For the third time the Strasbourg Court has found the detention conditions in the Nizhny Novgorod remand prison inhuman


29 March 2011

By awarding Nizhny Novgorodresident Vladimir Sokolov 12 000 euro as compensation of moral damage

   Today the European Court of Human Rights has adjudicated on the case “Vladimir Sokolov v. Russia”. Mr. Sokolov was represented by Moscow lawyers Oksana Preobrazhenskaya and Karinna Moskalenko.

ECtHR judges have unanimously found two infringements of Article 3 of the ECHR. In particular, they have held that there has been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention in respect of conditions of the applicant’s detention in Nizhniy Novgorod remand prison IZ-52/1 and in Moscow remand prison IZ-77/3. In 2003-2004 and 2006 the applicant stayed in overcrowded cells of the Nizhny Novgorod remand prison, and in 2005 he stayed in overcrowded cells of the Moscow remand prison. Vladimir had less than 3 square meters of personal space, although under Russian law he should have had at least 4 sq.m.

The European Court has awarded Mr. Sokolov 12 000 euro as compensation of moral damage.

According to Dmitry Utukin, lawyer of the International Protection Department of the Committee Against Torture, this is not the first ECtHR judgment examining detention conditions in SIZO 52/1. For instance, in October 14, 2008 the ECtHR adjudicated on the case “Buzychkin v. Russia” where the applicant was represented by the ICAT. Basing on that judgment, in 2009 the Sovietsky district court of Nizhny Novgorod awarded Mr. Buzychkin 100 000 rubles. Another case related to detention conditions in the Nizhny Novgorod remand prison is the case “Babushkin v. Russia”.

“Interestingly, in previous judgments the Court had to examine the events of 2000, now the ECtHR has assessed the detention conditions in 2003, 2004 and 2006”, notes Dmitry Utukin.

It must be added that detention conditions in IZ-52/1 in a later period – 2007-2008– will, probably, be examined by the ECtHR in the context of another ICAT case – the case of Olga Gavrilova.

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