Rights court fines Poland over woman held in drunk tank
The judges said that her experience represented a violation of an article of the European convention on human rights that bans degrading treatment.Strasbourg -- The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled Tuesday that a woman who was held in a Polish sobering up centre and humiliated after a row with a taxi driver had been the victim of degrading treatment.
The case involved Anna Wiktorko, now 52-years-old, from Olsztyn in northern Poland, who on December 27, 1999 took a taxi home after drinking with a friend.
Judging the fare too high, she refused to pay, whereupon the driver took her to a local sobering up centre. She said she had been insulted there, stripped by a woman and two men and strapped to a bed all night before being freed in the morning.
She protested to local police but it was ruled there was no case to answer.
In their finding, the Strasbourg judges said that her experience represented a violation of an article of the European convention on human rights that bans degrading treatment.
They said that the fact of being "undressed in the presence of a person of the opposite sex amounted to a lack of respect for human dignity."
The court also found worrying that the Polish authorities had provided no explanation as to why it was necessary to leave her tied up for 10 hours.
Wiktorko was awarded 7,000 euros (9,300 dollars) in damages.