- Five years after they were forcibly evicted froma building in the centre of Miercurea Ciuc, approximately 75 Romani people, including families with young children, continued to live in inadequate housing conditions, hidden behind a sewage treatment plant on the outskirts of the town. Since they were relocated there by the municipal authorities, they lived in metal cabins and shacks which were overcrowded, lacked fresh air and offered little protection from the cold and rain. The sanitation facilities remained inadequate, with only four toilet cubicles for the whole community. The proximity of the location to the sewage treatment plant violated the 300mprotection zone established by national law to separate human habitation from potential toxic hazards. The municipality failed in its obligation to ensure the provision of adequate alternative housing. In 2008, members of the community assisted by Romani CRISS had filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights alleging violations of human rights enshrined in the European Convention.
Torture and other ill-treatment
- In April, the European Court of Human Rights found Romania in violation of the prohibition of torture. Nicu Olteanu was arrested in 1997 by the police on suspicion of stealing six bottles of mineral water. He complained that he was shot in the left foot by a policeman at the local police station after he attempted to escape, and that he did not receive appropriate medical assistance despite his injuries. In addition to the bullet wound, his medical report mentioned cuts on his right leg and right forearm. The ruling stated that the authorities had violated his right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment, and that the degree of force used against Nicu Olteanu was excessive and unjustified. The ruling also stated that the authorities had failed to carry out an effective and impartial investigation into his allegations.
Mental health institutions
- In December, two NGOs, the Center for Legal Resources and Interights, filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of five patients who died at the Poiana Mare Psychiatric Hospital in 2004. The patients allegedly died from a combination of poor care, inadequate treatment and substandard living conditions. In 2004, the hospital was visited by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture which raised concerns about the treatment of patients, as well as the living conditions, and asked the authorities to take urgent measures to address these problems.
Amnesty International visits
Amnesty International delegates visited Romania in January, May and October.