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Romania: Inadequate investigation into rape complaint leads to €12,000 award

A failure by Romania’s authorities to investigate properly an allegation of rape led human rights judges today to award €12,000 to the woman who lodged the complaint.

In its judgement, the European Court of Human Rights declared that Romania  had raised “doubts about the prosecution and punishment of sexual offences.”

In its committee judgment in the case of E.B. v. Romania (application no. 49089/10) the European Court of Human Rights held unanimously that there had been:

a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life).

As just satisfaction (Article 41), the court held that Romania was to pay the applicant 12,000 euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 1,400 in respect of costs and expenses.

The case concerned the applicant’s complaint that her accusations of rape had not been properly investigated and that she had been deprived of her procedural rights.

The European court found that the authorities had failed to carry out a proper investigation and had overly emphasised the fact that she had not resisted her alleged attacker.

Owing to her slight intellectual incapacity, her case had required a context-sensitive investigation, but there had not been one.

The authorities’ approach had undermined the applicant’s rights as a victim of violence, had deprived domestic law of its purpose of effectively punishing and prosecuting sexual offences, and had raised doubts about the system put in place by the Romanian State under its international obligations.

 

The judgment is final.

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