Macedonian Govt settles out of court with Romani family as Romani deaths in prisons keep happening
On 15 June 2017 the Government of Macedonia reached a friendly settlement to a case against Macedonia before the European Court of Human Rights. According to the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), based in Budapest, the Government has “agreed to pay € 9000 in compensation to the family of a Romani man who died in suspicious circumstances in prison.”
Pending since 2014, the case claimed a violation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees protection of the right to life, and concerned the Romani man’s treatment during his time in a Macedonian prison. He died in a prison hospital in 2010 on what was just the second day of his three month sentence.
On 30 July 2010, the 19-year-old began serving his sentence in Gevgelija, Macedonia. He was prescribed a daily dose of methadone and died on 1 August 2010 from lung inflammation which, combined with the methadone, led to organ failure.
In response to this incident, the deceased’s father attempted to get justice via the Macedonian criminal justice system, and after making no progress there, decided to submit a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in 2014. “His claim is that the State failed both to ensure that his son consumed only the methadone that was prescribed to him and to diagnose and treat the young man's pneumonia properly during the medical examination that preceded his admission to Gevgelija prison,." says the ERRC.
The complaint also alleges that Macedonian state failed to investigate the death. The ERRC reports that another three deaths of Romani prisoners have occurred in Macedonia this year.
On 11 March 2017, Andrias Redjepov died in prison in Skopje, on 22 March, Erdal Jusinov died in prison in Shtip, and on 2 June “a 45-year-old Romani woman from Strumica was found dead in Skopje’s prison ‘Idrizovo’," the ERRC reports.
"The family of the deceased Romani woman claims that her death was the result of torture and beating she was subjected to by prison guards,” the ERRC reports. The organization will be representing these families in future criminal and civil proceedings.
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