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Dr. Ibtisam Sadegh wins €25,000 compensation in European Court

European Court of Human Rights found that the conditions of the Safi detention centre were inhumane


Joseph Feilazoo, a 45-year-old Nigerian national, brought a case against Malta to the European Court of Human rights. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to importing drugs, resulting in a 12 years effective prisonment and a hefty fine of 50,000 Euros. However, when Mr Feilazoo was finally released on September 14, 2018, he was placed in immigration detention, an old military barracks, where he remained until his release on November 13, 2020.


The Nigerian authorities refused to issue the travel document, and consequently, deportation never took place. In the judgment passed on March 11, 2021, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that there had been a clear violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, finding that several conditions of the applicant's detention had amounted to inhumane and degrading treatment.


Furthermore, the Court declared Mr Feilazoo's extensive detention, even when it became clear that deportation from Malta was not possible, was unlawful.The Court stressed that the signature States of the Human Rights Convention must ensure that detainees are held in conditions that respect human dignity and avoid unnecessary hardship.


The applicant held in solitary confinement in a container without natural light for 77 days was the most appealing and troubling part in this case.The Court expressed a great concern by the applicant's unrebutted allegations that authorities later kept the applicant with new detainees who were undergoing COVID-19 quarantine without any medical reason.


The ECtHR also reprimanded the legal aid lawyer of lack of regular lawyer-client contact and the authorities for taking no action to rectify the dire situation.



Dr. Ibtisam Sadegh wins €25,000 compensation in European Court

ibtisam.sadegh@lexvirtualis.com.mt

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