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Russian government admits Taisiya Osipova was kept in inhumane conditions

15 April 2013 

Source: (info

Prisoners  Access to justice   European Court of Human Rights

The human rights organization Public Verdict Foundation reports that the Russian government has sent a declaration to the European Court of Human Rights admitting that, during Taisiya Osipova’s imprisonment in detention centre No.1 in the city of Smolensk from 26 November 2010 to 15 August 2011, she was kept in conditions which did not correspond to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This article forbids torture and other forms of degrading treatment. According to documents which Ernest Mezak (lawyer of the Public Verdict Foundation) received from Strasbourg, the government is prepared to pay Osipova 4600 Euros in compensation.

Taisiya Osipova’s complaint, drawn up with the support of Public Verdict Foundation, was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights in the summer of 2011. Apart from grievances about the physical conditions of her imprisonment at the detention centre, the complaint also indicated that Osipova, who is suffering from diabetes, is not receiving the necessary medical care, and that meetings between the detainee and her attorney were restricted by prison staff.

Last spring, after a preliminary consideration of Osipova’s case, the European Court informed the Russian government of the section of the complaint referring to the inhumane conditions of Osipova’s detainment in the overcrowded cells of the pre-trial detention centre. Russian authorities were ordered to notify the court of their plans to resolve the prisoner’s complaints before 13th April 2013.

Taisiya Osipova’s representative, Ernest Mezak, was notified after the Russian government informed the European Court that it recognized Osipova’s detainment conditions to be inhumane, and that it was prepared to pay her compensation. Public Verdict Foundation’s lawyer has been asked to comment on the government’s decision by 17th May.

“The compensation offered by the Russian authorities fully corresponds to practice at the Strasbourg Court. However, we will urge the court to continue examining the part of Taisiya’s complaint which relates to the unsatisfactory level of medical care. Osipova’s case demonstrates a number of typical problems encountered by the majority of prisoners suffering from type II diabetes in institutions of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service, such as the absence of dietary food,” stated Ernest Mezak.

On 28th August 2012, Taisiya Osipova was found guilty of two attempts to sell illegal drugs, and was sentenced to eight years in a standard regime penal colony – twice as long as had been requested by the public prosecutor’s office. According to the defence, this crime was fabricated: the criminal prosecution had been used to put pressure on Osipova’s husband, a member of the political council of the opposition movement “The Other Russia”. Taisiya Osipova is currently serving her sentence at a women’s penal colony in the town of Vyshny Volochyok, Tver region.