Европейский суд по правам человека
17 января 2012 года

Facts

The applicant, Mr. Stanev, was found to be partially incapacitated by the Bulgarian courts and was involuntarily placed into social care home for men with psychiatric disorders. The buildings of the social care home were old and without running water, toilets or proper heating inside. The occupants of the social care home received practically no medical treatment. They also did not receive almost any milk, eggs or vegetables in their food. 

Complaint

Mr. Stanev complained about the living conditions in the social care home.

Court's ruling

General principles:

  • The Court stated that in cases with persons of unsound mind, the State has to ensure that a person is detained in conditions which are compatible with respect for his human dignity.
  • The manner and method of the execution of the measure must not subject such person to distress or hardship of an intensity exceeding the unavoidable level of suffering inherent in detention and his or her health and well-being must be adequately secured.
  • The Court stated that when determining whether a particular treatment amounts to inhumane or degrading treatment, cumulative effects and the duration of the treatment in question had to be taken into account.

In the present case:

The Court ruled that Mr. Stanev was exposed to degrading treatment, because he had to stay in the social care home for long time period (7 years), where the food was insufficient and of poor quality, the building was inadequately heated, he was able to have a shower only once a week in an unhygienic and dilapidated bathroom and the toilets were in an execrable state and access to them was dangerous.