The Association for Legal Intervention has already filed another complaint to the European Court of Human Rights about illegal detention of a family with a minor child.

The case concerns a married couple with a child who is less than 3 years old, who spent almost 6 months in a guarded center for foreigners. Despite repeated references to the mother’s poor mental condition and her depressive reaction to the situation, confirmed by a psychological opinion, the administrative authorities and courts decided to place and extend the family’s stay in a guarded center. The repeatedly cited arguments about the obligation to take into account the best interests of a minor child and to examine the impact of detention on the correctness of his / her further psychophysical development were also not taken into account at any stage. In this case, the child was measured, inter alia, by with excessive anxiety and withdrawal as well as sleep disturbance and stomach problems. At the same time, she was constantly exposed to stress related to her stay in a penitentiary facility, constant supervision of uniformed services as well as bangs and shots caused by the training of Border Guard officers. The possibility of using alternatives to detention has also not been sufficiently considered.

Both the mother and the child were not covered by permanent psychological care, and the Association was denied the possibility of organizing an additional psychological consultation with an independent psychologist for the family.

The conditions of the family’s stay in the guarded center were very difficult for the family, including due to the prison nature of the facility, excessively limited size of the room, insufficient food portions, limited opportunities to spend time outdoors or the lack of sufficient protection against summer heat.

There were also numerous violations of procedural rights in the case, mainly due to the failure to exercise the right to defense and the length of the proceedings.

In the complaint, we accused Poland of numerous violations of the European Convention on Human Rights, that is:

  • Article 3 (violation of the prohibition of inhuman and inhumane treatment),
  • Article 5 Section 1 Letter f (unlawfulness and groundlessness of detention),
  • Article 5 Section 4 (failure to exercise the right to a fair trial),
  • Article 8 (violation 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 family before the Court is represented by advocate Małgorzata Jaźwińska. During their stay in the guarded center, the family received legal assistance from SIP lawyer Kornelia Trubiłowicz.

Photo: Mitchel Lensink | Unsplash