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On October 22th 2008, Mr. Bertrand Rappaz was condemned to more than 5 years in jail for various offenses resulting from his activity as a farmer of marijuana. On March 2010, he was jailed at the prison des Iles in Sion.

A long time non violent and environment activist, he began an hunger strike to protest against the criminalization of the farming of marijuana and its lengthy sentence. Following a deterioration of his health, he made several requests for his sentence to be temporarily suspended for health reason (art. 92 of penal code).

He was temporarily released 2 times, and stopped his hunger strike. Once jailed again, he started a new hunger strike and was hospitalized in the penitentiary wing of the university hospital of Geneva.

On November 10th 2010, a judge ordered Dr. Hans Wolff, head of the penitentiary wing to practice forced feeding on the applicant but the doctor refused to carry it out.

On December 7th 2010, his last request (6B_1022/2010) was rejected by the federal tribunal on the ground that the “medical treatment” that he could receive will be the same whether he is detained or free. The tribunal didn’t take  into account that the detained applicant was on hunger strike to protest against his detention and that Dr. Hans Wolff refused to carry out forced feeding. Moreover the ruling didn’t specify what kind of “medical treatment” the applicant could receive.

Swiss doctors and nurses associations already alerted that the forced feeding of a hunger strike patient is against the international ethics standard set by the World Medical Association (Declaration of Malta).

On December 14th 2010, the applicant filed an urgent motion under article 39  [fr],  requesting that the Court order the Swiss government to temporarily suspend his sentence pending the decision of the Court. The applicant complained that the refusal to suspend his sentence was a violation of articles 2 and 3 of the Convention.

On December 16th 2010, Judge Christos Rozakis refused to grant the request. Surprisingly, Judge Christos Rozakis officially requested the applicant to stop his hunger strike thereby renouncing to his right to freedom of expression (art.10). Both decisions were unmotivated and the name of the judge is not revealed (see below).  The applicant is represented by Me Aba Neeman (Monthey).

Following the decision of the Court, the applicant ceased his hunger strike and filed a complain for damages for his condition of detention in the penitentiary wing.

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On August 31st 1984, Mr. Abdelhamid Hakkar was arrested in an investigation for the murder of a police officer in Auxerre. On December 8th 1989, the  criminal court of Auxerre condemned him to a life sentence with a minimum sentence in jail of 18 years. On December 5th 1990, the supreme court (Court de cassation) failed his appeal (case 90-81761).

On June 27th 1995, the European Commission of Human Rights found in case Hakkar v. France (19033/91) a violation of article 6-1 for the length of the pre-trial investigation, and articles 6-1, 6-3-b), 6-3-c) for the absence of  a defense lawyer during the trial at the criminal court of Auxerre.

On August 1st 1996, the applicant was transferred to solitary confinement at the jail of Villefranche-sur-Saône. He was refused his right to call his lawyer. On November 27th 1996, the European Commission of Human Rights ruled the application in case Hakkar v. France (30190/96) inadmissible due to the lack of exhaustion of domestic remedies for his allegation of violation of article 3 of the Convention due to solitary confinement.

On September 17th 1997, the ruling of the ECHR on June 27th 1995 was made public by the Committee of Ministers (DH (97)47) and on February 14th 2001 a final resolution ResDH(2001)4 was taken on the promise of the French Republic that a new trial will be organized in Spring 2001.

On November 30th 2000, the special commission of the supreme court (Cour de cassation) decided to open a  new criminal trial in Nanterre following the ruling of the ECHR on June 27th 1995, “suspend” his sentence but didn’t order the cancellation of the ruling of December 8th 1989 and didn’t release the applicant. This was the first case to benefit from the article 89 of new law 2000-516.

On October 8th 2002, the E.C.H.R surprisingly ruled the application in case Hakkar v. France (16164/02) inadmissible because his allegations of violations are “manifestly ill-founded“. The applicant was arguing that his detention for 9 years in solitary confinement was a violation of article 3, his detention from the suspension of his sentence a violation of article 5-1-a) and the prosecution without having the previous ruling canceled a violation of article 4 P7.

On February 26th 2003, the criminal court of Nanterre condemned the applicant to the same sentence of the ruling of the criminal court of Auxerre on December 8th 1989. Following the appeal of the applicant, the criminal court of Versailles condemned the applicant on January 14th 2005 to a life sentence with a minimum sentence in jail of 16 years. On December 7th 2005, the supreme court (Court de cassation) rejected his appeal 05-80988.

On April 7th 2009, the E.C.H.R surprisingly ruled the application in case Hakkar v. France (43580/04) inadmissible. The applicant was arguing that his detention for 20 years was a violation of articles 3 but the Court didn’t respond to the allegation of article 3 without any explanation. He was also arguing that the lack of all the evidences exhibits at the criminal trial in Versailles was a violation of article 6-1 of the Convention but for the Court this was “manifestly ill-founded“.

On November 4th 2010, the appeal court of Toulouse mistakenly denied parole to the applicant a French citizen on the false claim by the prosecutor that the applicant need a work permit from the immigration office. This ruling is the 3rd appeal on the ruling of the tribunal of Tarbes on July 31th 2006 who denied him his right to apply for parole. The first two appeals rulings were  quashed by the supreme court on January 16th 2008 (07-81289) and on March 18th 2009 (08-85870).

On November 5th 2010, the applicant began an hunger strike to protest the xenophobic ruling of November 4th 2010.

On November 25th 2010, the applicant filed an application with the E.C.H.R (below)  requesting under article 39 the emergency review by the French Republic of the ruling of November 4th 2010 . The applicant is represented by Me Marie-Alix Canu Bernard. On November 26th 2010, he was transferred to an hospital after losing more than 10 kg in his ongoing 22 days hunger strike.

The applicant waited for 21 years for a fair trial on the criminal charges against him(1984-2005). He is now waiting more than 4 years for a fair trial on his parole application (2006-..).

At the hearing of November 4th 2010, the prosecutor advocated also the denial of the parole application because  the applicant was still “passionate about his rights” in January 2010. The applicant and the ministry of Justice surely don’t share the same passion for the rule of law.

Update : On December 3rd 2010, the request for interim measure of the applicant under article 39 was denied.

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