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Jail Conditions of Disabled Inmate in France Violate Human Rights Law – ECJ

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Prison Bound - Sputnik International
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The European Court of Justice ruled Thursday that the detention conditions of a severely disabled inmate Mohammed Helhal serving a 30-year sentence for murder in French Poitiers-Vivonne prison was a breach of the European human rights law.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The detention conditions of a severely disabled inmate Mohammed Helhal held in French Poitiers-Vivonne prison constitute a breach of the European human rights law, the European Court of Justice ruled Thursday in the case of Helhal v. France.

The applicant, Mohammed Helhal is a 42-year-old Algerian national serving a 30-year sentence for murder, attempted murder and assault. In 2006, while attempting to escape from prison, he fell down several meters, which left him with paraplegia.

“The non-existent or inadequate treatment and the need for him [Helhal] to be assisted by a fellow inmate in order to take a shower had subjected him to a level of suffering exceeding that inherent in detention, and therefore amounted to a violation of Article 3 [of the European Convention on Human Rights],” the Decision of the Court, published on the ECHR official website, said.

The Court ruled for France to pay Helhal a total of 11,000 euros ($12,500) in damage.

According to the document, the French authorities “had not done everything that could be expected of them to provide Mr. Helhal with the rehabilitation treatment he needed.”

Namely, Helhal did not have any physiotherapy sessions between 2009 and 2012 and the assistance in personal hygiene provided to him by fellow inmate “did not suffice to fulfil the State’s obligations with regard to health and safety.”

The Strasbourg court ruled, however, that Helhal’s continued detention was not incompatible with his disabilities.

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