EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
CASE OF KOLBASOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 37198/09, 27269/10, 29657/10, 35655/11, 46902/11, 63660/12, 14181/15 and 39024/15)
<*> This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Kolbasov and Others v. Russia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Helena , President,
Branko Lubarda, judges,
and Hasan , Deputy Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 17 November 2016,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
- The case originated in applications against Russia lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) on the various dates indicated in the appended table.
- The applications were communicated to the Russian Government (“the Government”).
- The list of applicants and the relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table.
- The applicants complained of inadequate conditions of their detention.
- In applications nos. 37198/09, 29657/10 and 14181/15 the applicants also raised other complaints under the provisions of the Convention.
- Having studied the terms of the Government’s unilateral declarations made in some cases, the Court considers that the proposed declarations do not provide a sufficient basis for concluding that respect for human rights does not require it to continue its examination of these applications. The declarations are therefore rejected.
- Joinder of the applications
- Having regard to the similar subject matter of the applications, the Court finds it appropriate to examine them jointly in a single judgment.
- Alleged violation of Article 3 of the Convention
- The applicants complained principally of the inadequate conditions of their detention. They relied on Article 3 of the Convention, which reads as follows:
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
- The Court notes that the applicants were kept in detention in poor conditions. The details of the applicants’ detention are indicated in the appended table. The Court refers to the principles established in its case-law regarding inadequate conditions of detention (see, for instance, v. Poland [GC], no. 30210/96, §§ 90 – 94, ECHR 2000-XI, and Ananyev and Others v. Russia, nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08, §§ 139 – 65, 10 January 2012). It reiterates in particular that a serious lack of space in a prison cell weighs heavily as a factor to be taken into account for the purpose of establishing whether the detention conditions described are “degrading” from the point of view of Article 3 and may disclose a violation, both alone or taken together with other shortcomings (see, amongst many authorities, v. Lithuania, no. 53254/99, § 39, 7 April 2005, and Ananyev and Others, cited above, §§ 145 – 47 and 149).
- In the leading cases of Ananyev and Others v. Russia (nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08, 10 January 2012) and Butko v. Russia (no. 32036/10, §§ 54 – 64, 12 November 2015), the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.
- Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court has not found any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion on the admissibility and merits of these complaints. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the applicants’ conditions of detention were inadequate.
- These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention.
III. Remaining complaints
- In applications nos. 37198/09, 29657/10 and 14181/15 the applicants submitted other complaints which also raised issues under the Convention, in accordance with the relevant well-established case-law of the Court (see appended table). These complaints are not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention, nor are they inadmissible on any other ground. Accordingly, they must be declared admissible. Having examined all the material before it, the Court concludes that they also disclose violations of the Convention in the light of its findings in Ananyev and Others (cited above, §§ 100 – 19, pertaining to the absence of an effective remedy to complaint about the conditions of detention in Russia) and Idalov v. Russia [GC] (no. 5826/03, §§ 139 – 49, 22 May 2012, concerning the reasons for and length of the pretrial detention; and §§ 103 – 08 relevant to the conditions of transport of detainees).
- Application of Article 41 of the Convention
- Article 41 of the Convention provides:
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
- Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case-law (see, in particular, Ananyev and Others v. Russia, nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08, 10 January 2012, and Butko v. Russia, no. 32036/10, § 68, 12 November 2015), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table.
- The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,
- Decides to join the applications;
- Declares the applications admissible;
- Holds that these applications disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention concerning the inadequate conditions of detention;
- Holds that there has been a violation as regards the other complaints raised under well-established case-law of the Court (see appended table);
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts indicated in the appended table, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 8 December 2016, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
LIST OF APPLICATIONS RAISING COMPLAINTS UNDER ARTICLE 3 OF THE CONVENTION (INADEQUATE CONDITIONS OF DETENTION)
Date of introduction
Date of birth
|Representative name and location||Facility
Start and end date
|Sq. m. per inmate||Specific grievances||Other complaints under well-established case-law||Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses per applicant (in euros) <*>|
|Denis Vitalyevich KOLBASOV
09/02/2007 to 10/09/2012
5 year(s) and
7 month(s) and 2 day(s)
|1.4 m2||Fewer sleeping places than inmates, sleeping on the floor, poor lighting, no ventilation, stench, high humidity, rats and insects.||Art. 5 (3) – excessive length of pre-trial detention –||24,700|
|Denis Aleksandrovich OSTAPENKO
1 year(s) and
2 month(s) and 30 day(s)
|1.8 m2||Overcrowding, lack of fresh air, insufficient number of sleeping places, no or restricted access to warm water.||5,800|
|Aleksey Valeryevich POLOVINKIN
|Larionova Veronika Vladislavovna
2 year(s) and 9 month(s) and 11 day(s)
|Dirty opaque windows covered with metal sheets which prevented access to natural light, dim light, no ventilation, insects, smeared walls, poor quality of food.||Art. 3 – inadequate conditions of detention –
Van Moscow 03/02/2009 – 27/4/2010 Moscow, van. 0.36 sq. m. 4 – 7 hours of drive, no ventilation. 1.6 m. high compartment, no heating in winter time, very hot in summer, no toilet, no lighting.
|Andrey Viktorovich LAVRENKO
2 month(s) and 19 day(s)
|Overcrowding, fewer sleeping places than inmates, sleeping in shifts, poor sanitary conditions, rodents and insects, no ventilation, stench since the lavatory was not properly separated from the living area, tuberculosis-infected inmates in the cell.||5,000|
|IVS Aleksin Tula Region
2 month(s) and 19 day(s)
|1.7 m2||High humidity, poor lighting, no heating, fewer sleeping places than inmates, no ventilation, the dining table was 1.5 m away from the bucket used as lavatory.|
|Ramil Uralovich KALIYEV
|IZ 74/1 Chelyabinsk
More than 4 year(s) and
9 month(s) and 13 day(s)
|2 m2||Low temperature in the cell in winter time, no partition between the lavatory and the living room, poor ventilation, stench, constant cigarette smoke, poor quality of food.||14,000|
|Ivan Aleksandrovich TKACHENKO
More than 4 year(s) and
11 month(s) and 21 day(s)
|2.5 m2||No ventilation, no access to fresh air, stench, high humidity, mould, no partition between the lavatory and the living room, the lavatory was close to the dining table, no privacy when using lavatory, daily outdoor exercise for 20 minutes, constant electric light, poor quality of food.||17,000|
|Roman Aleksandrovich MALKOV
|IZ-47/1 of St Petersburg
More than 3 year(s) and
2 month(s) and 28 day(s)
|2.1 m2||No ventilation, poor lighting, no seats and no hot water, lavatory 1.5 m away from the dining table and beds.||Art. 5 (3) – excessive length of pre-trial detention – 12/05/2013 – pending,
Art. 13 – lack of any effective remedy in respect of inadequate conditions of detention –
|Sergey Olegovich PLEKHANOV
|IZ-47/1 St Petersburg
1 year(s) and 4 month(s) and 3 day(s)
|2 m2||No table in a cell, no partition between the lavatory and the living area, no ventilation, high humidity.||6,500|
|IZ-47/1 St Petersburg
More than 1 month(s) and 7 day(s)
<*> Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.