Euroopa Inimõiguste Kohus
26.10.2000

Facts

The applicant, Mr Kudla, was detained on remand. A year later the detention order was quashed on the basis of a psychiatric report, which stated that the applicant showed persistent suicidal tendencies and the applicant was released. The applicant subsequently failed to attend a hearing in his case and an arrest warrant was issued again. He was arrested and placed in detention on remand a year later. The applicant attempted to commit suicide. However, an application for release was refused by the Court. Several further requests for release were rejected before the applicant was convicted.

Complaint

The applicant claimed that he had not received adequate psychiatric treatment when in detention, which resulted in his repeated attempts to commit suicide in prison and constituted inhumane and degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention.

Court's ruling

The Court stated that it cannot be said that the execution of detention on remand in itself raises an issue under Article 3. Nor can that provision be interpreted as laying down a general obligation to release a detainee on health grounds or to place him in a civil hospital to enable him to obtain a particular kind of medical treatment. The State however must ensure that a detainee is held in conditions compatible with his dignity and that his health and well-being are adequately secured, in particular by the provision of appropriate medical care. 

In this case, the applicant regularly sought and obtained medical attention and there was no evidence that the authorities can be held responsible for his attempted suicide. As regular medical assistance was given to the applicant the Court also did not find that there had been any failure to provide psychiatric observation. Thus, while the detention may have caused the applicant to feel distress and anguish, the Court ruled that it has not been established that he was subjected to ill-treatment of a sufficiently severe level to come within the scope of Article 3 of the Convention.