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Court agrees to arrestee’s surgery after intervention of HFHR

The Helsinki Foundation conducts the case of Wojciech, who broke his leg while in pre-trial detention. Although the man’s injury must be dealt with in a surgery, the filing of an indictment against Wojciech a week prior the scheduled date of the procedure has jeopardised his chances to complete it.

The surgery was planned for 15 February 2018. Medical experts decided that the man must undergo the surgery in order to avoid irreparable damage and a disability. A week before the hospital admission date, a prosecutor decided to submit the official indictment against Wojciech. Upon filing an indictment with the court, the prosecutor transfers their authority to decide on the matters of a detainee to a court. According to Wojciech’s defence attorney, “the prosecution did not want to take responsibility for the suspect’s health”.

The HFHR has sent a letter to the competent regional court, presenting standards under the European Convention on Human Rights. “A failure to adhere to the obligation of providing prisoners with medical attention may violate those of the Convention provisions that establish the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment”, HFHR’s lawyer Piotr Kubaszewski explains. “This is why in this case the court should immediately revoke pre-trial detention or organise a secure transfer of the detainee to a hospital”, Mr Kubaszewski adds.

The court agreed with the Foundation. During an emergency hearing, the court ordered that Wojciech should be escorted to a hospital to undergo the surgery.

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