Yesterday the European Court of Human Rights informed the NN Committee Against Torture that the application of Stanislav Dmitrievsky had been communicated in the order of priority. Having examined the application, the President of the Chamber decided to invite the Russian Federation to submit observations in writing concerning the admissibility and merits. You may remember that we lodged the application with the European Court of Human Rights on 25 September 2006 against violations of Article 10 §2 (Freedom of expression) and Article 6 §1 (Right to a fair trial) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The Court requested the Government to answer only two questions:
1. Was the applicant’s punishment for the publication of the statements of Akhmed Zakaev and Aslan Maskhadov in the Pravozaschita newspaper justified in the understanding of Article 10 §2 of the European Convention? In particular, was it prescribed by law? If so, did the punishment pursue a lawful purpose? If so, was it necessary in a democratic society?
2. Was the trial in respect of the applicant fair in the understanding of Article 6 §1 of the European Convention?
In accordance with the procedure the Russian Government is to submit the answers to the questions within the time limit till 4 May 2007. In this case there are all reasons to believe that the answers to the questions will be negative, because agents of the Russian Federation have many times violated the above articles.
We need to mention that the Court is going to apply Rule 54A in respect of this case, according to which the Chamber may proceed to the immediate adoption of a judgment incorporating the decision on admissibility. Under this circumstance Olga Sadovskaya, a representative of Mr. Dmitrievsky in the European Court, can hope that the final judgment will have been adopted by the end of the year.