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Ribitsch v. Austria (18896/91) [1995] ECHR 55 (4 December 1995)

Facts: the applicant was taken in police custody where he allegedly received ill-treatment and was injured. The injuries of the applicant were established by doctors. However the Government concluded that it was impossible to establish culpable conduct fro ill-treatment on the part of the policemen 'beyond reasonable doubt'.

Complaint: the applicant claimed a violation of article 3

Holding: the ECHR found a violation of article 3

Reasoning: article 3 imposed a positive obligation on States to provide plausible explanation of the causing of applicant's injuries. Furthermore, any recourse to physical force which had not been made strictly necessary by the individual conduct diminished human dignity. The requirements of an investigation cannot justify placing limits on the protection of physical integrity of individuals. The Court concluded that the applicant's injuries revealed ill-treatment which amounted to both inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of article 3.



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