Mouisel v. France

App. No. 67263/01, 38 Eur. H.R. Rep. 34 (2004).
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Applicant, a prisoner serving a 15-year sentence, alleged that France violated his Article 3 rights against inhuman treatment when his appeals for pardon on the grounds of suffering form a worsening state of leukemia were denied.

Medical reports showed that Mouisel had leukemia and that the disease continued to worsen. However, Mouisel’s application to the French President for a pardon on medical grounds was refused. Medical certificates revealed that applicant’s condition had become incompatible with his continued detention because of the medical attention he required during regular visits to the hospital.

The Court held that France violated Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, finding that applicant was subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment on account of his continued detention which undermined his dignity and entailed particularly acute hardship that caused suffering beyond that inevitably associated with a prison sentence.

"40. Although Article 3 of the Convention cannot be construed as laying down a general obligation to release detainees on health grounds, it nonetheless imposes an obligation on the State to project the physical well-being of persons deprived of their liberty, for example by providing them with the requisite medical assistance. The Court has also emphasized the right of all prisoners to conditions of detention which are compatible with human dignity, so as to ensure that the manner and method of execution of the measures imposed do not subject them to distress or hardships of an intensity exceeding the unavoidable level of suffering inherent in detention; besides the health of prisoners, their well-being also has to be adequately secured, given the practical demands of imprisonment." Page 17.

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