Karinna Moskalenko: The European Court and Russian Prisoners of the Pre-Trial Detention Centres

posted 13 Jan 2012, 05:24 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 13 Jan 2012, 05:27 ]
Source: HRO.org (info), 12/01/12 

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Karinna Moskalenko: The first working day in Russia this year saw the delivery of a pilot judgment in a Russian case before the European Court of Human Rights, a judgment that must loudly ring an alarm bell for the Russian authorities, a bell that may possibly bring good news for all those imprisoned in Russian pre-trial detention centres, and, I may be so bold to hope, for all people of good will. 

In its judgment in the case of Ananyev and Others v Russia, the Court found that Russia has no effective means of legal protection against the inhuman and degrading conditions of detention in pre-trial detention centres. The Court ruled that this is a systemic, deep and structural problem. And the Court can no longer here limit itself to the mere assertion of the fact, recognizing a violation and obliging the government to pay compensation to the applicant. If this were the case the Court would be transformed into a powerless and equally useless recorder of violations, but one without the power (authority? possibility? competence?) to stop the practice of these human rights violations that are among the most serious and belong to the category of absolute rights. [Read more]