Ny nedre grænse for umenneskelig behandling?

Storkammeret ved Den Europæiske Menneskerettighedsdomstol har fornyligt afsagt en vigtig dom om artikel 3, ifølge hvilken ingen må underkastes tortur, umenneskelig eller vanærende behandling eller straf.

Sagen omhandlede to unge mænd, hvoraf den yngste var 17 år, der begge havde fået en stukket en lussing under deres tilbageholdelse af det belgiske politi. De to mænd, som var brødre, var blevet anholdt på forskellige tidspunkter, men de kunne begge berette lignede historier.

På trods af at begge brøde kunne fremvise lægeerklæringer, som var attesteret få timer efter deres frigivelse, benægtede den belgiske regeringen, at de var blevet slået af politiet. Myndighederne foreslog i stedet, at de to brødre havde slået sig selv, således at de kunne klage over politiets behandling. Den Europæiske Menneskerettighedsdomstol var dog ikke overbevist af denne forklaring.

I overensstemmelse med tidligere retspraksis fremhævede domstolen det absolutte forbud mod tortur, umenneskelig eller vanærende behandling eller straf. I den forbindelse sagde domstolen:

“…where an individual is deprived of his or her liberty or, more generally, is confronted with law-enforcement officers, any recourse to physical force which has not been made strictly necessary by the person’s conduct diminishes human dignity and is in principle an infringement of the right set forth in Article 3 of the Convention.”

Storkammerets afgørelse kom som lidt af en overraskelse, idet syv dommere tidligere havde afvist, at der var sket en overtrædelse af artikel 3. Den tidligere instans havde påpeget, at selv hvis de to brødre var blevet slået, hvilket i så fald var aldeles uacceptabelt, så kunne deres behandling ikke generere en tilstrækkelig grad af ydmygelse eller fornedrelse til at udgøre en overtrædelse af artikel 3. I Storkammeret var 14 ud af dets 17 dommere ikke enige i denne vurdering. Tre dommer dissenterede, og advarede imod en trivialisering af artikel 3.

Afgørelsen er værd at fremhæve, da den muligvis etablerer en ny nedre grænse for artikel 3. Hele afgørelsen kan læses her: Bouyid v Belgium.

Jacques Hartmann

Jacques Hartmann

Folkeret og international politik Jacques Hartmann er senior lecturer ved Dundee University, Skotland. Jacques har en ph.d. fra Cambridge University, hvor han også arbejdede på Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. Derudover har Jacques bl.a. arbejdet i Udenrigsministeriet og ved Det Fælleseuropæiske Universitetscenter for Menneskerettigheder og Demokratisering i Venedig.

6 kommentarer til “Ny nedre grænse for umenneskelig behandling?

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