ECtHR fines Italy for ill-treating Sudanese

Sudan Events – Follow-ups

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has condemned Italy over the conditions in which “Sudanese nationals” were detained and transferred after being left naked among other migrants.

The court ruled on the two cases brought by nine Sudanese who arrived by sea in the summer of 2016.

Regarding the complaints of the four plaintiffs in the first case, the Court unanimously ruled that there had been a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (inhuman or degrading treatment).

The court found that the conditions of their arrest and transfer by bus caused them distress and humiliation and ordered Italy to pay a total of 27,000 euros in compensation for non-pecuniary damages, and 4,000 euros for costs and expenses.

The police had ordered the migrants to remove their clothes in order to undergo a medical examination after their arrest, but the European Court of Human Rights ruled that this reason was not convincing enough to justify leaving them naked among many other migrants, without the slightest amount of privacy and under police surveillance.

They were also subjected to long bus transportation at a very hot time of the year, without enough food and water, and without knowing where they were going or why. The court stressed that they remained under constant police control, in a climate of violence and threats, which must have been a source of concern to them.

The Strasbourg-based court also found a violation of Article 3 in relation to one of the Sudanese men who claimed to have been beaten during another attempt to deport him, and stressed that no investigation has been conducted into the case to date.

However, in the rulings issued, the court ruled unanimously inadmissible eight of the nine applications in which the applicants complained that the Italian authorities did not take into account the risk of inhuman treatment to which they might be exposed if they returned to Sudan.

The four applicants in the first case were no longer at risk of expulsion, and four of the five in the second case did not sufficiently support their claims, according to the court.

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