ECHR orders Portugal to pay €34,000 for its improper treatment of a schizophrenic

Portugal has been ordered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to pay €34,000 within the next three months for its detention four years ago of a patient with paranoid schizophrenia – arguing that the State failed to provide adequate assistance and that this had an impact on the man’s health. According to the ruling released today in Strasbourg, the ECHR held that there had been violations of Articles 3 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which stipulate that no one may be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment and that the deprivation of liberty of people with mental disorders must follow the legal rules. For the ECtHR, Rui Miranda Magro’s detention “in a prison establishment – inappropriate for a person with a mental illness – without adequate care caused confusion and fear, in violation of his rights”. The court urged the Portuguese State to “guarantee adequate living conditions, and adequate and individualised treatment for the mentally ill” in future.