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Three judgments: detention of and lack of care for unaccompanied minors in Greece and France violated rights; UK terrorism powers lacked safeguards
14.3.19
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The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recently handed down three important judgements concerning the unacceptable detention of unaccompanied foreign minors in Greek police stations; the failure of the authorities to provide care for an unaccompanied foreign minor living in a camp in Calais; and a lack of safeguards in UK legislation that gave "immigration officers the power to stop, search and question passengers at ports, airports and international rail terminals."

H.A. and Others v Greece

Press release: Unaccompanied alien minors detained in degrading conditions in Greek police stations: a number of violations (pdf):

"The case concerned the placement of nine migrants, unaccompanied minors, in different police stations in Greece, for periods ranging between 21 and 33 days. The migrants were subsequently transferred to the Diavata reception centre and then to special facilities for minors.

In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of H.A. and Others v. Greece (application no. 19951/16) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention
on Human Rights on account of the conditions of the applicants’ detention in the police stations;
no violation of Article 3 as regards the living conditions in the Diavata centre;

a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) taken together with Article 3;

a violation of Article 5 §§ 1 and 4 (right to liberty and security / right to a speedy decision on the
lawfulness of a detention measure).
"

Judgment: H.A. and Others v. Greece (application no. 19951/16) (French only, pdf)

Khan v France

Press release: Failure to provide care for an unaccompanied foreign minor, aged 12, in the “lande de Calais” shanty town was in breach of the Convention (pdf):

"In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of Khan v. France (application no. 12267/16) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned the failure by the French authorities to provide an unaccompanied foreign minor with care before and after the dismantling of the makeshift camps set up in the southern section of the “lande de Calais" (“Calais heath”). Large numbers of people hoping to seek asylum in the United Kingdom had for many years been living there in tents or huts, in overcrowded conditions without even the most basic sanitation."

Judgment: Khan v. France (application no. 12267/16) (French only, pdf)

Beghal v United Kingdom

Press release: Powers to stop, search and question passengers in the UK in 2011 lacked sufficient legal safeguards (pdf):

"In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of Beghal v. the United Kingdom (application no. 4755/16) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned the use of counter-terrorism legislation giving immigration officers the power to stop, search and question passengers at ports, airports and international rail terminals. The applicant, Sylvie Beghal, had been stopped and questioned at East Midlands Airport in 2011."

Judgment: Beghal v. the United Kingdom (application no. 4755/16) (pdf) and: Legal summary (pdf)

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