Married couple, separated in psychiatric prison, head for court

A prison corridor

Two men who have been sentenced to indefinite stays in separate psychiatric prisons are going to court to be allowed to live together because they are married.

The men, named as Johnny and Marcel, married in December last year but have not seen each other since then, their lawyer Jos Willemsen told the AD.

He is invoking the right to family life clause in the European treaty on human rights to argue that the men should be allowed to see each other. ‘It applies to prisoners as well,’ he said. ‘Everyone has the right to quality of life.’

The two men are aware that they are likely never to be released and see their relationship as the last chance they have of happiness, Willemsen told the paper. He has refused to say why the men are being held.

‘They are not being treated with a view to return to society,’ he said. ‘They have no perspective.’

The two men have known each other for 10 years. They are not asking to be allowed to live together, but to be at the same location so they can see each other, the lawyer said.

The case will be heard by judges in Arnhem on Thursday.

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