Direct democracy Switzerland: How To
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Unsuitable conditions

Detention in windowless prison cell ruled inhumane

The human rights of a criminal held for 12 days in a windowless, continually illuminated jail cell in canton Vaud were violated, the Swiss Federal Court has ruled.

Detaining the man for that length of time in the cell violated his rights under Article 3 of the European Human Rights Convention, the judges said in their July 1 ruling, requiring some form of compensation. It was not sufficient though to acknowledge that the man had been unlawfully retained.

Because the canton’s legislation allows detention on police premises for a maximum of 48 hours, two of the days were not compensated. A payment of CHF550 ($616) was ordered.

The right to monetary compensation in the present case does not rule out other forms of compensation for future cases, including the possibility of a reduced sentence, the court added.

The criminal had appealed a lower court decision that had already ruled that his rights had been violated, but refused to provide any form of compensation.

It is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific SWI content on the website of the party requesting the content or the website of a third party. The framing of content from SWI is only allowed if it is unchanged, without advertising.

Articles can be copied and used if these guidelines are followed:

The article can only be used if it clearly mentions “[author],” For any further use, please send an email to: The editorial content on SWI adheres to the guidelines, rights and duties specified by the Swiss Press Council. If content not adhering to those outlined by the Press Council are found on third-party website displaying SWI content, SWI can demand that all SWI content be removed from the corresponding pages.