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European Court of Justice on detainee and prison facilities in the Kingdom.

- Corallo vs Kingdom of the Netherlands verdict

1. “inhumane” detention of Corallo, who was held at the police station in Philipsburg for months.
2. The Court reiterated in particular that Corallo had been detained for more than eight months, 114 days of which in a multi-occupancy cell, in a detention facility in which the CPT considered persons should not be detained for more than three days, and in any event never longer than 10 days, as the facility is “totally inappropriate” for holding remanded prisoners.
3. “Although the government submitted that the recommendations of the CPT had been fulfilled to a large extent and that the detention conditions in the Philipsburg police station had been improved, it was unable to specify this statement in respect of the applicant’s claim relating to the multi-occupancy cell, for lack of detailed information. In these circumstances the Court considered that there has been a breach of Article 3 of the Convention,” the Court stated in its verdict.
4. The Court awarded Corallo 5,000 euros in immaterial damages and 5,500 euros for costs and expenses incurred before the Court.
- Dutch parliamentarians and Dutch ministers/ state secretary
5. Deputy Agent at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs K. Adhin, the Dutch government contested Corallo’s complaints.
 The government admitted that the circumstances under which Corallo had been detained in St. Maarten had not been ideal, but claimed that the conditions under which he had been held pending his extradition to Italy had not been of such a nature that he should be regarded as having been subjected to treatment prohibited by Article 3 of the Convention.
6. On the other hand at official opening of new prison facility in Bonaire by Min of Justice of the Netherlands
 The new prison has space for 113 inmates and 10 detainees. It is the only judicial institution in the Caribbean Netherlands and houses convicted criminals of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The prison, located on Plantation Aruba, has been operational since August and is already filled to capacity.
 “I am content that with this new building we can again comply with the requirements of a modern prison.
 “This prison is of an extraordinary class and by and large complies with the international requirements. That is not only the building, but especially an institution with well-trained personnel who are knowledgeable and dedicated to guide the inmates,” said Dekker.
 According to lieutenant governor Rijna, Bonaire sets a good example for the region with this prison.
7. - for SXM the bill of the verdict and not the improvement of the detainee and prison facility
 Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Affairs Raymond Knops recently said the Dutch government is still studying the ruling. “But the fine will be passed on to the right party, which is St. Maarten,” he said.
 Knops made his comments during a debate by the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament about the budget and policy for 2019.
- SXM parliamentarians and Min of Justice de Weever
8. Members of St. Maarten’s Parliament indicated to Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever on Monday that St. Maarten should not foot the bill in the “Corallo versus the Netherlands” case. The case was filed against the Netherlands, not St. Maarten,
9. De Weever presented the verdict to MPs and said the ministry had recently hired a human rights lawyer to strengthen it.
- Which Human rights violated?
10.Article Three of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Article 3 of the Convention reads that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
11. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment CPT established in 2015 that no one should be allowed to be detained in police cells for more than three days, and in any case no longer than 10 days.
12. According to Reintjes-Wendenburg, Corallo was held in a 16-square-metre cell between December 13, 2016, and March 29, 2017, and between April 4 and April 12, 2017. During that period he shared this cell with five to six persons. For the remainder of his detention period he was held in a single-occupant cell of 12 square metres.
13. In the meantime, Corallo spent his days under extremely poor detention conditions. The toilet in the multi-person cell leaked and could not be closed off. Detainees had used towels and sheets to separate the toilet from the rest of the cell, which was equipped with two bunk-beds for four detainees. It was the rule rather than the exception that one or two additional detainees were held there and that they had to sleep on mattresses on the floor at night.
14. The defence further argued that the one-person cell was not even equipped with basic equipment such as a cupboard, a table and a chair, that there was no structure in the detainees’ days, that medical care had been inadequate and that Corallo was locked up for 23 hours a day.
15. Attention was also drawn to the building structure of the cells, which did not provide access to natural light or ventilation.
16. Attorney Sulvaran said he considered violation of Article 3 the worst infraction. “The magistrates are directly responsible for this. They have always allowed Corallo to be tortured. This conviction is, therefore, due to them. This is a shame for the Kingdom. “But, of course and unfortunately, the Netherlands will consider it a violation by St. Maarten, while the judges from the Netherlands who come here to pronounce judgments would never dare to do something like this in the Netherlands. This is already the third case the Netherlands has lost,” he said.
- Equal treatment for all detainees and prisoners in SXM (police cells and Point Blanche physical)
18.MP York : “Minister, what happens if the lawyers of all those other detainees, former and present detainees, who have gone through or are going through the exact same thing that we are now hearing about or maybe even worse, what happens if these lawyers take their cases to court also?”
19. SMAPP/SMCC : immaterial damages for all !
- Equal treatment of all people in SXM (the poor and needy households on the Southern part of Soualiga) :
20. material and immaterial damages for not implementing the non-discrimination principle throughout the kingdom art 2 of International Convention Economic, Social Cultural Rights as well as art 2 Civil and Political Rights

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