ECHR dismisses allegations of ill-treatment of Kenyan applicant by Cyprus Police

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) dismissed today allegations of ill-treatment of a Kenyan national by the Cyprus Police during his deportation from the island, back in 2005.

Delivering on Tuesday its judgement on the case “Thuo v. Cyprus”, the Court found however that the investigation had been ineffective, and noted a violation with regard to the conditions of detention pending the applicants deportation.

According to an announcement by the ECHR, David William Thuo, the applicant, did not submit a claim for just satisfaction.

Thuo was arrested after trying to travel to London from Larnaca Airport on a forged passport. When released in November 2005, he was immediately re-arrested and placed in immigration detention, in Nicosia Central Prison, pending his deportation. He was deported about 16 months later, on 9 March 2007, his application for asylum having been rejected.

The applicant alleged that immigration officers beat him in Nicosia Central Prison before transporting him to the airport, where he was beaten again. He also alleged that he was gagged at the airport, with officials stuffing paper into his mouth, which they sealed with airline tape and then secured with bandages.

Once in Kenya, Thuo lodged complaints and during an official investigation, launched in July 2009, he presented authorities with a medical certificate issued by a public hospital in Nairobi to attest his claims.

The accused officers denied any ill-treatment, saying that they had to intervene at the airport, in order to stop Thuo from hurting himself. In July 2010, the authorities accepted the officers’ testimony that the use of force had been necessary and concluded that Thuo had lied for financial gain or in order to stay in Cyprus. The Attorney General of Cyprus also endorsed these findings.

The ECHR found a violation of Article 3 in relation to the incidents investigation as well a violation in respect of the conditions Thuos detention.

Source: Cyprus News Agency