The applicant, Mr. Kadiķis, was detained in police detention cell. He had to share the cell with four or five other persons. There was only one wooden sleeping board which was shared by all the detainees. The wooden board had no mattress and there were no beddings given to the detainees.
Mr. Kadiķis complained that his conditions of his detention violated the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment.
The Court reiterated that the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment is absolute regardless of the conduct of the detainee or other circumstances. Therefore the nature of the offence for which the applicant was detained, was irrelevant for the examination of his complaint under Article 3. The Court reminded that the state must ensure that a person is detained in conditions which are compatible with respect for his human dignity. In considering whether a treatment is “degrading”, the Court must determine whether its object is to humiliate and debase the person concerned and whether, as far as the consequences are concerned, it adversely affected his or her personality in a manner incompatible with Article 3. The Court also noted that the absence of objective to humiliate does not preclude a finding of degrading treatment.
In the case at hand Mr. Kadiķis had to share the narrow wooden sleeping desk three to four other persons which meant detainees had to sleep very close to each other. There were also no beddings, including no blankets, provided. The Court found such treatment incompatible with respect for human dignity. Therefore the lack of beddings in combination with other inadequate conditions in cell violated the prohibition of degrading treatment under Article 3 of the Convention.