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The application of inmate Ebedin Abi whose health condition has worsened because he was not provided with food proper for his diet, has been concluded by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
The ECtHR ruled that Turkey violated Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Turkey is going to pay Abi 6 thousand and 150 euros of immaterial compensation.
Local court rejected Abi's application
Ebedin Abi (48) is still in Kırıkkale Type F Prison. Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, Abi has also coronary heart disease.
Submitting medical reports to administration of Erzurum Prison where he was kept from April 2008 to March 2009, Abi requested that he was given food according to the recipe prepared by his doctor.
When the prison administration rejected his request, he applied to the local court. His application was rejected by Heavy Penal Court in January 2009. Following the court rejecting his application, Abi applied to the ECtHR on December 28, 2009.
ECtHR: There is a separate budget for prisoners with health problems
The ECtHR announced its decision today (March 13) and ruled that Turkey violated “prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment”.
“In view of the daily allowance per prisoner, the prison had in fact been unable to provide meals that met the specific dietary requirements of prisoners with health problems, notwithstanding the relevant medical prescriptions. Under the domestic rules, prisoners with health problems were entitled to the foodstuffs prescribed by the prison doctors, and the daily allowance in respect of such prisoners was to be determined on the basis of the corresponding medical prescriptions.
“In the Court’s view, the refusal to ensure that Mr. Abi’s diet conformed to the medical prescriptions issued for him could in no way be justified on economic grounds, given that the law in force at the relevant time provided for a separate budget for prisoners with health problems”.
Government had said that he should “pay for his own diet”
Sending its defense to the ECtHR, government of Turkey advocated that Abi could have the food suited to his diet brought from outside or he can purchase it from the prison cafeteria.
Expressing its opinion about this statement, the ECtHR said that his health problems shouldn’t bring economic burden on Abi.
The ECtHR underlined that the states have the obligation to design the prison system in line with human dignity, not by logistics and economic difficulties.
ECtHR: Inmates cannot receive medical treatment whenever they saw fit
In its ruling, the ECtHR stressed the liabilities of authorities:
“Moreover, in view of the fact that persons in detention were unable to obtain medical treatment whenever they saw fit and in a hospital of their own choosing, the Court considered that the domestic authorities should have arranged for a specialist to study the standard menu offered by the prison and for Mr Abi to undergo a medical examination at the same time specifically geared to his complaints.
“In reality, the authorities had not sought to establish whether the food being provided to Mr Abi was suitable or whether the failure to adhere to the diet prescribed for him had an adverse impact on his health, bearing in mind also that he had been taken to the emergency department of Erzurum Hospital on 24 November 2008 suffering from chest pains.
“Furthermore, the Government had not provided any specific details regarding the impact of the prison’s policy on Mr Abi’s health, nor had the domestic authorities addressed the issue”. (AS/TK)
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