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Serbia: Prison rape complaint set for human rights judgement

Tomorrow, judges will announce their decision on a human rights complaint which concerns an ex-prisoner’s allegation that he was raped by cellmates in a Serbian jail.

Gjini v. Serbia (no. 1128/16)

The applicant, Fabian Gjini, is a Croatian national who was born in 1972 and lives in Crikvenica (Croatia).

The case concerns inter-prisoner violence, in particular the applicant’s complaint that he was assaulted and raped by his cellmates in prison and that the authorities failed to protect him and carry out an effective investigation.

Gjini was arrested for trying to use an allegedly forged 10 euro banknote at a border crossing toll in August 2008. He could not pay the EUR 6,000 bail set for his release and he was placed in Sremska Mitrovica Prison for a month, pending the outcome of investigative proceedings.

The criminal proceedings against him were discontinued at the end of September 2008 when the police found that the 10 euro note was genuine.

He alleges that during his time in prison he was subjected to humiliating treatment, assaulted and eventually drugged and raped by his cellmates. He states that the prison guards were well aware of what was happening to him, but failed to do anything to protect him.

In October 2008, Gjini began civil proceedings for compensation for his detention and the damage he suffered in terms of fear, physical pain and mental anxiety owing to the ill-treatment in prison he suffered at hands of his cellmates.

He was ultimately awarded approximately EUR 2,350 in court decisions delivered in 2013.

Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), the applicant complains that he was ill-treated by his cellmates while in detention, that the authorities failed to protect him and that their response was ineffective.

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