. No legal fees reimbursement was awarded to the applicant.
On November 14th 2007, Mrs Rivet a citizen of Cameroon, wife of a French citizen, obtained from the prefecture of Charente a family reunification permit for her two children Rene and Leopoldine living in Cameroon. Leopoldine is suffering from chronic neurological problems. On November 27th 2007, the immigration agency transmitted the permit to the consulate of France in Doula.
On January 23rd 2008, the applicant applied for immigration visas for her two children. On June 6th 2008, the consulate rejected her application. On July 2nd 2008, the decision was notified to the applicant.
On July 15th 2008, the applicant appealed the decision to the appeal agency for visa denial (“commission de recours contre les refus de visa“) which rejected her appeal without notification. On August 25th 2008, she sought an emergency order and appealed the decision of the appeal agency to the administrative supreme court (conseil d’etat). On September 23rd 2008, her emergency order application (case 320022) was rejected on allegation of fraud.
On December 16th 2008, she did a DNA paternity test with her 2 children. The result stated that she was the mother with an accuracy of 99.99%.
On April 9th 2009, the applicant filed their application with the E.C.H.R (see below) arguing that the denial of visas was a discrimination based on national origin, together violations of articles 8 and 14 of the Convention, that the length of the proceedings at conseil d’etat was a violation of article 6-1, and that the emergency order application was not an effective remedy in violation of article 13.
The appeal of the decision of the appeal agency was rejected by the administrative supreme court (conseil d’etat) on April 9th 2009 without a public hearing. The decision didn’t even mention the DNA paternity test.
On July 12th 2010, the case was communicated to the agent of the French Republic, along with questions to be answered before November 3rd 2010. The applicant is represented by Me Jean-Eric Malabre.
In 2006, only 486 appeals of visa denial were made to the conseil d’etat (report of the French Senate). For the same year, around 300,000 visa denial decisions were officially taken. In 2010, N.G.O Cimade published a report on visa denial decisions.
On December 15th 2002, Ms. Yekaterina Popov arrived in France from Kazakhstan, to seek asylum. On June 10th 2003, her husband Mr. Vladimir Popov joined her. On January 20th 2004, they were denied refugee status by OFPRA. On May 31st 2005, their appeal to the CRR was rejected. On n/a another application for refugee status was made by the family.
On August 27th 2007, the applicants and their two children (five months and 3 years old) were arrested and detained in police custody on an investigation for “illegal stay“. Then they were detained in an hotel in Angers before being transferred to the immigration detention center of Rouen-Oissel.
On September 10th 2007, the applicants filed their application with the ECHR arguing a violation of articles 3, 5-1-f) and 8 of the Convention due to their detention with their children in police custody and in the immigration detention center. In addition they complained of the violation of articles 3 and 8 if they were to be deported to Kazakhstan. On September 12th 2007, the applicants and their children were released. On July 16th 2009, the CRR granted them refugee status.
On October 19th 2009, the case was communicated to the French Republic with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. On January 19th 2012, the Court ruled that the detention of the 2 children was in violation of article 3 on the ground that the immigration detention center of Rouen-Oissel was not adapted to detain children. It found a violation of articles 5-1-f) and 5-4 of the Convention because the detention of minor is not allowed by the French code of migration and asylum. The Court added that the detention of the family was a violation of article 8 of the Convention.
It awarded the family €10,000 for moral damages and €3,000 for legal fees. The applicants were represented by Me Denis Seguin.
Surprisingly, the Court found no violation of article 5-4 for the parents on the ground that a judge ruled on the legality of their detention at the request of the immigration office. Under French code of migration and asylum, the parents were not entitled to take any proceeding by which the lawfulness of their detention shall be decided (habeas corpus). The Court also didn’t rule on the allegations of violations of the Convention during the detention of the family in police custody.
On June 27th 2006, the appeal court of Orleans sentenced under art. 322-3 1° of the penal code, Mr. Francois Mandil to 2 months suspended sentence and €1,000 fine for damaging a genetically modified corn field of Monsanto during a political rally in 2004. On May 31 2007, the supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected his appeal (case 06-86628).
On December 17th 2007, the applicant refused to comply with an order of the prosecutor of the Republic, to give a sample of his mouth cells for the storage of his DNA profile on the police database FNAEG.
On June 25th 2008, the Law 2008-595 created the article L671-15 3° of the rural code which allows a sentence of up to 3 years in jail and €150,000 in fines for causing “damages to genetically modified crop field“. But police officers are not allowed to profile DNA of citizen convicted under article L671-15 3°.
On January 22nd 2009, the court of appeal of Besançon sentenced the applicant under article 706-56-II of the code of penal procedure, to a fine €420 for refusing to give a sample of his mouth cells. On June 10th 2009 the supreme court (Cour de cassation) ruled his appeal as inadmissible.
On December 16th 2009, the applicant filed his case with the ECHR arguing a violation of article 8 of the Convention. On October 13th 2011, an article was published in Est Republicain claiming that the applicant received a settlement proposal from the “French government” of €1,500. It is unknown if the settlement proposal was from the registry of the Court and if it acknowledges the violation of article 8 of the Convention. The lawyer of the applicant qualified the settlement proposal of “incongruous” because the applicant was looking for justice and not money.
Surprisingly, on December 13th 2011, the 5th section of the Court ruled the application inadmissible on the ground that the settlement proposal was confidential (art.39-2) and that the release of the information to the newspaper Est Republicain was “malicious” , an “abuse of process” and the lawyer statement “casted discredit on the Government’s approach“.
The applicant was represented by Me Randall Schwerdorffer.