Ciorap v. Moldova (Application no. 12066/02)

A selection of key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.

85. The Court is struck by the manner of the force-feeding in the present case (see paragraphs 19-21 above), including the unchallenged facts of his mandatory handcuffing regardless of any resistance, the causing of severe pain in order to force him to open his mouth and the pulling of his tongue outside of his mouth with metal tongs. The Court will assume that statement to be true, given also the unchallenged statement in court made by V.B. (see paragraph 21 above) about seeing blood on the applicant’s clothes after his force-feeding.
87. The Court finally notes that the applicant had requested to be given intra-venous drips instead of being force-fed and that he offered his family’s assistance in bringing him the necessary drips (see paragraph 21 above). He appears not to have received a reply to this request and neither the domestic courts nor the Government commented on this. It follows that there was a less intrusive alternative to force-feeding which was not even considered, despite the applicant’s express request.
88. Even assuming that neither his broken tooth nor his abdominal infection had anything to do with the applicant’s force-feeding, the Court concludes that the manner in which it was carried out had been unnecessarily painful and humiliating.
89. In light of the above, the Court concludes that the applicant’s repeated force-feeding, not prompted by valid medical reasons but rather with the aim of forcing the applicant to stop his protest, and performed in a manner which unnecessarily exposed him to great physical pain and humiliation, can only be considered as torture (see Nevmerzhitsky, cited above, ยง 98).
There has, accordingly, been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention.

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