The case concerns an Egyptian national who spent more than six months in a guarded detention centre for foreigners in connection with pending procedures for an obligation to return and then for international protection.
Despite his declaration from the very beginning of multiple health conditions (urological, gastrological), requiring urgent surgery and causing constant pain, the commander of the competent Border Guard authority asked the court to place him in a guarded centre. The foreigner also repeatedly indicated that he was a victim of physical violence and provided evidence of this.
Despite this, no official procedure has been implemented to determine whether a foreigner is a victim of violence, although according to current legislation, a person shall not be placed in a guarded centre if this could result in danger to his/her life or health or his/her psycho-physical state may justify the presumption that he/she has been subjected to violence.
The courts did not at any stage of the proceedings take into consideration the foreigner’s health problems, his poor psycho-physical state or the fact that he had experienced violence; above all, they did not take into consideration the requests for evidence from an expert forensic doctor and a psychologist on the fact that the foreigner’s psycho-physical state is typical of a person with experience of violence.
There were also procedural violations of the right to defence in the case. The foreigner was not served with the commandant’s requests for the adjudication and extension of his detention, nor was he brought to court hearings, despite his requests to that effect. Procedures concerning a foreigner’s stay in a guarded centre were conducted in a protracted manner, while the courts applied automatism in their rulings, without exhaustively examining whether there were indeed legal grounds for prolonging a foreigner’s detention.
In the complaint, we complained that Poland had committed violations of the European Convention on Human Rights, namely:
- Art. 3 (violation of the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment),
- Art. 5(1)(f) (unlawfulness and unfoundedness of detention),
- Art. 5(4) (failure to implement the right to a tribunal),
- Art. 8 (infringement of the right to private and family life).
At this stage, we are waiting for the case to be communicated to the European Court of Human Rights.
The foreigner is represented before the Court by advocate Małgorzata Jaźwińska from our association. During his stay in the guarded centre, the foreigner received legal support from SIP trainee lawyer Kornelia Trubiłowicz.