Bulgaria to Face New Trial in Strasbourg over Poor Prison Conditions
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg is preparing a new pilot-judgment procedure, the third in a row, against Bulgaria over poor prison conditions.
Six complaints of five prisoners have been united in one trial, Neshkov et al. against Bulgaria, which indicates that the Strasbourg-based court intends to review the matter of poor prison conditions in Bulgaria as a systemic problem, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).
Stanimir Petrov from the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee told BNR Wednesday that Bulgaria was unlikely to start taking steps to resolve the problem without external pressure.
He emphasized that the problems had been discussed for 15 years and their existence was universally acknowledged but the state appeared incapable of taking concrete steps to do away with them.
Petrov presented the upcoming procedure at the ECHtR, saying that the first step was for the Bulgarian government to respond to the question whether the facts stated in the six complaints revealed the existence of a systemic problem and whether this necessitated a pilot-judgment procedure.
Petrov made clear that the ECHtR would decide on the preparation of a ruling once it received the response of the Bulgarian government.
He noted that it would probably take a year until the decision was imposed on Bulgaria, adding that it would specify a deadline and terms for the implementation of the respective conditions.
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