Hungary: Policy brutality human rights violations lead to €10,000 award

Violations of the human rights convention  in police brutality case against Hungary lead today to a €10,000 award by Strasbourg judges.

In its committee judgement in the case of Csonka v. Hungary (application no. 48455/14) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously held, that there had been:

two violations of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment/investigation) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned the applicant Zsolt Csonka’s allegation that he had been slapped, kicked and punched by the police when taken in for questioning about a theft of timber.

His complaint to the Hungarian authorities was dismissed because it could not be concluded beyond reasonable doubt that he had been injured during his interrogation.

The court pointed out, however, that, where an individual such as the applicant had been  taken into custody in good health but had been released with an injury, the onus was on the State to provide a plausible explanation for how it had occurred.

Suggesting that the applicant had signed a waiver before his release without mentioning any ill-treatment and that he could have been hit by an acquaintance was not, in the court’s opinion, convincing.

Furthermore, the investigation into the applicant’s allegations had been superficial.

The judgment is final.

Just satisfaction (Article 41)

The court held that Hungary was to pay Csonka 8,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 2,400 in respect of costs and expenses.

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