The Czech Republic sentenced in Strasbourg for the first time for degrading treatment in the police station

30. July 2013

Last week, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg determined, that the Czech Republic has committed the inhuman and degrading treatment against Vladimír K. from Aš, who was unreasonably locked in the cell by the police officers, moreover, he was handcuffed painfully as well. The police inspection was, however, reluctant to interfere and has not investigated the suspicion of the harmful treatment properly. Therefore, the Czech Republic violated the European Convention on Human Rights.

The police officers detained Vladimír and intended to lock him in the cell, yet the man started to defend himself verbally against such treatment, since he could not find any reason justifying it. The policemen bent his arm behind his back and took him to the cell by force. They strapped him to the handle placed in the wall. After a while, they strapped his second hand as well, tied the legs and let him hang there by his arms in pain. According to Vladimír, the policemen punched him into his head, back and chest by fists in the cell. The doctor’s report confirmed the injuries of wrists, chest, spine and head.

Although the injured party was not passive and immediately filed the complaint along with other motions to the prosecution as well as the constitutional complaint, he could not reach any remedy in the Czech Republic. As a result, he sought remedy in Strasbourg with the aid of a pro bono attorney David Netušil, who acted as a defense attorney free of charge. Vladimír now claims 100 000 CZK as a compensation of the suffered harm. The court in Strasbourg has not awarded the damages yet due to the ongoing trial regarding this matter by the Czech court and even the settlement negotiation with the government is not ruled out yet.

The proper police investigation of the crimes was supposed to be ensured by the new General inspection of the security forces in 2012. „According to our knowledge, neither the staffing nor the methods of the new inspection have changed. This institution still hides the inappropriate violence of the police. Among the main methods they use, there is lack of interrogation or forwarding the complaints to the police itself, so that there is no way for the independent and effective investigation of the police violence for now,“ Zuzana Candigliota, the legal director of the Human Rights League, comments on the current situation.

Further information to be provided by:

Zuzana Candigliota, the legal director of The Human Rights League, tel.: 607 005 043

David Netušil, attorney at law, tel.: 602 602 874


The Human Rights League devotes itself to consultations provided to the police violence victims, their legal representation and monitoring of the General inspection of the security forces thanks to the support of Otakar Motejl Fund managed by Open Society Fund Prague.

The legal representation by the attorney at law was provided to Vladimír by Pro bono centrum, the project of Pro bono Aliance, which associates the attorneys willing to provide legal aid free of charge to non-profit organizations and their economically weak clients.


The decision of the European Court of Human Rights can be found here.