European Court condemns Cyprus for ex prisoner’s degrading treatment, the situation has improved says the government

The European Court of Human Rights upheld on Tuesday a complaint by Polish applicant Robert Tadeusz Danilczuk regarding his conditions of detention at Nicosia Central Prisons.

Danilczuk was convicted of a number of offences in Cyprus in January 2011 and was detained until May 2012, when he was released under a presidential decree.

According to a Court announcement, Danilczuk complained of overcrowding, lack of adequate light, cold cells and poor hygiene, relying on Article 3 regarding prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In connection to the latter he complained in particular of difficulties in accessing the toilets � since there had been no toilets in the cells � and that when the cells had been locked, he had been forced to urinate in a bottle and defecate in a waste bag.

The Court upheld his complaint against Cyprus about inadequate conditions of detention, however Danilczuk did not file any claim for damages.

The Ministry of Justice and Public Order reacted later on Tuesday with a lengthy announcement, saying that prison conditions described in today’s Court ruling belong to another era while several corrective measures have been adopted ever since to improve conditions.

The Ministry also says that such anachronistic perceptions belong to another century but were unfortunately part of Cyprus’ corrective system practices until recently.

During the last 3 years we aimed at changing the mindset, eliminating all sorts of discrimination and anachronistic stereotypes, combating corruption, ending preferential treatment while promoting instead respect for human dignity and equal treatment for all prisoners, the announcement continues.

The Ministry also says that it complied with all recommendations issued by the Ombudsman and has undertaken a series of corrective measures and changes that improve conditions, safeguard human rights and modernize prisons.

The Ministry notes, among others that overpopulation, which once stood at 214%, has now been reduced and that there is adequate lighting throughout the prison areas, as well as electricity, air-conditioning and heating in all prison blocks.

Source: Cyprus News Agency