Prisoner dignity – Statement by EESC Group on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law (FRRL)

The EESC believes in the firm principle that all prisoners shall be treated with the respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings.

The FRRL Group was very concerned to see Ilaria Salis in chains at the courthouse, and about the reports regarding her treatment.

In these circumstances, the Fundamental Rights and Rule of Law Group would like to reiterate the UN’s Nelson Mandela rules setting out the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.

Rule 47 of the Mandela Rules stipulates that ‘the use of chains, irons or other instruments of restraint which are inherently degrading or painful shall be prohibited’.

Furthermore, Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU prescribe that ‘no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’.

Without prejudice to the individual circumstances, the FRRL Group would like to encourage the Hungarian authorities to respect the abovementioned legal standards, including in the case of Ilaria Salis, and take this opportunity to call for dignified prison conditions for all prisoners in all Member States.

The EESC would like to remind all that fundamental rights extend to all people, and confirm its full commitment to upholding and safeguarding these rights.