Lingurar & Others v. Romania (Application no. 48474/14) (Judgment in French only)

The judgment is only available in French. Find the press release in English below.

Excerpt(s) from the press statement can be found below the document(s).

(…)the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:
a violation of both the substantive and procedural aspects of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights;no violation of the substantive aspect of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken together with Article 3 of the Convention, and a violation of the procedural aspect of Article 14 taken together with Article 3.
The case concerned two police operations in the Roma community of Pata Rât to locate individuals suspected of theft.

Mr Lingurar had been removed from his house and thrown to the ground by a police officer, as evidenced by the video footage included in the case file. The Court considered that the fact of being thrown to the ground by a State agent diminished human dignity. The Court noted that there was nothing to suggest that the applicant had posed a threat to the authorities or that he was considered as particularly dangerous. It concluded that the force used against Mr Lingurar had been excessive and unjustified in the light of the circumstances

The action of the police officer who had struck Mr Lăcătuş with a truncheon, although he was putting up no resistance and two police officers were holding his arms, could not, in the Court’s view, be regarded as having been justified by the applicant’s conduct. The Court found that this action had been intended to arouse in its victim feelings of fear, anguish and inferiority capable of humiliating and debasing him. It concluded that the use of force against Mr Lăcătuş had been excessive and unjustified in the light of the circumstances.

The Court concluded that the absence of an investigation into the necessity of the force used against Mr Lingurar and the eight-year duration of the investigation into Mr Lăcătuş’s allegations led it to find that the Romanian authorities had failed in their positive obligations under Article 3 of the Convention.

The Court considered that the Romanian authorities had failed in their obligation, imposed by Article 14, to take all the necessary measures to investigate whether there had been a racist motive in the organisation of the police operation of 8 November 2005.