ECHR Decree of 6 December 2016 in the case of Ioan Pop and Others v. Romania (application No. 52924/09).
In 2009, the applicants were assisted in preparing the application. Subsequently, the application was communicated to Romania.
In the case, a complaint was successfully considered for evading state bodies from ensuring that a minor child was under the supervision of an adult while his parents were in police custody. There has been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The circumstances of the case
The first two applicants are the parents of the third. They were evicted from their homes by a court decision in November 2006, which was due on July 4, 2007. On that day, the first applicant resolutely resisted the eviction, but without success. The first applicant and the applicant were taken to the police, while the second applicant allegedly remained alone for several hours without adult supervision.
Concerning compliance with Article 3 of the Convention (substantive aspect). On the day of eviction, the second applicant, who was 12 years old, was left alone and was not placed under the supervision of an adult. He saw how the police operation was conducted, during which the father was injected with a tranquilizer to calm him, and then handcuffed him, after which both parents were taken to the police. The authorities had to take into account the vulnerability of the second applicant.
The operation for police intervention was prepared in advance, and the presence of the second applicant at the scene was not unexpected to the authorities, but no measures were taken regarding the boy. Law No. 272/2004 established a series of special protective measures against a child who was temporarily or permanently deprived of parental supervision. Although the placement in any institution would be unreasonable and disproportionate, the respondent State did not establish with all certainty that the authorities did in fact consider the second applicant's entrustment to the cares of the private person whom he knew and who could look after him in the absence of his parents.
In addition, there was no reason to believe that the authorities had taken steps to explain to the second applicant the reasons for the police intervention and the delivery of his parents to the police station or what was expected of them during the official proceedings. The authorities could not help but be aware of the psychological impact of the incident on the child who suffered from emotional distress, and as a result, a stammer began. Strong feelings of fear, anxiety and helplessness, capable of humiliating people in their eyes and in the eyes of relatives, could be considered an appeal that violates Article 3 of the Convention.
The fact that the first applicant was also responsible for the presence of the second applicant at the time of the incident, who allegedly incited him or even used him as an accomplice, could not exclude the authorities' obligation to protect the child and take measures to limit any threat of abuse.
Since the domestic authorities did not take measures to place the second applicant under the supervision of an adult while his parents were in the police force, or to explain to him his situation or the situation of his parents, the threshold of severity of treatment in accordance with Article 3 of the Convention was reached, and the failure to take appropriate measures amounted to degrading worthiness treatment.
In the case there was a violation of the requirements of Article 3 of the Convention (adopted by six votes "for" at one - "against").
The Court also unanimously found that there had been a violation of the requirements of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention in respect of the applicant, since her deprivation of liberty in July 2007 had no legal basis in the law of the respondent State.
In the application of Article 41 of the Convention. The Court awarded the applicant and the second applicant EUR 4,500 in respect of non-pecuniary damage.
See also the judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court in the case "Z and Others v. The United Kingdom" of 10 May 2001, complaint No. 29392/95.