Detention pending deportation to a police station
S.Z. v. Greece 21.06.2018 (no. 66702/13)
Temporary detention at a police station pending expulsion. Violation of Article 3 for degrading treatment of prison conditions in the police station, Article 5 § 1 (f) (right to liberty and security) because detention was arbitrary and Article 5 § 4 due to lack of effective legal remedy to challenge the legality of detention.
Article 5 § 1
Article 5 § 4
The applicant, S.Z., is a Syrian national who was born in 1984 and lives in Athens.
The case concerned his being detained for expulsion even though it had been impossible to deport him owing to the war in Syria and that the conditions of his detention in a police station had been poor.
Mr Z. was arrested in Athens in September 2013 for possession of a fake French passport and sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment. Later in the same month the authorities ordered that he be expelled, keeping him in detention until the expulsion order could be carried out.
In administrative and court proceedings he argued that he could not be deported as he was Syrian and there was a civil war going on in that country. He also applied for asylum and asked to be released. He was eventually granted refugee status in November 2013 and released. He was held throughout his detention in a cell in the basement of Zografou police station.
Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, he complained about the conditions of detention at the police station. He alleged under Article 5 § 1 (f) (right to liberty and security) of the European Convention that his detention had been arbitrary, and complained under Article 5 § 4 (right to have lawfulness of detention decided speedily by a court) that he had not had an effective remedy at his disposal to challenge the lawfulness of his detention.
THE DECISION OF THE COURT
Violation of Article 3 (treatment)
Violation of Article 5 § 1 – on account of Mr S.Z.’s detention from 23 October 2013 onwards Violation of Article 5 § 4 – in respect of Mr S.Z.’s objections lodged on 23 October and 8 November 2013
Just satisfaction: 4,000 euros (EUR) (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 1,500 (costs and expenses)(echrcaselaw.com editing).