APADOR-CH Annual report 2011

24.02.2011
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The Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania – The Romanian Helsinki Committee

Annual Report

1 January 2011 – 31 December 2011

 

 

 

 

During the reporting period, APADOR-CH’s activity was aimed at contributing to the organization’s overall objective, which is for the organization to successfully carry out its mission to raise the level of awareness on, and respect of human rights and the rule of law. In this respect, APADOR-CH followed to meet a number of seven specific objectives:

  1. Strengthening the constituency for human rights with political actors, in media and with the general public
  2. Improving the practices regarding the legal protection of vulnerable groups against discrimination
  3. Developing efficient mechanisms to ensure the rights of persons deprived of liberty
  4. Increasing transparency of administration
  5. Improving reasoning and transparency of judicial decisions;
  6. Eliminating unjustified state interference with the NGOs’ associational life
  1. Reacting to human rights threats

The activities and accomplishments of APADOR-CH are presented by reference to the APADOR-CH’s Activity and Monitoring Plan 2009-2011, taking into consideration those activities scheduled for the reporting period.

 

  1. Objective #1: Strengthening the constituency for human rights with political actors, in media and with the general public

 

 

In the beginning of 2011, APADOR-CH created a Facebook account in order to facilitate the transfer of information on human rights issues to interested parties. By the end of the reporting period, APADOR-CH also created a blog and started to work with a PR specialist, in order to better promote its messages regarding human rights issues with political actors, media and the general public. APADOR-CH used and will continue to use these new means of communication to promote human rights issues, as they are more appropriate, effective and measurable than the classic approach APADOR-CH had (press releases and press conferences).

 

APADOR-CH continued to issue newsletters regarding cases decided by the ECHR in which it was involved, explaining the way the judgements affect the legal order. There were seven such newsletters during the reporting period, regarding the following cases:

    • Mugurel Soare v. Romania (ECHR judgement of 22 February 2011). The Court found that the right to life of the applicant, who survived a shot in the head by the Police, was violated due to both the actions of the Police and the lack of effective investigations into the incident. The Court also found a violation of Article 3 of the Convention (prohibition of degrading treatment) in respect of two witnesses to the incident, who were interrogated by the Police during an entire night, with no access to food or drinking water.
    • Cornelia Popa v. Romania (ECHR judgement of 29 March 2011). The Court found that the applicant’s right to freedom of expression was violated due to her criminal conviction for calumny in 2002. The applicant is a journalist and the press article that led to her conviction criticized a judge. The Court found that the domestic courts convicting held that judges are outside public criticism, which is against the right to freedom of expression as provided for in Article 10 of the Convention.
    • Mosley v. United Kingdom (ECHR judgement of 10 may 2011). The applicant in the case asked the European Court to introduce a new positive obligation for the press to prior notification of publication of articles regarding the private life individuals. APADOR-CH, together with other international NGOs, was a third party intervenient in the case, in favour of the right to free expression. The Court held that the British law contains sufficient safeguards to protect the private life of individuals and that there is not necessary to introduce a new positive obligation for the media.
    • Predica v. Romania (ECHR judgement of 7 June 2011). The Court held that Romania failed to prove a reasonable explanation for the death of the applicant’s son while in detention. It therefore held that the substantive limb of Article 2 of the European Convention (right to life) was violated. It further held that the investigation into the death of the applicant’s son was inefficient, which resulted into the violation of Article 13 of the Convention.
    • Csiki v. Romania (ECHR judgement of 5 July 2011). The Court held that the investigations into the death of the applicant’s son did not comply with the right to a fair trial.
    • Vili Rupa (no.2) v. Romania (ECHR judgement of 19 July 2011). The Court held that, although the applicant raised credible claims that he was subjected to torture and ill-treatment while in Police custody, there was no effective
    • Fane Ciobanu v. Romania (ECHR judgement of 11 October 2011). The Court held that article 3 of  the European Convention was violated because of the conditions of detention, in particular the overcrowding.

 

Given the relevance for the domestic context, on 21 March 2011, APADOR-CH issued a newsletter concerning the case Lautsi v. Italy. In this case, the ECHR held that the exposure of religious Christian symbols in schools is not contrary to the Convention. In the newsletter, APADOR-CH stressed that the conclusion of the ECHR was based on the specific circumstances in Italy and does not mean, in itself, that any sort of exposure of religious symbols in schools is in accordance with the European Convention.

 

On 26 June 2011 (the international day for supporting the victims of torture), APADOR-CH also informed the general public on Romania’s obligations in respect of protecting individuals against torture, including the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture. APADOR-CH also informed the public on the forthcoming pilot judgement Sasu and Stanciu v. Romania, concerning prison conditions in Romanian prisons.

 

The newsletters were distributed to the media and posted on APADOR-CH’s web-page.

 

The human rights situation in Romania in 2011 was summarized in three newsletters issued and distributed every four month-period. The third one focused on conducting individuals to the police sections as, by the end of that year, APADOR-CH was campaining for raising public awareness on the matter.

 

 

Another activity aimed at strengthening the constituency for human rights with political actors, in media and with the general public was the constant update of a resource web-page (www.drepturicivile.ro) mainly aimed of other NGOs.

 

 

  1. Objective #2: Improving the practices regarding the legal protection of vulnerable groups against discrimination

 

 

During the reporting period, APADOR-CH continued to support Roma victims of forced evictions in Tulcea in a civil case against the local authorities by informing a local lawyer that took over the case at the beginning of 2011 after the Court suspension of the case in January. This case was initiated in cooperation with ERRC and complemented a discrimination case led by APADOR-CH on behalf of the victims which was lost in 2009. After several hearings, in October 2010 the courts dismissed the civil case. APADOR-CH’s lawyers declared an appeal and the information on the case shall be sent to the European Court of Human Rights to be added to the complaint already submitted at the end of 2009.

 

 

In the beginning of March 2011, together with other Romanian NGOs, APADOR-CH got involved in protesting against a draft law creating discrimination between various actors providing social services. The draft provided for extensive and exclusive state financial support of the Curch. The President sent the law back to the Parliament for reexamination on 11 April 2011. By the end of the reporting period no other steps were taken by the Parliament in this respect.

 

APADOR-CH continued to be part of the informal coalition of NGOs fighting discrimination. The coalition held a meeting in the beginning of July 2011, in which the head of the National Anti-Discrimination Council presented the institution’s report and also the issue of the anti-Roma wall in Baia-Mare.

 

In April 2011, APADOR-CH as partner of Romanian Harm Reduction Network, started to implement a project aimed at assesing the consequesnces of pre-trail arrest on drug users. As part of this project, between April and September 2011, APADOR-CH drafted two reports: one on the domestic relevant legislation and one on European Court of Human Rights case-law. Intre septembrie si decembrie APADOR-CH a efectuat o analiza statisca privind numarul persoanelor consumatoare de droguri aflate in detentie si a realizat impreuna cu partenerul interviuri cu profesionisti din domeniul dreptului penal.

 

  1. Objective #3: Developing efficient mechanisms to ensure the rights of persons deprived of liberty

 

During 2010 APADOR-CH participated in the working group set up by the Ministry of Justice in order to identify the best solutions for implementing the OPCAT in Romania. The major success of the APADOR-CH representatives was to convince the international experts of the project that the Romanian Ombudsman is not the proper institution to take over the responsibilities of the national protective mechanism. Therefore their final report issued by the Ministry of Justice in the fall of 2010 does not clearly point out to this solution, although that was the initial intention. Nevertheless, in 2011, the APADOR-CH was informed by the Ministry of Justice that in the end, due to budgetary constraints, the Ombudsman shall take over the attributions of the national preventive mechanism in Romania.

 

In the first two months of 2011, APADOR-CH drafted and submitted 46 requests to all units of the penitentiary system in Romania, seeking detailed information on the prison budgets formation and expenditures. The requests were part of a project implemented in cooperation with the Hungarian and Netherlands Helsinki Committees. During March 2011 all answers were analyzed and summaries by APADOR-CH. In June 2011, APADOR-CH organized two visits for international experts: one for assessing the status and problems in the adoption the OPCAT, the other one aimed at assessing the current practices of the National Administration of Penitentiaries in building its budgetary allocations. Reports on both visits were received in August 2011. Based on their conclusions, APADOR-CH will continue to advocate for both the establishment of the National Preventive Mechanism as provided for by the OPCAT and for the transparent allocation of budgets in the penitentiary system aimed of insuring the rights of detainees.

 

In the fall of 2010, APADOR-CH drafted a project proposal on the inclusion of the OPCAT definition of deprivation of liberty in the internal legal order. A full proposal was prepared in December 2010 and the project proposal was accepted by the CEE Trust. The project started to be implemented 1 April 2011. During April APADOR-CH drafted and sent a set of requests for information to Police Inspectorates and the General Inspectorate of Police (in total 43 requests) in order to gather relevant information to support further advocacy efforts. As only six answers were received in due time, in June 2011 APADOR-CH started court procedures against the other 37 targeted institutions (more details under objective #4). APADOR-CH also started a working group with representatives of Police and the Judiciary for drafting the needed amendments to the current legislation in order to introduce guarantees for the respect of human rights as regards the administrative depravation of liberty, not considered a form of depravation of liberty by the authorities. In addition, it carried out legislative analysis on the current legislation on the matter. The final draft of the amendments was ready in September and APADOR-CH entered the campaign to promote the proposals in October. By the end of the reporting period, the association had four meetings with decision-makers (members of the Parliament and a State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice).

 

  1. Objective #4: Increasing transparency of administration

 

In June 2011, APADOR-CH started court proceeding against 37 police inspectorates, plus the General Police Inspectorate for not providing statistical information on the number of persons administratively deprived of liberty and the procedures undertaken by the police in such cases. As a result 9 more public institutions provided the requested information, by the end of the reporting period. The other cases were mostly decided during September 2011. In most of the APADOR-CH lost the case, and lodged appeals.

 

At the same time, during August 2011, APADOR-CH set a partnership with the Institute for Public Policy in the field of access to information. APADOR-CH will help IPP for suing the authorities which do not comply with their transparency obligations. During the reporting period 18 such cases were opened by APADOR-CH.

 

In June 2011, APADOR-CH set a partnership with the Center for Public Participation (CeRe) in order to start a campaign for amending the two transparency laws (the Law on access to information and the Law on the transparency of the decision-making process in the administration). The need for the campaign resulted from the enquiry carried out by Cere with the general public and will be based on the previously formulated amendments drafted by APADOR-CH. The campaign shall start in the beginning of 2012.

 

In September 2011, APADOR-CH assisted a coalition of NGOs (the Coalition for Structural Funds) to challenge the decision of the Labor Ministry to change the rules for implementing the structural projects without complying with the Law on the transparency of the decision-making process in the administration.

 

 

  1. Objective #5: Improving reasoning and transparency of judicial decisions

 

No specific activities were undertaken in the reporting period. In August 2011, APADOR-CH underwent a strategic planning process, which started by assessing the results of the 2009-2011 strategy. During the assessment, it resulted that this objective, although generous, was not realistic. It depended a lot on the publication of the Romanian case-law on the web in a comprehensive manner, an objective of the Mechanism of Cooperation and Verification (MCV) agreed by the Romanian Government with the European Commission. Nevertheless, as the objective in the MCV was not reached in a satisfactory manner, it put APADOR-CH in the position to not be able to meet its own objective, with one exception.

 

This exception regarded the practices in respect of the courts when accepting new members in an association, identified by APADOR-CH in a 2010 project, which included a research component. Because such practices differ, based on different interpretations of law and reasoning, APADOR-CH convinced the General Prosecutor to call the High Court of Cassation and Justice to clarify the matter. By the end of the reporting period the General Prosecutor had not yet taken the procedural steps in this regard.

 

In other matters, as APADOR-CH had no serious and comprehensive means to identify the problems with the reasoning of judgements, it was impossible to take similar steps.

 

  1. Objective #6: Eliminating unjustified state interference with the NGOs’ associational life

 

In 2010, APADOR-CH implemented a project on identifying and removing legal and practical obstacles in exercising the freedom of associations by NGOs in November 2009. One result of the project was to initiate amendments to 6 different laws. They were lodged before the Parliament in December 2010. The amendments to be discussed by the Parliament regarded: easing the requirements for NGOs under the Law on Money Laundering and the Law on Personal Data, eliminating the written form of the contract with volunteers, eliminating the Executive’s interference with the names that can be used by NGOs, clarifying the possibility to receive small amounts of money as donations under the new Civil Code, including/increasing fiscal deductions for those donating money/concluding sponsorship contracts with NGOs.

 

During the reporting period, APADOR-CH continued to support the initiators of the draft laws in the Parliament. Unfortunately, the Government – opposition fights in the Parliament resulted in the practice to reject proposals coming from members of the Opposition. Therefore only two of the laws proposed for amending still have chances to be adopted by the Parliament. The proposal to modify the provisions limiting the names to be used by NGOs was rejected by the Senate in May 2011 and went before the Chamber of Deputies, which has the final vote on the draft law. During the reporting period, this draft law was before the specialized committees of the Chamber of Deputies which decided to the support the draft but only with a number of amendments which actually turned the draft into its opposite. More precisely, if the version of the commission would be adopted, restrictions on NGOs regarding names they can use would become harsher than the provisions in force. By the end of 2011, the draft was debated in the plenary session of the Chamber oof Deputies and returned to the specialized Committee for additional explanations. APADOR-CH shall closely watch developments to make sure that the final version meet the association’s initial purpose. The proposal to amend the Law on the fiscal records in order to ease the procedure to start an association or to receive new members in an association had a similar treatment. In June 2011 received a positive report from the Chamber of Deputies commissions and went for the final vote of the plenum. No final outcome was reached during the reporting period. At the same time, the meetings APADOR-CH had on this topic with the Fiscal Administration resulted in a clarification published on the web-site of the institution, which makes clear that the new members of an existing association do not need to obtain a fiscal record report before becoming members.

 

The most notable achievement of APADOR-CH’s campaign to eliminate unjustified state interference with the associational life was the adoption of an amendment to the new Civil Code which allows NGOs (among others) to receive donations up to 25,000 lei without the need to conclude contracts before the notary public. The new provision is in force starting 1 October 2011.

 

According to its decision to expand its activities (in line with its strategic objectives) in the neighboring countries, in June 2010 APADOR-CH started to implement a project in partnership with CREDO Moldova. The project is aimed at improving the exercise of the freedom of assembly in Moldova, by reforming the relevant structures of the Chisinau City-Hall, as well as the Police procedures regarding public assemblies in Moldova. As part of the project in January 2011, APADOR-CH drafted an expert report on the freedom of assembly in Romania v. Moldova.

 

 

At the same time, during the reporting period APADOR-CH took an active role in supporting the right to freedom of assembly in Romania. In 2011 there were numerous situation in which organized NGOs or groups of individuals received fines for breaching the law on public gathering, some in scandalous cases (for example, one individual expressing his opinions in a public square was fined for “organizing” an illegal protest). APADOR-CH offered juridical advices to those who, after having been abusively fined expressed desire to complain in court.  Five such cases were taken over by APADOR-CH for legal representation in court.. This culminated in a new draft law proposed by the Ministry of Administration and Interior to amend the existing law on public gathering in a manner incompatible with a democratic society. In September 2011, APADOR-CH sent its comments on the draft law and made public its criticism. It also participated in a public debate organized by the Ministry for the same draft. In the end, the draft law was withdrawn and the Ministry promised to come up with a different proposal to include APADOR-CH’s comments. By the end of the reporting period no new draft was made public.

 

 

 

 

  1. Objective #7: Reacting to human rights threats

 

During the reporting period, the main difficulty in reacting to human rights threats continued to be the political instability, which amounted in some cases to “political wars” between the Government and the opposition. In this context, APADOR-CH had to carefully decide whether to react or not to some statements of the politicians, in order to avoid accusations of political bias.

 

During the reporting period, APADOR-CH continued the challenge the authorities’ lack of investigations into the accusations of Romania being a part of the CIA rendition program. One aim of APADOR-Ch was to obtain the declassification of the annexes to the Senatorial Commission of Enquiry into the allegations. In this respect, in 2010 APADOR-CH had to identify the authority which classified them. This process proved difficult and resulted in addressing a new set of FOI requests on the matter to: the Ministry of Defence, the Baneasa Airport, the Mihail Kogalniceanu Airport, the National Company of Airports – Bucharest (the state company managing the two airports based in/around Bucharest: Henry Coanda – Otopeni and Baneasa). The detailed descriptions of the procedures that followed were described in the pervious narrative reports.

The only authority to answer the request was Mihail Kogalniceanu Airport, but the answer did not match the one previously obtained one (from the Senate). Therefore a new request was sent to the Senate, but the answer received did not shed any light on the matter. On short, both the Senate and the Airport claimed the other institution hold the annexes and was the original source of their classification. Nobody seems to know where the documents on which the Senatorial enquiry report was based actually are. In respect of the rest of the requests, APADOR-CH initiated court proceedings in July 2010. The first hearings were set for 23 April 2011. In the case against the Ministry of Defense, the court found in favor of APADOR-CH, ordering the disclosure of the information. The other cases were adjourned for May 2011.

 

During the reporting period APADOR-CH also had several discussions and meetings on future steps to be taken with representatives of Open Society Justice Initiative, Reprieve and Amnesty International. During April 2011, APADOR-CH assisted Ms. Julia Hall, from Amnesty International to prepare an exploratory visit to Bucharest aimed at designing a campaign on the proper investigations on the allegations regarding the involvement of Romania in the CIA secret program. The visit shall took place on 23-24 May 2011 and included meetings with journalists and other non-governmental actors in which both AI and APADOR-CH participated. As a result both organizations were interviewed by the national TV station and Radio France International.

On another hand, APADOR-CH continued the enforcement proceedings against the Civil Aeronautical Authority who was forced by a court order to disclose information on the flights allegedly included in the rendition circuits in Romania, following a case initiated by APADOR-CH. As the first instance court found against APADOR-CH in December 2009, during the reporting period APADOR-CH filed the appeal. APADOR-CH’s appeal was dismissed on 23 September 2010. During the reporting period, APADOR-CH finalized a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights on the violation of his rights to freedom of receiving and imparting information as a result of this court case. It was submitted at the end of March 2011.

On 5 September 2011, APADOR-CH also made public the fact that the classified annexes to the report of the Senate Commission investigation the allegations that Romania was involved in the secret CIA programme disappeared. It once more called for a new investigation to be carried out, both at the level of Parliament and by the judiciary. APADOR-CH is the only Romanian NGO which follows the topic and repeatedly brings it to the public agenda.

 

In respect of the electronic medical card, a draft Government Decision on starting public procurement proceedings was published on 3 September 2010. Without respected the dead-line for public debate, on 8 September 2010 the Government adopted the decision. On 9 September 2010 APADOR-CH publicly protested against this violation of the Law on transparency. On 9 November 2010, APADOR-CH asked the Ministry of Health to organize a public debate over the draft Government Ordinance to modify the Law on Health, which included provisions on the electronic medical card. The debate was organized on 18 November 2010 and APADOR-CH both participated and sent its comments on the draft. It also protested against the plan to adopt provisions which limit the rights of the individual via a Government Ordinance. Although there were promises from the officials of the Ministry that a right to opt between the electronic and the classic card shall be included, on 28 December 2010, the Emergency Ordinance was adopted without it.

 

At the beginning of 2011, the electronic system used by the Health System collapsed. On 14 January 2011, APADOR-CH reminded the general public of the lack of guarantees for the protection of private life the system poses and the lack of cooperation from the Ministry. On 21 January 2011, APADOR-CH asked for a public debate on the methodological norms on the electronic health card and made public its comments. In 2011 the Government did not take any new step with regard to the electronic card.

 

Another important share of APADOR-CH’s activity aimed at commenting on the draft law on implementing the new Criminal Procedure Code. The draft law was made public at the beginning of June 2011 and extensively amended both the adopted Criminal Procedure Code and various other laws in more than 60 pages. Therefore, for the entire month APADOR-CH’s team concentrated its work on commenting and proposing amendments to the draft law. The draft law was not adopted by the end of the reporting period.

 

Other reactions to human rights threats included the following:

 

On 26 January 2011, APADOR-CH joined other NGOs in an open letter against the retention of informational traffic data by providers, as provided by the EC Directive 2006/24/EC.

 

On 17 February 2011, APADOR-CH protested against the initiative of the City Hall of Sector 2 Bucharest to post lists of “potential” drug users (in fact people hanging around legally opened stores selling ethnobotanics) on its own web-site, against data protection laws. The same day, APADOR-CH protested against an MP initiative to intervene on the content of news programs.

 

 

On 7 March 2011, APADOR-CH protested against an initiative of the MP Mihai Boldea to modify the Law on access to information, in a matter that would impede the access to any information that regards criminal investigations and trials. APADOR-CH was especially concerned of the effect of the initiative on the ability of the press to report on such matters. On 21 June 2011, the draft law was rejected by the Senate.. On 28 September 2011, APADOR-CH once more called the Chambers of Deputies not to vote on the draft law. In October, the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies examined the draft and returned it to the specialized Committee. APADOR-CH wrote letters to members of the specialized Committee asking them again to reject the draft. The Committee issued a new report rejecting the draft. By the end of the reporting period, the draft law was included on the agenda of the  Chamber of Deputies with the recommendation to reject it.

 

On 18 April 2011, APADOR-CH protested against the extensive practice of the Executive to pass legislation bypassing the Parliament, including by engaging its responsibility on draft laws. The protest was covered by the media and an extensive interview on the matter was aired by Radio France International.

 

On 3 May 2011, APADOR-CH protested against the excessive use of lethal arms by the Police to which the general inspector of the Romanian Police publicly instructed the policemen to resort to.

 

On 27 June 2011, APADOR-CH protested against the initiative of the Government to change the Constitution and to administratively reorganize Romania prior to an electoral year. The Government dropped these initiatives.

 

On 7 July 2011, APADOR-CH protested against the lack of transparency in adopting the draft law on modifying the Criminal Code with the aim of introducing the confiscation of crime proceeds.

 

On 17 July 2011, APADOR-CH protested, together with four other NGOs, against the draft Governmental Decision to block the internet provider in cases where internet content is illegal, calling such a measure censorship of the internet. As long as there are other more efficient measures to keep the illegal content out of the Internet, blocking ISP is a disproportionate measure and it creates the framework for further censorship of the internet. The Government Decision was nevertheless adopted on 31 August 2011.

 

At the end of July 2011, APADOR-CH participated in a public debate, organized by the Ministry of Telecommunications, on the new draft law on the retention of personal data. Further, on 3 August 2011 it submitted and made public its comments on the draft law. By the end of the reporting period the draft law was not adopted by the Parliament.

 

On 23 August 2011, APADOR-CH and IPP protested against the initiative of the Ministry of Justice to found an “NGO”, which in itself is an attack of the role of NGOs in a democratic society. Such a GONGO will create even more confusion with the general public on the role of NGOs and will create unfair competition in respect of raising funds by NGOs. By the end of the reporting period the Ministry of Justice did not continue with the initiative.

 

On 26 August 2011, APADOR-CH called on the Government to stop its initiative to change the electoral system with a pure majority one. Such a system will seriously affect the representation of the citizens in accordance with the casted votes and, in addition, will only satisfy the needs of political parties and not those of the citizens. By the end of the reporting period, no draft law to amend the electoral systems was promoted.

 

In octombrie 2011, APADOR-CH protested against the intention of the 4th sector mayor’s office to fingerprint the homeless. The association drew attention on the fact that according to the EHRC jurisprudence setting up by any authority of a data-base containing fingerprints of individuals who were never sentenced in a criminal court is an infringement of the right to privacy enshrined in art.8 of the European Convention. In respect of people addressing APADOR-CH with problems related to human rights, in  2011 around 100 individuals received legal advice on submitting complaints to the European Court of Human Rights in direct meetings. The activity of providing advice via letters also continued.

 

APADOR-CH also continued to represent victims of human rights violations in previously initiated cases, such as the one of Mr. Marinescu who was subjected to ill-treatment by the Police. In September 2010 the first instance court decided to resend the case to the prosecutor office for starting a criminal investigation. The policemen’s appeal was denied on 18 November 2010. During 2011, APADOR-CH monitored the case before the prosecutor, who, on 16 September 2011 issued a new decision not to start criminal investigations. APADOR-CH appealed the decision before courts in October 2011 lost the apeal. The association filed a complain against this decision in court during December.

 

 

As regards the cases before the European Court of Human Rights, there were new developments in the following cases:

 

–           GARCEA v. Romania – APADOR-CH  also continued to represent victims of human rights violations in previously initiated cases. In the case of Mr. Garcea subjected to repeated abuses, as well as lack of medical treatment while in detention, which led to his death, APADOR-CH continued the domestic procedures against the prosecutor’s decision not to start criminal investigations against the medical staff of the prison. The first instance court rejected APADOR-CH’s complaint on 11 November 2010. An appeal was consequently lodged. In December 2010 APADOR-CH lodged a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights. It is a test case as Mr. Garcea has no relatives and APADOR-CH lodged the complaint on his behalf. Normally such a case is considered inadmissible by the European Court of Human Rights, but if the right of a human rights NGO to be an applicant is denied, it means violations of the right to life where there are no relatives of the victim remain unsanctioned. In December the case was communicated to the Government.

 

–                  AUSTRIANU v. Romania – The case concerns interferences with the applicant’s rights to freedom of religion, fair trial and protection of property. In September 2011 the applicant’s representatives enquired the ECHR on the prospects of the delivery of a judgment, having in view that almost 3 years have already elapsed since the presentation of the applicant’s response to the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the case.

–                  CSIKI v. Romania – The case concerns the death of the applicant’s son while serving his military duty. The applicant’s son died following an attack of meningitis, and was not provided with adequate and speedy medical treatment. On 5 July 2011, the ECHR found a violation of Articles 6 and 13 of the European Convention on account that the criminal investigations against the medical staff in charge exceeded the reasonable time, and that the applicant did not have any effective remedies in order to speed up the criminal investigations. However, the Court did not find a violation of Article 2 on account that the applicant should have brought a civil case against the medical staff. In September 2011, the applicant’s representative drafted a request for a referral before the Grand Chamber of the European Court, in order to have a reexamination of her complaints under Article 2. The actual request was submitted before the Court on 5 October 2011.

–                  CUCU v. Romania – The case concerns poor detention conditions and allegations of ill-treatment by prison staff. In August 2011, the applicant’s representatives contacted him in order to enquire of possible changes in his situation. In September 2011 the applicant’s representatives enquired the ECHR on the prospects of the delivery of a judgment.

–                  CORNELIA POPA v. Romania – The case concerns the criminal conviction of the applicant, a journalist, who wrote and published an article that criticized the professional competences of a magistrate. On 29 March 2011, the European Court delivered a judgment in the case, and found a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention.

–                  GREEKCATHOLIC PARISH COMANA DE JOS v. Romania – The case concerns failure of restitution of property that had been confiscated during the communist regime. In August 2011, the applicant’s representative submitted to the European Court supplementary factual information in this case.

–                  GREEKCATHOLIC PARISH PRUNIS v. Romania – The case concerns failure of restitution of property that had been confiscated during the communist regime (see the case of the Greek-Catholic Parish Comana de Jos above). In August 2011, the applicant’s representative submitted to the European Court supplementary factual information in this case.

–                  HARCO v. Romania – The case concerns ill-treatment by law enforcement officials, and lack of investigation following this incident. The applicant’s representative submitted in August 2011 the response to the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the case.

–                  IACOV STANCIU v. Romania and SASU v. Romania – these two cases concern conditions of detention in Romanian penitentiaries, and were selected by the Court in view of possibly initiating a pilot-procedure in this matter. APADOR-CH requested to be allowed to intervene as a third party in these two cases. Written observations were submitted in June 2011; APADOR-CH argued that detention conditions in Romania do constitute ill-treatment (especially with regard to overcrowding, lack of hygiene, poor quality of food and lack of access to proper medical treatment), and urged the Court to launch the pilot procedure.

–                  VILI RUPA (no 2) v. Romania – The case concerns ill treatment by police officers, and lack of an effective investigation. On 19 July 2011, the European Court delivered a judgment in the case, and found a violation of Article 3, under its procedural limb (on account that the applicant was not offered an effective investigation of his claims that he was submitted to ill-treatment), and of Article 13 of the European Convention.

–                  FANE CIOBANU v. Romania – The case refers to conditions of detention in three penitentiaties. On October 11, the Court held that  the right to not be subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment was violated in this case.