A Polish prison ‘dangerous detainee’ regime, involving solitary confinement, daily strip-searches and restrictions on family contacts, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment, judges have declared.
Details of the Polish authorities’ programe for controlling dangerous criminals emerged today as part of the European Court of Human Rights judgement in the cases Głowacki v. Poland (no. 1608/08) and Paweł Pawlak v. Poland (no. 13421/03)
Leszek Robert Głowacki, is a Polish national who was born in 1957 and lives in Warsaw. He was classified as a dangerous detainee for two and half years from June 2007 pending two sets of criminal proceedings against him for armed robbery.
Paweł Pawlak, is a Polish national who was born in 1965 and lives in Lublin (Poland). Arrested in June 2001, he was placed in detention on remand on a number of charges, including fraud committed while acting as a leader of an organised criminal group.
Between 2006 and 2008, he was convicted of a number of offences, including aggravated fraud, while the proceedings with regard to the charge of leading an organised criminal group were discontinued. He was classified as a dangerous detainee for one year and ten months between February 2002 and December 2003.
Relying in particular on Article 3 (prohibition of torture and of inhuman or degrading treatment), they both alleged that the “dangerous detainee” regime – involving in particular solitary confinement, humiliating daily strip-searches, excessive restrictions on contact with family and other detainees – amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment.
Relying on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial within a reasonable time), Głowacki also complained about the excessive length – more than 16 years – of the first set of criminal proceedings brought against him.
Violation of Article 3 – in both cases
Violation of Article 6 § 1 – in the first case
Just satisfaction: EUR 12,000 to each applicant (non-pecuniary damage)