The European Court continues to examine the complaint submitted by human rights defenders on behalf of Anatoliy Atayev, citizen of Russia, in 2008. Lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture think that Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights («Right to freedom»), was violated with regard to the applicant when the officers of Pre-trial detention center No.1 of Krasnodar refused to execute the court judgment about Atayev’s release on parole. Russian authorities suggested to conclude a voluntary agreement, however, acknowledging only violation of Article 3 of the European Convention («Prohibition of torture»). Human rights defenders and Anatoliy Atayev refused, considering that vague terms of release on parole cover the interests of the general public and have to be changed significantly.
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. Then 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.
In April of this year 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.
«It turns out that concluding the proposed voluntary settlement Atayev will receive a compensation only for inadequate confinement conditions. As to illegal deprivation of Atayev’s liberty and failure to execute the court judgment on his release, it turns out that the state does not acknowledge these violations», – lawyer of international legal department of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Ekaterina Vanslova comments.
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. With regards to this the applicant and his representatives decided to decline a voluntary settlement with the Russian authorities and insist on full examination of the complaint by the European Court on all revealed violations.
«National legislation still has a gap and does not specify the procedure of release on parole, this disserves the interests of general public. In other words, the quality of the law does not correspond to the requirements of Article 5 of the Convention. And a two-fold situation emerges: thus, citizens are taken into custody immediately after the court ruling, without waiting for possible appealing, and in case of positive court decision with regard to release on parole the man still remains behind the bars and waits for the period for appeal passes, which is at least ten days. We hope that examination of this complaint will lead to implementing individual and general measures aimed at rectifying the existing drawbacks in the legislation system», – head of international legal department of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Olga Sadovskaya emphasizes.