On November 6, 2019, the case was won in the UN Human Rights Committee.

Заголовок: On November 6, 2019, the case was won in the UN Human Rights Committee. Сведения: 2024-07-11 05:15:03

Kastutis Stasaitis vs. Lithuania. Views of the Human Rights Committee of November 6, 2019 Communication No. 2719/2016.

In 2016, the author of the communication was assisted in preparing a complaint. Subsequently, the complaint was communicated to Lithuania.

Referring to article 14, paragraph 2, of the Covenant, the author claimed that his right to the presumption of innocence was violated because he was kept in a metal cage in the courtroom throughout the trial, and journalists had the opportunity to photograph him in handcuffs. Thus, he was humiliated in the eyes of the general public and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, including in violation of article 7 of the Covenant.

The Committee's legal position: The prohibition contained in article 7 [of the Covenant] is complemented by the positive requirements of article 10, paragraph 1, of the Covenant, which provides: "All persons deprived of their liberty have the right to humane treatment and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person." [The Committee] also recalls its general comment No. 21 (1992) on the humane treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, which imposes on the State party a positive obligation to all persons deprived of their liberty to guarantee respect for their human dignity and to ensure respect for their rights enshrined in the Covenant, subject to restrictions unavoidable for a closed regime (paragraph 3) (paragraph 8.8 of the Considerations) (See Pustovoit v. Ukraine (CCPR/C/110/D/1405/2005), paragraph 9.2.).

With regard to the author's allegations under article 14, paragraph 2, of the Covenant, the Committee recalled its practice, which is reflected in paragraph 30 of its general comment No. 32 [Article 14: Equality before courts and tribunals and the right of everyone to a fair trial] and according to which "the presumption of innocence, which is fundamental to protection of human rights, imposes the duty of proof on the prosecution, ensures that no guilt can be presumed until guilt is proven beyond reasonable doubt, ensures the interpretation of doubts in favor of the accused and requires that persons who are charged with committing a criminal act be treated in accordance with this principle." In addition, during the trial, defendants, as a general rule, should not be handcuffed or kept in cages or in any other way appear in court in an appearance indicating that they may be dangerous criminals (See Burdyko v. Belarus (CCPR/C/114/D/2017/2010), paragraph 8.4; Selyun v. Belarus (CCPR/C/115/D/2289/2013), paragraph 7.5; and Grishkovtsov v. Belarus (CCPR/C/113/D/2013/2010), paragraph 8.4.). The media should refrain from presenting news in a way that would violate the presumption of innocence (paragraph 8.9 of the Considerations).

The Committee's assessment of the factual circumstances of the case: The Committee took note of the author's complaint that during the trial he was held in a metal cage in the courtroom, which, in his opinion, was humiliating, caused him physical pain and journalists had the opportunity to photograph him in handcuffs. The author argued that such a security measure, which should be considered excessive, amounts to a violation of the presumption of innocence, constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of articles 14, paragraph 2, and article 7 of the Covenant, respectively (paragraph 8.7 of the Views).

The Committee noted that the State party had not proved that the measures taken against the author were in accordance with the provisions of article 14, paragraph 2, of the Covenant. In particular, the State party has not proved that the author's handcuffed confinement in a metal cage during open court hearings was necessary for security or the administration of justice and that no alternative measures consistent with the author's rights could have been taken. Moreover, photographs of the author in handcuffs were published in the media (paragraph 8.10 of the Considerations).

The Committee's conclusions: The facts reveal a violation by the State party of articles 7 and 14, paragraph 2, of the Covenant (paragraph 9 of the Views).



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