ECHR ruling of March 13, 2018 in the case of Ebedin Abi (Ebedin Abi) against Turkey (application N 10839/09).
In 2009, the complainant was assisted in preparing a application. Subsequently, the application was communicated to Turkey.
The case was successfully considered the complaint of the applicant to provide him with food that does not meet the requirements of the diet prescribed by the doctor during his detention. The case has violated the requirements of Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
The applicant, who was detained in the penitentiary center from April 2008 to March 2009, had type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease, so he had to follow a low-calorie diet for diabetics, eat little beef and saturated fat. However, during his detention the applicant was provided with food mainly from beef and starchy foods. The applicant complained about this to the prison administration, which refused to bring him into line with the requirements of the diet prescribed by the doctor.
The applicant appealed against this failure of the administration to the judge on the enforcement of sentences. The judge satisfied his complaint, noting that the administration of the penitentiary provided the applicant and 37 other sick prisoners the same food that was given to healthy persons in custody, with the only difference that it contained less salt and spices.
The prosecutor appealed this decision to the Assize Court on the grounds that the administration of the penitentiary institution was not able to prepare and provide a special menu due to lack of financial resources. The assize court granted the complaint of the prosecutor.
Assize Court in English - Assize Court in English - this is how the texts of the documents of the European Court indicate one of the Main Courts of Turkey (asnie) in the system of courts of general jurisdiction operating in provincial centers and large cities. These courts include the Principal Court for especially serious crimes, the Principal Criminal Court and the Principal Court of Civil and Commercial Affairs (editor's note).
QUESTIONS OF RIGHT
Given the amount of funds allocated for the provision of food to detainees, the penitentiary institution in which the applicant was detained could not provide him with food that meets the specific requirements for diets of sick people, despite the associated medical recommendations.
At the same time, this practice cannot be justified by any economic reasons, since the law in force at the time of the events in question provided for a separate budget for detained prisoners. However, neither the prosecutor nor the assize court tried to establish whether the administration of the penitentiary institution approached the competent authorities in order to increase the amount of funds allocated to it for this purpose.
At the same time, the applicant should not have independently purchased food corresponding to his diet, since he would have to bear the associated expenses. The applicant’s state of health should not impose a heavier economic burden on him than is the burden of healthy individuals in custody. The reference to a costly solution is incompatible with the duty of the state to organize its penitentiary system in such a way as to ensure that detainees respect their human dignity, despite the logistical and financial difficulties that exist with state bodies.
Thus, the authorities of the respondent State, first, did not take the measures necessary to protect the applicant’s health.
Secondly, with regard to the deterioration of the applicant’s health due to the inability to follow the diet prescribed by the doctor, the applicant used all available legal remedies to present his complaints to the authorities of the respondent state. After a decision was made by the court of last instance under Turkish law, the applicant raised these issues before the European Court. Consequently, the authorities of the respondent state did not respond promptly enough to the applicant’s numerous requests to bring his food into line with the needs of his state of health.
Considering that medical care cannot be rendered to a detainee at any time and in a medical institution of his choice, the domestic authorities should send the standard menu of the penitentiary institution to a specialist and at the same time conduct a medical examination of the applicant in connection with his complaints . Indeed, the authorities did not attempt to establish whether the food provided to the applicant was adequate and whether the diet prescribed by the doctor had a disruptive effect on his state of health.
Thus, as a result of their inaction, the authorities of the respondent State did not take the measures necessary to protect the applicant's health and well-being, and for this reason did not provide him with proper and respectful human dignity conditions of detention.
Accordingly, the Court dismisses the preliminary objection of the Government to the application of Article 3 of the Convention in the present case.
In the case of violation of the requirements of Article 3 of the Convention (adopted unanimously).
In application of Article 41 of the Convention. The Court awarded the applicant EUR 5,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage.