Today, on 28 January 2020, the European Court of Human rights acknowledged that the Russian authorities violated the rights of Anatoly Atayev from Krasnodar, who was kept under custody in unsatisfactory conditions in Pre-Trial Detention Facility, and was not released after the ruling of the district court about his early release on parole. With regard to this the applicant was awarded a compensation for moral damage in the amount of 9750 Euro.
As we have previously reported, on 5 August 2008 the Oktyabrskiy District Court of Krasnodar released Mr.Atayev on parole. Substantive provisions of the court judgment stated that «The motion of the defense lawyer about releasing Atayev on parole shall be satisfied, Atayev shall be released on parole… The ruling has come into legal force from the moment of its proclamation and can be appealed against at the Krasnodarskiy Regional Court within 10 days from its passing». The judgment was delivered to Krasnodar pretrial detention centre No.1 administration on the same day. However, the detention centre head suspended its execution by asking for a confirmation from the court. Responding to the request the deputy chairman of the court confirmed the judgment and emphasized that the decision should be executed at once as for Mr. Atayev’s release.
However, the pretrial detention centre head did not execute the court judgment even after that, arguing that if the court ruling about early parole is re-evaluated at the court of appeals, Atayev might flee during this time. Then, on 14 August, Mr. Anatoliy Atayev went on hunger-strike.
At the same time Anatoly’s lawyers and members of the Committee Against Torture, where Atayev had applied for legal assistance, were applying to all possible authorities, including Prosecutor’s offices of all levels, the Investigation Committee under the RF Prosecutor’s office, Penitentiary Service, but to no avail.
Therefore, the lawyers of the Committee Against Torture had to file an application to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Mr. Atayev, adding to it a request on taking provisional remedies, since the applicant’s hunger strike together with harsh conditions of custody at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility already had negative impact on his health, and it could only be stopped by executing the court ruling.
As a result, Atayev stopped his hunger strike only on 23 August. The ruling about his early release on parole was appealed against by the Prosecutor’s Office and submitted for re-examination back to the District Court. The applicant himself withdrew his motion on early release on parole, considering that it did not have a chance of success.
In April 2016, human rights defenders received a declaration from the Russian Federation, in which it expressed readiness to pay compensation in the amount of 6,625 euro to the applicant. Russian authorities acknowledged that the conditions of Atayev’s keeping in custody in the detention facility in the period from 3 April 2007 to 8 October 2008 did not correspond to requirements of Article 3 of the Convention. The government also petitioned the court for stay of action concerning further administration of the complaint.
Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture and the applicant declined this offer of Russian authorities and insisted on full examination of the complaint by the European Court concerning all the claimed violations, as, in the opinion of human rights defenders, this case is precedent-setting and such violations give rise to negative consequences for all Russian legal system and human rights situation.
Today, the European Court of Human Rights passed a ruling with regard to the complaint in the interests of Anatoly Atayev. The Strasbourg judges established that Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (“prohibition of torture”) was violated with regard to the applicant due to over-crowding of cells in the Pre-Trial Detention Facility, as well as Article 5 (“right to freedom”) due to the fact that Atayev was not released from the Pre-Trial Detention Facility after the ruling of the district court about his early release on parole.
With regard to this, a compensation for moral damage in the amount of 9750 Euro was awarded to Anatoly Atayev.
“In 2016, we considered it important not to accept the proposal of the Russian authorities, since the Russian government was ready to acknowledge that the conditions of the applicant’s keeping in custody were not satisfactory, but, at the same time, it did not provide any evaluation of arbitrary behavior of the Pre-Trial Detention Facility administration, which persistently expressed contempt of the district court and refused to execute its ruling on Atayev’s early release on parole, – head of the international-legal department of the Committee Against Torture Olga Sadovskaya comments. – It is important for us that the European Court evaluated these circumstances and established that failure of administration of the Pre-Trial Detention Facility to execute the ruling of the district court on Atayev’s early release on parole is a violation of Article 5 of the European Convention”.