Anzhelo Georgiev and Others v. Bulgaria (Application No. 51284/09)

Key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.


73. The Court finds it unsatisfactory and particularly striking that the prosecution authorities could conclude, without supporting evidence other than statements of police officers involved in the operation, that the employees actively had disobeyed the officers’ orders in a manner which required the use of physical force. To make such an assumption runs contrary to the principle under Article 3 that, when the police confront an individual, recourse by them to physical force which had not been made strictly necessary by the individual’s own conduct is in principle an infringement of his or her rights […].

75. What is more, the authorities have not identified either the CSCOC officers who had used electroshock weapons or the precise type of electroshock weapons used or the duration for which they had been applied to company employees. The Court observes that electroshock discharges applied in contact mode (known also as “drive-stun” mode) are known to cause intense pain and temporary incapacitation (see paragraphs 42 and 43 above). It further notes that at the time of the facts Bulgarian law lacked any specific provisions about the use of electroshock devices by the police and did not lay down any instructions for their usage […]. The Regulations of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior on the use of auxiliary means of restraint by police officers were issued in 2011, circumscribing the use of electroshock weapons to a limited number of situations (see paragraph 36 above) and following a warning. As the regulations were issued almost three years after the events, they were not applicable at the time of the operation.


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