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Selmouni v. France , Application number 00025803/94, Date of Judgment: July 28, 1999

Facts: the applicant was a citizen of the Netherlands and Morocco and was arrested in France for drug trafficking. While in police custody he was was ill-treated, namely he was raped, punched, kicked, urinated on, and threatened with a blowlamp and a syringe. This was confirmed, except the rape, and the police were convicted.

Complaint: the applicant claimed a violation of Articles 3 and 6 of the European Convention prohibiting torture and ensuring the right to a hearing within a reasonable time, respectively. The Commission found that both provisions were violated.

Holding: The ECHR found a violation of article 3 and article 6

Reasoning: the applicant's ill-treatment was sufficiently severe to constitute torture within the meaning of Article 3. The repeated assaults over a number of days of questioning were severe enough to constitute torture under Article 3. The delay over several years of the conviction of the police officers involved constituted a violation of the right to a hearing within a reasonable time under Article 6.



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