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Greece: Judges back prisoners in Chios jail overcrowding human rights complaint

Today, human rights judges backed complaints against jail overcrowding lodged by detainees at Greece’s Chios prison.

Igbo and Others v. Greece (no. 60042/13)

The applicants are 14 Greek, Turkish, Nigerian, and Senegalese nationals who were born between 1951 and 1989. The case concerned their complaints about inhuman and degrading detention conditions in Chios Prison (Greece) where 12 of the applicants were detained either in pre-trial detention or serving prison sentences at the time of lodging their application. The other two applicants were detained in Chios Prison until 2013, one of them having been transferred to another prison and one other released.

The applicants essentially submitted that Chios Prison was overcrowded to the point that it was standard practice for inmates to have to sleep on the floor in their cells. They also complained about the lack of hygiene and inadequate medical care.

The government contested these allegations, essentially asserting that the prison slightly exceeded its capacity at the time when the applicants had lodged their applications with the European court but was not overcrowded.

Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), the applicants alleged that the conditions of their detention in Chios Prison were or had been inhuman and degrading and that there had been no effective remedies in domestic law for them to complain.

Violation of Article 3 -in respect of Igbo, Gur, Niamg, Kahraman, Dedonakis, Chirakis, Dimas, Karetos, Malamas, Kavaleros, Karetos and Vikelis.

Violation of Article 13 -in respect of Igbo, Gur, Niamg, Kahraman, Dedonakis, Chirakis, Dimas, Karetos, Malamas, Kavaleros, Karetos and Vikelis.

The Court further declared inadmissible the application in so far as it concerned Konstantinopoulos and Leontios

Just satisfaction: EUR 5,000 EUR to Chirakis, EUR 6,500 each to Gur, Niamg, Kahraman, Dedonakis, Dimas, Karetos, Malamas and Kavaleros, and EUR 6,700 EUR each to Igbo, Karetos and Vikelis (non-pecuniary damage).

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