Kucheruk v. Ukraine

European Court of Human Rights
6 September 2005


The applicant, Mr. Kucheruk, who was later diagnosed with schizophrenia was detained on remand.  On one occasion the applicant became particularly agitated, moving erratically around the cell, waving his arms, bumping into the furniture and swearing at prison guards. The three prison guards who were called to deal with the situation used rubber truncheons and handcuffs on the applicant.


Mr. Kucheruk complained that beating with truncheons constituted an unnecessary use of force and violated his right under Article 3 of the Convention.

Court's ruling

The Court recalled that in respect of a person deprived of his liberty, recourse to physical force which has not been made strictly necessary by his own conduct diminishes human dignity and is in principle an infringement of the right set forth in Article 3. In the case at hand the Court noted that there was a dispute between the parties as to the extent of the applicant’s injuries. However, marks carrying “distinct traces” and “injuries” from the use of truncheons were enough to fall within the scope of Article 3. The applicant’s condition and his outbursts could not have been an unexpected development for with they could not prepare. The Court also observed that the applicant was outnumbered by three prison guards. Taking into account that the applicant did not pose any danger to himself or his cellmates, the Court concluded that use of rubber truncheons on the applicant constituted inhuman treatment and violated Article 3 of the Convention. 

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Last updated 18/11/2023