MINELRES: ERRC: Court Condemns Croatia for Failing to Fulfill Its Positive Obligations under Article 3 of the ECHR

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sun Jun 28 13:02:02 2009

Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org>

Court Condemns Croatia for Failing to Fulfill Its Positive Obligations
under Article 3 of the ECHR
Strasbourg, 26 June 2009:  Yesterday, the European Court of Human Rights
delivered its judgment in the case of Beganovic v. Croatia concerning
the violent beating of Mr Darko Beganovic, a Romani man, by a group of
seven men and the failure of Croatian authorities to conduct an
effective investigation and prosecute the perpetrators.
The Court held that the Croatian prosecuting authorities and the courts
failed to satisfy the requirement of effectiveness of the criminal-law
mechanisms for the purposes of Article 3 of the European Convention on
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) prohibiting torture,
inhuman and degrading treatment. The ineffectiveness on part of the
prosecuting authorities resulted in the criminal complaint against the
perpetrators becoming time barred.  

The applicant in the case was brutally beaten in the company of five
friends by a group of seven young men on 24 April 2000. The seven men
proceeded to hit him until he fell to the ground and then continued
kicking him. When the beating stopped and Mr Beganovic stood up, he was
hit on the head with a wooden plank, which caused him to lose
consciousness.  As a result of the violent group beating, Mr Beganovic
sustained bodily injuries, including a concussion. 

Domestic criminal complaints were lodged on 12 June 2000 by the
applicant’s counsel against the seven individuals. However, due to
inactiveness and erroneous handling of the criminal complaint by the
prosecutorial authorities, the complaint became time barred as of 23
April 2004. 

As a result, the ERRC and its partner, local lawyer Lovorka Kusan,
lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights on 9
November 2006 claiming violations of, inter alia, Article 3 of the ECHR,
based on the failure of the Croatian authorities to take the appropriate
and necessary steps in the criminal proceedings against the seven

Mr Beganovic was awarded 1,000 EUR non-pecuniary damages; the court also
awarded 6,250 EUR in respect of costs and expenses. 

For further information, contact: 
Lydia Gall, ERRC Legal Advisor, lydia.gall@errc.org, + 36.1.413.2200


The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the human rights situation of Roma and
provides legal defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more
information about the European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the
web at http://www.errc.org 

To support the ERRC, please visit this link:

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93
Tel: +36.1.413.2200

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