Testa v. Croatia

App. No. 20877/04, 47 Eur. H.R. Rep. 29 (2008)
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Applicant, a Croatian prisoner, alleged that the prison authorities violated her rights under Article 3 of the Convention because she was not provided with adequate medical treatment and necessary medical check-ups for her illness (chronic hepatitis), nor did she receive an adequate diet or sufficient opportunity to take necessary rest. Consequently, she lost control over her health condition which resulted in feelings of anxiety, hopelessness and depression.

Applicant further alleged prison authorities violated her right to privacy under Article 8 of the Convention. She also alleged violations of Articles 5, 6, and 7 and Article 1 of Protocol No.4 and Article 2 of Protocol No. 7 without substantiating them.

The Court declared the complaints concerning the conditions of the applicant's detention admissible and the remainder of the application inadmissible.

It held that authorities violated Article 3 of the Convention because the lack of medical care for the applicant's chronic hepatitis, along with the unsanitary prison conditions, diminished her human dignity and qualified as inhuman and degrading treatment.

"43. According to the Court's case-law, ill-treatment must attain a minimum level of severity if it is to fall within the scope of Article 3 of the Convention. The assessment of this minimum level is relative; it depends on all the circumstances of the case, such as the duration of the treatment, its physical and mental effects and, in some cases, the sex, age and state of health of the victim (see, among other authorities, Ireland v. the United Kingdom, judgment of 18 January 1978, Series A no. 25, p. 65, § 162). Although the purpose of such treatment is a factor to be taken into account, in particular the question of whether it was intended to humiliate or debase the victim, the absence of any such purpose does not inevitably lead to a finding that there has been no violation of Article 3 (Peers v. Greece, no. 28524/95, § 74, ECHR 2001-III, and Valašinas v. Lithuania, no. 44558/98, § 101, ECHR 2001-VIII)." Page 11.