The General Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service in Nizhny Novgorod region refuses to cooperate with the European Court


12 March 2008

 The leaders of the Nizhny Novgorod detention centre (SIZO) did not let Olga Gavrilova meet Anton Ryzhov, her representative in the European Court of Human Rights, lawyer of the Committee against Torture.  

The meeting was to be organized in the framework of the European Court proceedings started upon the application of Olga Gavrilova, a seriously ill girl who is detained in SIZO #1 in Nizhny Novgorod.

You may remember that the Multiregional Committee against Torture submitted an application under the case of Olga Gavrilova at the end of 2007.

The application specified that keeping a girl that is suffering from a number of physical and mental diseases, in custody can itself be interpreted as inhuman treatment. Specialists from the Committee against Torture emphasized the gravity of the situation and asked the Strasbourg court to try Gavrilova’s application out of turn.

On December 7, 2007, having studied the materials submitted by the Committee, the European Court decided to promptly request additional information concerning the conditions of Olga Gavrilova’s detention in SIZO 52/1 from the Russian Federation.

Due to the position held by the leaders of the pre-trial detention centre, at the stage of application communication, while preparing the comments for the European Court, the Committee against Torture could use only the information provided by Olga Gavrilova herself to the Committee and submitted by the RF government to the Court.  These comments (about 30 pages) were sent to the European Court last week.


Of the Committee against Torture

 Official Statement of the Committee against Torture:

   The Committee against Torture is still sure that it is necessary to improve communication between human rights organizations, other NGOs and the RF authorities in order to cooperate closer for the purpose of promptly solving the issues that arise on a regular basis. In the opinion of the Committee, only exceptional problems that could not be solved by mutual efforts of human rights defenders and the state authorities should be submitted for consideration to the European Court of Human Rights.

In this particular case we have to admit that the SIZO leadership did not try to find a compromise with the Committee on the national level. 

In connection with this the Committee against Torture sent an address describing the problem to Mr.Y.I.Labutin, head of the General Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service in Nizhny Novgorod region, on March 5, 2008. 

Despite the position held by the SIZO leadership, the Committee against Torture offered the Federal Penitentiary Service its assistance in solving common issues and hoped for future fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation in this sphere.

It is worth mentioning that copies of this address were also sent to the Plenipotentiary representative of the RF President in Privolzhskiy Federal Territory, the RF Ministry of Justice for Privolzhskiy Federal Territory, and to the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights Development under the RF President.

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