Latvia: Judges award €10,000 after human rights breach

A Latvian held in a psychiatric hospital against his will for eight months has been awarded €10,000 after judges accepted that his human rights were violated.

O.G. v. Latvia (application no. 66095/09)

The applicant, Mr O.G., is a Latvian national who was born in 1965 and lives in Riga. The case concerned his allegation that his confinement in a psychiatric hospital had been illegal.

In August 2008, in the context of criminal proceedings brought against the applicant for fraud, a court ordered his inpatient treatment in a psychiatric hospital. The court considered in particular that the applicant, suffering from chronic paranoid schizophrenia, posed a danger to society.

The applicant lodged an appeal which was not examined on the ground that he did not have standing to appeal and his legal representative, a psychiatrist responsible for his medical treatment, who had been appointed in another set of criminal proceedings brought against him in 2004 for Internet fraud, had not appealed the decision to have him interned.

As a result, on 22 October 2009 police officers took the applicant from his flat to a psychiatric hospital in Riga. He was released from hospital on 7 June 2010 following a decision ordering his treatment as an outpatient.

Relying on Article 5 §§ 1 and 4 (right to liberty and security and to have lawfulness of detention decided speedily by a court) of the European Convention on Human Rights, the applicant complained that his involuntary admission to a psychiatric hospital had not been justified and that he had not been able to challenge the lawfulness of his detention.

Violation of Article 5 § 4
Violation of Article 5 § 1

Just satisfaction
: EUR 10,000 euros (EUR) (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 50 (respect of costs and expenses)

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