B.Ü. v. the Czech Republic (Application no. 9264/15)

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgement.


125.  In the present case, the Court notes from the file that the police officers had had recourse to pepper spray in the airport premises after the prior use of manual control techniques had not proved effective and at a time when the applicant, who was showing active resistance, was not under their complete control, in particular during incident no. 1 when he had found himself alone in the toilets and had behaved in a very dangerous manner (see paragraph 14 above). It is also noteworthy that rapid access to a doctor was secured for the applicant directly at the airport (see paragraph 16 above) and that he did not claim to have suffered, after being exposed to the gas, any of the above-mentioned side effects that it may produce, nor were any such ill effects mentioned by the hospital doctors (see paragraph 18 above). Thus, the Court is of the view that the use of the pepper spray in the circumstances of the present case was not disproportionate or unlawful. 

126.  Lastly, the Court considers that at the time of the incidents at the airport, it was not possible for the police officers to know, on the basis only of medications found in the applicant’s possession and his statement about his use of sedatives and analgesics, that the applicant might be in a vulnerable condition owing to a psychosocial disorder. Such a disorder was diagnosed later (see paragraph 23 above) and the applicant was offered treatment. Moreover, it was only on 21 October 2013 that the applicant mentioned his psychiatric treatment for depression (see paragraph 31 above). On the other hand, the Court accepts that the applicant’s actual condition could have increased his aggressiveness which the police officers were called to control. 

128.  In view of the foregoing, the Court concludes that, as far as the substantive limb of Article 3 of the Convention is concerned, there has been no violation of that provision in respect of the applicant’s alleged ill-treatment at the airport. 


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