MOSCOW, November 25 (Sputnik) – Belgian authorities should implement measures to improve prison conditions in the country in order to comply with human rights laws, the European Court of Human Rights said in a press statement Tuesday.
The court has "recommended that Belgium envisage adopting general measures in order to guarantee prisoners conditions of detention compatible with Article 3 of the Convention and also to provide them with a remedy capable of putting a stop to an alleged violation or permitting them to obtain an improvement in their conditions of detention," the statement reads.
The recommendations were made as the court passed its judgment on the case of a Romanian citizen, Vasilescu, who was detained in Belgium between 2011 and 2012. Vasilescu turned to the human rights court in 2012, complaining of inhuman and degrading conditions at the facilities he was detained in.
A chamber of seven judges unanimously held that a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, prohibiting inhuman or degrading treatment, had taken place, and granted the Romanian some 10,000 euros ($12,400) in compensation and an additional 800 euros for costs and expenses.
The court found Vasilescu's claims of overcrowding and unsatisfactory sanitary conditions to be "most plausible" and a reflection of the realities described by the Council of Europe's anti-torture committee following visits to Belgian prisons, the statement reads.
Conditions in Belgian prisons have been criticized for years by national and international observers "without any improvement apparently having been made," the court said.
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture has in recent years repeatedly reported overcrowding and unsatisfactory sanitary conditions in Belgian prisons and called for the country's authorities to implement measures to deal with these issues.