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On April 19th 2010 at 12:15pm, Ms. Hoyos was placed in police custody for 24 hours in Monaco (art.60-4 of the code of penal procedure) under the control of the prosecutor general (art.60-1, 60-3). At 12:30pm, she requested to speak with a lawyer (art.60-9). Despite her request she was interrogated until her bar appointed lawyer arrived. After meeting with her lawyer, she was subject to a body search (art.60-2) and had her bag searched without her lawyer present. Then, she was further interrogated without any legal assistance.
On April 20th 2010 at 12:15pm, she was informed that a 24h warrant of further detention was granted at 11:40am by a judge at the request of the prosecutor general (art.60-4). After meeting with her counsel, she was again interrogated without any legal assistance.
On April 21st 2010 at 11:00am, she was interrogated without her lawyer by the prosecutor general (art.261) who issued an “arrest warrant” for a 4 month pretrial detention (art.162). Then, she was interrogated without her lawyer by an investigative judge (art.166).
On August 25th 2010, Me Regis Bergonzi filed a motion to dismiss to the investigative judge. On September 1st 2010, the investigative judge ruled that he was not authorized by law to rule on the lawfulness of the police custody (art.209). On September 20th 2010, the appeal court confirmed the ruling. On March 30th 2011, the supreme court (cour de revision) refused to rule on the appeal of the Ms. Hoyos.
On July 23rd 2011, she filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the control of the police custody by the prosecutor general, and the fact that she was not brought before a judge were violations of article 5-3 of the Convention. She added that the absence of legal assistance during interrogations, of notice of the right to remain silent, the lack of access of her lawyer to her police file, and the purchase of her prosecution file, were violations of articles 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention. Furthermore, according to her, the refusal of the supreme court to rule was a violation of article 6-1.
On January 23rd 2012, the application was communicated to the representative of Monaco with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. The applicant is represented by Me Regis Bergonzi (Monaco).
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 August 28th 2001, the antitrust commission (Conseil de la concurrence) opened an investigation on the market of mobile network operators in France. On May 14th 2004, a report made by the consumer protection agency of the ministry of economy and finance (DGCCRF) was transmitted to the antitrust commission. On August 24th 2005, an article in the French weekly Canard Enchaine revealed some information contained in the report.
On November 30th 2005, the antitrust commission condemned the mobile network operator Bouygues Telecom to a fine of €58 millions (decision 05-D-65) for violations of article L.420-1 of the code of commerce. On December 12th 2006, the appeal court of Paris rejected the appeal of Bouygues Telecom (decision 2006/00048) after receiving briefs from the ministry of economy and finance and the antitrust commission. On June 29th 2007, the appeal of Bouygues Telecom to the supreme court (Cour de cassation) failed (case 07-10303).
On December 20th 2007, Bouygues Telecom filed an application with the ECHR arguing that the lack of public hearing before the antitrust commission gave its decision, the submission of briefs by the ministry of economy and finance, and the antitrust commission during the appeal trial were violations of article 6-1 of the Convention. The applicant added that the leaking of the report to the press was a violation of article 6-2. On January 17th 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 Me Alain Benabent (Paris).
On May 22nd 2008 at 2:15pm, Mr. Joseph Guerdner was arrested when he came to report to the military police station of Brignoles. Later in the afternoon, the suspect was transferred to a military police station of Draguignan. At 10:50pm, he was found dead in a park near the military police station of Draguignan.
Military police officer Monchal claimed that he shot 4 to 6 times in the direction of the the suspect while he was running away from the station and climbing in a tree in a park. According to this officer, the suspect handcuffed and wearing a handcuff to one of his foot, jumped from a window of the station before running to the park. The window was 4.6 meters above the ground.
An investigation was opened by the military police. On December 1st 2009, the investigation chamber of the appeal court of Aix-en-Provence charged Mr. Monchal with “involuntary manslaughter” against the legal opinion of the prosecutor Guémas based on article L2338-3 of the code of military defense.
On September 16th 2010, the prosecutor Guémas told the jury that Mr. Monchal “couldn’t be condemned“. On September 17th 2010, the accused was acquitted. Prosecutor Guémas didn’t appeal the judgment.
On n/a, the family of Mr. Joseph Guerdner filed an application to the ECHR arguing that the investigation on the death of Mr. Guerdner was not effective, and that prosecutor Guémas didn’t attempt to secure a conviction of Mr. Monchal in violation with article 2 and 6 of the Convention. They added that the execution of Mr. Guerdner was unlawful in violation of article 2 of the Convention. On December 14th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the French Republic with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. The applicants are represented by Me Regine Ciccolini (Aix en Provence).
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).
On August 27th 2005, Mr. Douet was driving home at night. His car was stopped by military police officers. 2 military police officers beat him up and arrested him. During his police custody, he was examined by a doctor (art.63-3 of the code of penal procedure) who found him “unfit for police custody“, due to his multiple wounds. Informed of the medical certificate, the prosecutor of the tribunal of Clermont-Ferrand ordered his release from police custody but didn’t open any investigation.
On September 5th 2005, Mr Douet pressed criminal charges for “aggravated assault” by filing a complain to the prosecutor. The prosecutor decided to close the investigation without charging any military police officers. On November 22th 2005, he pressed charges again by filing a complain to an investigative judge. On December 12th 2007, the investigative judge charged 2 military police officers.
On July 3rd 2008, the 2 military police officers were acquitted by the tribunal of Clermont-Ferrand. The prosecutor didn’t appeal the acquittal. On April 1st 2009, the appeal court of Riom rejected the civil claim for damages of Mr. Douet On July 8th 2009, the supreme court refused to hear his appeal.
On March 10th 2010, Mr. Douet filed an application to the ECHR on the ground that his beat up by military police officers was a violation of article 3 of the Convention. He added that the fact that he couldn’t appeal the acquittal of the 2 military police officers (art.497 of the code of penal procedure) was a violation of article 13. On September 29th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the French Republic with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. The applicant is represented by Me Jean-François Canis (Clermont-Ferrand) who didn’t answer our email for comments.
On January 1st 2001, Mr. A. was wounded in an exchange of fire in the French island of la Reunion. On March 17th 2006, Mr. David Fraumens was considered a suspect in the investigation. On March 27th 2007, the applicant was charged with “attempted murder” (art.121-4 and 221-1 of the penal code). On December 7th 2007, the criminal court of Saint-Denis de la Reunion acquitted the applicant. The prosecutor general appealed the judgment of acquittal (art.380-2 of the code of penal procedure).
On October 3rd 2008, the criminal court of Saint-Denis de la Reunion found the applicant guilty and sentenced him to 30 years in prison. On December 9th 2009, the French supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected his appeal (case 08-87172).
On May 15th 2009, Mr. David Fraumens filed an application to the ECHR (see below) on the ground that the criminal court judgment was groundless in regard to his guilt and to the length of his sentence, in violation of article 6-1 of the Convention. On August 25th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. The applicant is represented by Me Luc Misson (Liege).
From June 13th 1997 to May 30th 1998, some Renault employees on strike occupied one of the branch of the company in Beziers.
On June 20th 1997 and June 27th 1997 Renault obtained judge orders to expel the strikers. On August 1st 1997, Renault sold the branch to Bda whose main shareholder is Sofiran. On August 29th 1997 and on January 27th 1998, Bda obtained again judge orders to expel the strikers. But the local police constantly refused to comply with any of the judge orders.
On October 11th 1999, Bda and Sofiran filed at the administrative tribunal of Montpellier, a lawsuit to obtain damages following the refusals of the local police to execute the judge orders. On March 29th 2005, the tribunal rejected their claim. On February 27th 2007, the administrative appeal court of Marseilles confirmed the ruling (05MA01397, 05MA01426). On May 18th 2009, the administrative supreme court (conseil d’etat) rejected the appeals of the applicants (305135, 302090).
On November 17th 2009, the applicants lodged their case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that refusal of the police to comply with the judge orders were a violation of articles 6-1 and 1P1 of the Convention. The applicants are represented by Me Sandrine Serpentier-Linares (Montpellier).
On June 22th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. Me Sandrine Serpentier-Linares (Montpellier) communicated us the following comments on the questions of the Court :
On May 28th 2011, the applicants submitted their case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that their deportations to n/a will be a violation of articles 2 and 3 of the Convention. They added that the detention of their 7 months old baby in the immigration facility of n/a was a violation of articles 3 and 5-1-f). Finally, they complained that there was no proceeding to rule on the lawfulness of their detention and to release them if their detention was unlawful (habeas corpus), in violation of article 5-4.
The applicants are represented by Me Jerome Canadas (Toulouse) who didn’t return our emails.
n/a : non available on the Hudoc database of the Court.
On December 12th 2005, Mr. Jalal Boukneter and Mr Nabil Boukneter were arrested for a drug trafficking investigation. They were detained in the police station of Villeneuve-sur-Lot where they were put under oath and interrogated for 3 days before they could meet their lawyer.
On November 22nd 2006, the investigation chamber of the appeal court of Agen refused to suppress the transcripts of police interrogation of the first 3 days of police custody. On March 20th 2007, the supreme court rejected their appeal (06-89555).
On September 19th 2007, the applicants lodged their application with the Court arguing that the refusal of the police to allow their lawyer to assist them in police custody, was a violation of article 6 of the Convention. On May 2nd 2011, the application was communicated to the agent for the French government. The applicants are advised by Me Laurence Morisset (Agen) who wasn’t 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 November 29th 2009, 57.5% of the 2,709,287 votes were in favor of the popular initiative to forbid the building of minaret in Switzerland. As a result, article 72 of the Federal Constitution of Switzerland was modified.
Mr. Hafid Ouardiri is a Muslim living in Switzerland who is working as the director of the “Inter-Knowing Foundation“.
On December 15th 2009, the applicant lodged his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that to forbid to build a minaret was a violation of articles 9 and 14 of the Convention. He added that the lack of effective remedy was a violation of article 13. On May 11th 2010, the application was communicated to the agent of the Swiss government.
On September 15th 2010, the Swiss government replied and on November 9th 2010 the applicant submitted his observations. Most of the debate is on the two first questions on the quality of victim (art.34) and if all domestic remedies have been exhausted (art.35-1). The Swiss government is even refusing to examine the allegations of violations of articles 9 and 14 of the Convention (.34) and requested the Court to do the same. N.G.O European Center for Law and Justice submitted briefs amicus curiae to the Court as well as N.G.O Open Society Justice Initiative.
The applicant is represented by Me Georges-Albert Dal (Brussels), Me Bertrand Favreau (Bordeaux), Me Pascal Maurer (Geneve), Me Christophe Pettiti (Paris) and Me Pierre de Preux (Geneve).
On June 28th 2011, the Court found the application inadmissible on the ground that the applicant didn’t apply for a permit to build a minaret and therefore couldn’t be considered as a victim under article 34 of the Convention.
Ms. Poirot is severely disabled and is living in a medical center of the NGO “APF” in Epinal. She communicates only through a voice synthesis device or by writing and needs living assistance services on daily basis.
On March 14th 2001, she complained to a member of staff of the medical center that a caregiver of the center has been sexually abusing her for the last 6 years. She alleged to have been raped and sexually assaulted by him. On August 16th 2001, the district attorney refused to investigate further her criminal complain. On October 31st 2001, the applicant pressed criminal charges for “rape” and “sexual assault” to an investigation judge together with a claim for civil damages.
On December 14th 2006, the investigation judge charged the suspect on the lesser charge of “sexual assault“. On December 22nd 2006, the applicant appealed the decision (art.183-6 of the code of penal procedure). On January 9th 2007, the president of the investigation chamber of the appeal court of Nancy dismissed without hearing the appeal on the ground that it should have contained the grounds of the applicant. On February 14th 2007, the president of the criminal chamber of the supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected her appeal.
On June 28th 2007, the applicant submitted her case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the decision to reject her appeal without hearing was illegal and a violation of article 6-1 of the Convention. She added that the law didn’t require appeal letters to be motivated. On March 16th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On July 20th 2009, the agent submitted his observation. On September 10th 2009, the applicant replied with her observations. On October 27th 2009, the French government submitted additional observations. The applicant is represented by Me Elisabeth Lasseront (Epinal).
On December 15th 2011, the 5th section of the Court found a violation of article 6-1 on the ground that the law didn’t require to indicate the grounds of the appeal.
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.
In France, more than 30,000 asylum seekers who have the right to be housed in special centers (CADA) are being denied this right in violation of article L348-1 of the social and family code and have to wait on average 13 months before being housed in these centers. Thousands of asylum seekers are then forced to homelessness with or without an allowance of €10,83 per day in violation of articles 13 and 14 of the European directive 2003/9/EC. They survive from food handout from charity organizations and every night have to request by phone a bed in a homeless shelter which are often already full.
In the city of Rennes, dozens of asylum seekers became homeless. On February 25th 2011, the NGO “Droit au Logement” occupied an abandoned government building (280 rue de Fougeres) and opened it to 80 asylum seekers. On March 1st 2011, the prefect obtained without any hearing, a possession order from a judge of tribunal of Rennes (art.808 of the code of civil procedure).
On March 4th 2011, 13 asylum seekers and 5 children, submitted an application for interim measures (art.39 of the rules of the Court) to request the suspension of the possession order of March 1st 2011 and to have the prefect offer them immediately appropriate housing (see below). They are represented by Me Melanie Le Verger (Rennes). She argued that the living conditions of the applicants in France are a violation of article 3 of the Convention (M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece (30696/09)) and the decision of the judge not to hold hearing and not to communicate to the applicant the legal brief of the prefect are violations of article 6.
On March 10th 2011, the Court requested information on the legal remedies offered to the applicants to have access to decent living conditions and what measures will be taken by the prefect to ensure that the applicants have appropriate living conditions. On April 8th 2011, the agent of the government replied there is no emergency legal remedies available for homeless asylum seekers benefiting from the allowance and that the prefect gives priority in housing to sick individuals and families with babies. He added that on March 16th 2011, 8 applicants on 18 have offers of housing.
On April 29th 2011, Me Melanie Le Verger replied that 7 applicants are still living in the occupied building, 1 applicant is living in a hotel, 2 in CADA, 5 are housed in waiting centers (“pre-CADA”) and 2 have offers for housing in CADA. She also mentioned 14 new applicants and added that due to the refusal of the prefect to offer housing to new asylum seekers, the building was now housing 140 asylum seekers. According to the statistics of the prefect office in Rennes, there is 811 individuals and 93 families with children seeking asylum without any permanent offer of housing (March 30th 2011) and on those only 192 asylum seekers and 22 families are benefiting from the daily allowance.
On May 6th, the Court requested information on the 7 applicants who were still living in the occupied building. On May 25th the agent of the government informed the Court that these applicants were living in a hotel waiting for their housing in CADA. On June 16th 2011, Me Melanie Le Verger informed the Court that on June 15th 2011, the 7 applicants, Mr. A. from Somalia who is physically disabled, Ms. S. from China who is suffering from severe Hepatitis C and her husband and Ms. and Mr. E from China who have 2 babies of one and two years old are all homeless again.
On October 21st 2004, the district attorney of Nanterre issued a warrant for the arrest of Mr. Amar Abdelali in a drug trafficking investigation. On November 6th 2004, the police officers decided to charge him in absentia (art.134 of the code of penal procedure). On June 2nd 2005, the applicant was condemned in absentia to 9 years of prison.
On October 9th 2005, he was arrested and appealed the judgment. On February 2nd 2006, the tribunal of Nanterre dismissed the case on the ground that the accusation was based on illegal wiretapping of cell phones. But on November 23rd 2006 the appeal court of Versailles, found the motion to dismiss of the applicant inadmissible on the ground that suspects charged in absentia don’t enjoy the rights to file due process motions at their court hearing. On April 3rd 2007, the supreme court rejected the appeal of the applicant. On September 14th 2009, the applicant was sentenced to 6 years of prison.
On September 27th 2007, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the refusal to hear his motion to dismiss was a violation of article 6-1 of the Convention. The applicant is represented by Me Yves Leberquier (Paris). On November 2nd 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
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 March 13th 2010, S.C is placed in police custody in Liege and interrogated by police officers on a murder charge. She is not allowed to receive any legal assistance from a lawyer. On March 14th 2010, the applicant is interrogated by an investigating judge of the tribunal without any legal assistance. Belgium law didn’t authorize suspect in custody to receive any legal assistance at this stage of the investigation.
On June 3rd 2010, the investigation chamber of the appeal court of Liege refused to suppress transcripts of these interrogations.
On December 3rd 2010, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that lack of legal assistance in custody was a violation of articles 5-1, 6-1 and 6-3 of the Convention. The applicant is represented by 3 lawyers of Defenso, Mr. Marc Neve, Ms. Sandra Berbuto and Ms. Estelle Berthe. On May 4th 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the Belgium government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On September 19th 2006, Mr. Nicolas Vosgien was placed in detention pending investigation, by a judge of the tribunal of Nice. On December 2nd 2008, he was formally charged and subsequently detained awaiting trial.
On December 14th 2010, the instruction chamber of the appeal court of Aix-en-Provence found that the applicant was detained without any valid order since December 3rd 2010 and released immediately the applicant. On January 21th 2011, he was condemned to prison by the tribunal of Nice.
During the 4 years of detention pending investigation and trial, the judge of the tribunal of Nice and the instruction chamber of the appeal court of Aix-en-Provence motivated their order for detention by the fact that the applicant was..guilty.
On January 26th 2011, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the detention in local jail for more than 4 years before his trial was a violation of article 5-3 of the Convention and the motivation of the order of detention by his guiltiness was a violation of article 6-2. He is represented by Me Benoit David (Paris). On May 2nd 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On June 19th 2008, a superintendent of police sent a notice to Mr. Damien Celice informing him that he was accused of speeding at 71km/h on June 14th 2008. The speed limit was 70km/h. The superintendent inviting him to plead guilty by paying a fine of €68. But the applicant chose to send a request for a court hearing along with the mandatory deposit of €68 (art.529-2 of the code of penal procedure). He also requested a copy of the photo taken by the speed radar. According to the applicant, his car was being repaired in an auto shop the day of the alleged speeding offense.
On September 3rd 2008, the superintendent of police informed him that he will not send him the photo, will not request a court hearing and that he will use the deposit of €68 to pay for the fine. On November 21st 2008, the ministry of interior informed the applicant that he has been found guilty of speeding by the superintendent of police following the payment of the €68 fine.
On February 26th 2009, the applicant submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the mandatory deposit to have access to court was a violation of article 6-2 of the Convention and the denied access to court hearing was a violation of article 6-1. He is represented by Me Bertrand Perier (Paris). On May 25th 2010, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On June 10th 1998, Mr. Kamel Ketreb was detained without bail in the notorious prison “La Santé” awaiting trial on assault charge. He was examined several times by psychiatrists. Despite his mental illness, he was placed three times in solitary confinement as a displinary measure. During his second placement in solitary confinement, he attempted two times to hang himself according to a doctor of the prison.
On May 20th 1999, he was placed for the third time in solitary confinement for 15 days. On the same day, prison guards pepper sprayed him in his displinary cell. On May 21st 1999, he showed his injured forearms to his sister and his t-shirt was covered with blood. On May 24th 1999, a prison guard found him dead, hung to the ceiling of his cell. On June 17th 1999, the prosecutor of the Republic of Paris closed his administrative investigation on the cause of death and didn’t request the opening of a criminal investigation.
On July 27th 1999, the sister of Mr. Ketreb filed a criminal complain to the investigating judge for “involuntary manslaughter“.
In January 2000, Doctor Veronique Vasseur published a book on his experience of 8 years as the chief doctor of the ethnically segregated prison “La Santé”. She described nightmarish condition of detention and the lack of access to health care for detainees suffering from mental illness. The book stirred such an outcry that a group of Senators opened a full investigation with public hearings and visits of French prisons. On June 29th 2000, they published an extensive report on the condition of detention in French prisons with alarming conclusions. It confirmed many of the findings that the CPT made following its visits of the prison “La Santé” in 1996 and 2000.
On April 8th 2008, an investigating judge sent the ex-director of the prison “La Santé” and the health care provider AP-HP to trial. But the prosecutor of the Republic of Paris, Jean-Claude Marin appealed the decision to the judges of the investigation chamber of the appeal court of Paris. On December 3rd 2008, the 3 judges of the investigation chamber dismissed all charges.
On June 3rd 2009, the applicants, sisters of Mr. Ketreb submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the absence of health care in the prison and lack of surveillance of their brother were a violation of article 2 of the Convention. They added that the disciplinary measures of solitary confinement were a violation of article 3 of the Convention. They are represented by Me J. Bertrand (Paris). On March 29th 2010, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On February 27th 2011, Mr. Jean-Marie Delarue controller of the French detention facilities refused to communicate us the report of his 2009 visit of the prison “La Santé” even though the French FOIA agency (CADA) was favorable to this release (2011/0462). Mr Jean-Marie Delarue is also one of 4 adhoc judges submitted by the French government to the ECHR.
Mr. Skander Vogt was a Swiss citizen born in 1980. In 1995, he arrived to Switzerland with his sister and both were placed into foster care. In 1996, he was deported from Switzerland to Tunisia. In 1997, he was back to Switzerland.
On January 2001, he was condemned to 20 months in jail for minor offenses. But the judge suspended the sentence and ordered his unlimited detention on the ground of the “mental health” of Mr. Vogt to prevent “endangerment of others” under the notorious article 43 of the Swiss penal code. The applicant was then transferred 19 times between various prisons (EPO, Pöschwies, Thoerberg).
On July 5th 2006, the federal tribunal rejected one of his motion for conditional release.
On November 20th 2006, he submitted an application (see below) to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that his unlimited detention in a prison from June 2001 was in a violation of articles 5 and 4 of protocol 7 of the Convention and that the solitary confinement in “high security wing” and the transfers between prisons were a violation of article 3 of the Convention. He added that the refusal to grant his motion for conditional release were taken in violation of article 6 of the Convention. He is represented by Me Isabelle Coutant-Peyre (Paris).
On January 1st 2007, the article 43 of the penal code was replaced by the new article 64 of the penal code.
On February 27th 2008, his lawyer asked the Court that his application be dealt in priority due to the urgency of the questions raised (art.41 of the rules of the Court).
On March 11th 2010, the applicant is left to die in his burned cell of the prison EPO by laughing wardens and police officers. His lawyer informed the Court that the case is now being pursued by the sister of the applicant.
Today, his application is still pending more than 4 years after being filled and has still not be communicated by the Court to the agent of the Swiss government.
By the ruling 10-83204 of November 9th 2010, the French supreme court (Cour de cassation) released officially the information that Mr. H, a French scientist was arrested on October 8th 2009 at 6:05 at his home in Vienne (France). He was interrogated by police officers in the absence of his lawyer during a police custody which lasted 91h25. He was then detained under an arrest warrant issued by an investigating judge (art.122 of the code of penal procedure).
According to one of his family member, Mr. H was detained ever since in the notorious prison of Fresnes pending further investigation (visit report of CPT in 2006). His police interrogation is described by the same source as “very very harsh” and from October 2009 to February 2010, Mr. H was placed in the infirmary of the prison (“national public health center of Fresnes“). Since then, he has limited access to health care and has to walk with a cane. Moreover, in January 2011, he was violently attacked by another inmate in the yard. In a letter, Mr. H describes the detention condition in the prison of Fresnes as a “permanent and multiple violations of [the] human rights [of the detainees]” and complains of the cold and humidity of his cell.
The investigation file on Mr. H and the charges he is facing 16 months after his arrest are still secret (art.11 of the code of penal procedure) as the district attorney of the tribunal of Paris, Mr. Jean-Claude Marin never released officially any information on the case. There is no indication that this secret investigation will lead to a trial.
According to his lawyer Me Dominique Beyreuther-Minkov (Paris), the attorney general of the appeal court of Paris, Mr. Francois Falletti even obtained that all the detention hearings of Mr. H are held in secret by an investigation chamber of the appeal court of Paris. This in derogation with article 199 of the code of penal procedure. She added that the rulings by the appeal court of Paris, on the detention of Mr. H, were also secret. This appears to be a violation of article R156 of the code of penal procedure.
The attorney general office of the appeal court of Paris didn’t return our email requesting official information on the cause of the arrest and detention of Mr. H, the charges he is facing, and a copy of the rulings of the appeal court of Paris on his detention pending investigation.
Following the ruling 10-83204 of November 9th 2010, his lawyer stated that she will file an application with the ECHR invoking the violation of article 6 due to the absence of his lawyer during the police interrogation.
Mr. H is also determined to file an application with the ECHR for violations of articles 5-3 and 5-4 of the Convention if his appeals of the detention rulings are rejected by the supreme court.
Update May 3rd 2011 :
On March 15th 2011, the French supreme court rejected his appeal 10-88750 on the decision of the appeal court of Paris of November 19th 2010 to reject his motion to be released pending investigation. Mr. H complained that his detention at the prison of Fresnes amounted to a violation of article 3 of the Convention due to his poor health and the lack of proper health care.
On April 5th 2011, Mr. H filed an application (21489/11) with the ECHR.
On December 8th 2009, Mr. Pierre Henry Martzloff was extradited from Morocco and subsequently detained in the infamous jail of Fleury-Merogis located 30km away from the French capital.
The gigantic prison was opened in 1968 and is the largest in the European Union with up to 3,500 inmates detained. The condition of detention were horrendous but the Court took 26 years after the first complain to find a violation of article 3 of the Convention.
On October 7th 1987, the European Commission of Human Rights dismissed the case Breguet v. France (11550/85) for lack of answer of the lawyer Me Jacques Verges. The applicant was condemned to 10 days in solitary confinement in Fleury Merogis for having written in a private letter that the chief of guards was “miserable“. He complained that his detention in the solitary confinement in Fleury-Merogis was a violation of article 3 of the Convention.
On March 8th 1988, the European Commission of Human Rights ruled in case Theron v. France (11422/85) that the condition of detention didn’t attain the threshold required by article 3 of the Convention. The applicant who was serving a sentence of 8 days in solitary confinement, was condemned to 15 more days for having written in a private letter that the solitary confinement in Fleury-Merogis was “white torture“. The applicant described his solitary confinement cell as very dirty and the food as disgusting. He complained that his mattress was very dirty without linen, and that he couldn’t take a shower and change his clothes more than once a week.
On July 4th 2006, the Grand Chamber of the Court ruled in case Ramirez Sanchez v. France (59450/00) that the solitary confinement of the applicant for 8 years in the 3 infamous jails (La Sante, Fresnes, Fleury-Merogis) was a not violation of article 3 of the Convention. The applicant complained that his cell was in terrible condition with no private toilet, and that the yard for daily exercise was nothing more than a large cage. Surprisingly, the Court even found the condition of detention in the solitary confinement unit of Fleury-Merogis in compliance (§130) with the Recommendation Rec(2006)2 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the European Prison Rules. The Court had never visited the unit.
On June 12th 2007, the Court ruled in case Frerot v. France (70204/01) that the multiple naked strip searches of the applicant in the jail of Fresnes were a violation of article 3 of the Convention (§48). The applicant complained that he was ordered to open his mouth during naked strip searches in jail of Fleury-Merogis and upon his refusal was condemned to the solitary confinement unit. Surprisingly, his lawyers Me Christophe Nicolaÿ et Me Ludovic de Lanouvelle didn’t complain about the condition of detention in the solitary confinement unit.
On September 11th 2007, the online newspaper Rue89 released a plan and pictures of cells of the solitary confinement unit of the jail of Fleury-Merogis.
On January 20th 2011, the Court found in case Payet v. France (19606/08) that the detention in the solitary confinement unit of the jail of Fleury-Merogis constituted a “degrading and inhumane treatment” (§85) and therefore a violation of article 3 of the Convention, 26 years after the first application made by Mr. Bruno Breguet in 1985.
On December 18th 2008, the daily newspaper Le Monde released an extract of a 2h30 video of the regular unit of the jail, shot clandestinely by detainees. On April 2th 2009, the state television France 2 showed a documentary on the jail with 40mn of footage from the clandestine video (see below).
In the case Martzloff v. France (6183/10), the applicant complained that his cell is very cold because of broken windows, that he have to use the toilet in front of other detainees and that the communal showers are broken. According to him, the exercise yard lacks toilet and showers and is full of dead rats bodies. These allegations are confirmed by the clandestine video and the NGO OIP. On February 1st 2011, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks. The applicant is not represented by a lawyer.
In 20 years and during its 11 visits to France, the CPT of the Council of Europe never visited the largest jail of the European Union (except the young offender site located outside of the main compound in 1996).
On April 29th 1999, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights found in judgment Chassagnou and others v. France (25088/94 ; 28331/95 ; 28443/95) a violation of articles 1 of protocol 1 and article 11 in conjunction with article 14 of the Convention because the applicants were forced to belong to a hunting association (ACCA) and to let armed hunters and hunting dogs from this association enter their land.
The Court ruled a violation of article 14 because large land owners could be exempt to belong to the ACCA of their county and in the county with no ACCA, any landowner could refuse armed hunters to enter his property.
On April 25th 2005, the Committee of Ministers adopted resolution (2005)26 after being informed by the agent of the French Republic that the new article L422-10 of the code of environment will prevent new violation of the Convention as a general measure and satisfy the applicants as an individual measure.
On August 9th 2001, Ms. Simone Lasgrezas who was an applicant in judgment Chassagnou and others v. France (25088/94), requested to withdraw from the ACCA. On October 18th 2001, she was informed by the prefect that she won’t be authorized to withdraw from the ACCA before March 8th 2005 under article L422-18 of the code of environment. On October 31th 2002, the administrative tribunal of Bordeaux rejected her appeal. On June 27th 2006, the administrative appeal court of Bordeaux confirmed the judgment. On November 9th 2007, she lost her appeal (296858) to the administrative supreme court (conseil d’état).
On May 29th 2008, N.G.O ASPAS and the applicant filed an application with the E.C.H.R arguing a violation of article 1 of protocol 1, article 11 in conjunction with article 14 under the same ground as in 1994. On September 23th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered with 16 weeks. On January 26th 2010, the agent submitted his answers to which the applicants answered (see below). ASPAS and the applicant are advised by Me Gregory Delhomme (Montelimar).
This application raised serious concern not only about the respect by France of article 46-1 of the Convention in the execution of judgment Chassagnou and others v. France but also on the ability of the department for the execution of judgments to verify the truthfulness of statement made by the agent of the French Republic to the Committee of Ministers.
On September 22th 2011, the Court found no violation of article 1P1, 11, 14 of the Convention on the ground the applicant could have withdraw her property from the ACCA…. if she had applied earlier in the year.
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).