Европейский суд по правам человека
16 декабря 1997 года

Facts

The applicant, Mr. Raninen, was refusing to do the mandatory military service and sentenced to imprisonment to be served at a later date. Before release he was taken back to the prison. In the prison courtyard before transporting him to barracks he was handcuffed and informed of his arrest. He was subsequently taken to the military police vehicle outside the prison gate. Members of his support group, who had been waiting for him outside the gate, were photographing and videotaping the incident. The drive there took approximately 2 hours. The handcuffs were removed at the entrance of the military hospital. 

Complaint

Mr. Raninen complained that his handcuffing was not necessary as he had shown no signs of wishing to flee or harm himself or others. He alleged that the handcuffing violated Article 3 of the Convention.

Court's ruling

The Court emphasized that handcuffing does not normally give rise to an issue under Article 3 of the Convention where the measure has been imposed in connection with lawful arrest or detention and does not entail use of force, or public exposure, exceeding what is reasonably considered necessary in the circumstances. In this regard, it is of importance for instance whether there is reason to believe that the person concerned would resist arrest or abscond, cause injury or damage or suppress evidence. 

In the present case the Court noted that the handcuffing indeed was unjustified. Additionally Mr. Raninen was seen by a number of people while handcuffed. Yet, the Court was not convinced that the handcuffing had adversely affected Mr. Raninen’s psychological state. The Court also took note of the fact that the handcuffs were not placed on the applicant with an objective to humiliate or debase him. Thus the Court ruled that although the handcuffing was unnecessary in the particular situation, the treatment in question did not attain the minimum level of severity required by Article 3 and therefore did not violate this provision.