Court rules in favour of German tourists "deprived of freedom" in Azores

in Regional · 30-08-2020 14:00:00 · 1 Comments
Court rules in favour of German tourists "deprived of freedom" in Azores

According to a statement issued by the judicial authority, the tourists in question were considered to have been "deprived of their liberty successively in two hotel units on the island of São Miguel," where they arrived on 1 August from Germany.

In their country, in the previous 72 hours, they had "carried out a test" to determine if they were carriers of the virus that originates from Covid-19, and the result was negative.

The citizens gave copies to the Regional Health Authority at Ponta Delgada airport. On 7 August, two citizens performed a second test and the rest took it three days later.

One of the women tested positive and, according to the court, “everyone was given an order of prophylactic isolation signed by the Health Delegate of Lagoa, from 8 to 22 August, but which remained in execution" on the day of the decision on the 'habeas corpus' request, Wednesday (26 August).

The court said that "one of the interned citizens suffered, during this time, from illness and for that reason, however, without success, asked for assistance through the number provided by the Regional Health Authority".

The following day, after questioning a hotel employee, they were told that none of them could be absent from their room.

For the court, the decision of "deprivation of liberty issued by the Regional Health Authority was based only on normative circulars issued by the Regional Health Authority and the Directorate General of Health," which "constitute non-binding administrative guidelines for the applicants, but only for the aforementioned authorities and their chain of command.”

The Judicial Court of the District of the Azores points out that the requesting citizens "have never been transmitted any information, communication, notification, as is due under the European Convention on Human Rights, in their mother tongue".

"Not even the deprivation of liberty was, between its beginning, on 8 August, and the date of submission for examination of the 'habeas corpus', subject to any judicial scrutiny," hence the decision to proceed with the extraction of a certificate of the accused with referral to the Public Prosecutor's Office for "possible initiation of criminal proceedings," refers to the disclosed note.

This is not an isolated case in the Azores, since on 14 August the Azorean District Court ordered the release of two citizens who filed a 'habeas corpus' after they were quarantined for having travelled near a Covid-19 infected person.

Also on 27 July, the court decided to declare a 'habeas corpus' filed by three citizens "deprived of their liberty" since 24 July in a hotel unit on the island of Graciosa.

On 16 May, the Ponta Delgada court granted a petition for immediate release ('habeas corpus') made by a plaintiff against the Azores government's imposition of quarantine in hotels.

At issue was the initiative of a plaintiff who was placed in mandatory quarantine at a hotel unit in Ponta Delgada and proceeded with a 'habeas corpus'.

On 5 August, it became known that the Constitutional Court found that the Azorean authorities had violated the Constitution by imposing a mandatory 14-day quarantine on those arriving in the region because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision came as a result of an appeal by the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) to a judicial decision to release a man who complained about the imposed quarantine.

After the court of first instance's decision, the MP appealed to the TC, but the judges of Raton Palace considered, in the decision dated 31 July, that "all the disciplinary rules of a right to freedom or guarantee require prior authorisation from the Assembly of the Republic," a requirement that "takes on particular relevance when it comes to compressions or conditioning to a right.


Comments:

Take my advice: Don't travel to the Azores until they beg you to come. Just let them go down. Madeira the same. Tourists should only go where they are really welcome. If not scrap the location.

By John Dough from Lisbon on 02-09-2020 09:54
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