The Transylvanian Reformed Church District turned to the Strasbourg European Court of Human Rights in the case of the Reformed Székely Mikó High School’s renationalization in Sfantu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyörgy), Romania.
As we announced earlier, the Ploiesti Court of Appeal upheld the re-nationalization of the Reformed Székely Mikó High School on the 26 of November 2014, under file No 13020/200/2011, as disposed earlier by the Buzau Court. The solution of the Ploiesti Court of Appeal is final.
We are firmly convinced that the aforementioned decision is unlawful and incompatible with the principles and values of the Rule of Law. Since Romania has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights, which allows discriminated parties to seize the European Court of Human Rightsin case a state violates their rights protected by this international norm. Forced by the circumstances, we need to exercise this right in a country which was in 2014 condemned for human rights violations, in 74 instances, thus championing European Union member states in human rights abuses.
Regarding the Reformed Székely Mikó High School, Romanian courts violated Article 6 Paragraph 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights - which guarantees the right to fair trial; further, Protocol No. 1 to the Convention was breached - which guarantees the right to property; Art. 9 of the Convention - which guarantees freedom of religion - was also violated in this case.
With reference to Article 6 Paragraph 1 of the Convention, we state that our Church was deprived of the right to a fair trial, because:
· Irrevocable civil courts decisions, which already determined that the ownership of the Reformed Mikó High School building belongs to the Transylvanian Reformed Church, were disregarded.
· A local court’s criminal board decided on property rights, and the rules of criminal procedure provide no opportunity for appeal, whereas according to the regulations of civil procedure, two appealing options should have been provided, and in the first instance the county tribunal should have acted.
The right to property was clearly violated as Decree No. 176/1948, of the act of nationalization, presents that the Reformed Mikó High School was taken away from the Transylvanian Reformed Church District. If the Transylvanian Reformed Church District was acknowledged as owner when the property was confiscated, why is ownership not recognized when the property must be returned?
Transylvanian Reformed Church District, Cluj