CASE OF BYELIKOV v. UKRAINE (European Court of Human Rights) Application no. 57291/19

FIFTH SECTION
CASE OF BYELIKOV v. UKRAINE
(Application no. 57291/19)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
1 April 2021

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Byelikov v. Ukraine,

The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:

Ivana Jelić, President,
Ganna Yudkivska,
Arnfinn Bårdsen, judges,
and Liv Tigerstedt,Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 11 March 2021,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in an application against Ukraine lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) on 17 October 2019.

2. The applicant was represented by MrA.V.Pustyntsev, a lawyer practising in Dnipro, Ukraine.

3. The Ukrainian Government (“the Government”) were given notice of the application.

THE FACTS

4. The applicant’s details and information relevant to the application are set out in the appended table.

5. The applicant complained of the inadequate conditions of his detention and of the lack of any effective remedy in domestic law.

THE LAW

I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLES 3 AND 13 OF THE CONVENTION

6. The applicant complained of the inadequate conditions of his detention and that he had no effective remedy in this connection. He relied on Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention, which read as follows:

Article 3

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Article 13

“Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in this Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority …”

7. The Court notes that the applicant was kept in detention in poor conditions. The details of the applicant’s 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, Muršićv. Croatia [GC], no. 7334/13, §§ 96‑101, ECHR 2016). 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 Muršić, cited above, §§ 122 ‑141, and Ananyev and Others v. Russia, nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08, §§ 149‑159, 10 January 2012).

8. In the leading case of Melnik v. Ukraine (no. 72286/01, 28 March 2006; for more recent case-law see Beketov v. Ukraine [Committee], no. 44436/09,19February 2019), the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.

9. 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 applicant’s conditions of detention were inadequate.

10. The Court further notes that the applicant did not have at his disposal an effective remedy in respect of these complaints.

11. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention.

II. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

12. 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.”

13. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case‑law (see, in particular,Melnik, cited above), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sum indicated in the appended table.

14. 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,

1. Declares the application admissible;

2. Holds that it discloses a breach of Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention concerning the inadequate conditions of detention;

3. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months, the amount 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 amount 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 1 April 2021, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Liv Tigerstedt                                Ivana Jelić
Deputy Registrar                            President

___________

APPENDIX
Application raising complaints under Articles3 and 13 of the Convention
(inadequate conditions of detention and lack of any effective remedy in domestic law)

Application no.
Date of introduction
Applicant’s name
Year of birth
Facility
Start and end date
Duration
Sq. m per inmate Specific grievances Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses per applicant
(in euros)[1]
57291/19
17/10/2019
Sergiy Viktorovych BYELIKOV
1996
Dnipro Detention Facility no. 4
22/01/2018
pending
More than 3 years and 4 days
2.5-2.7 m² overcrowding, lack of fresh air, passive smoking, mouldy or dirty cell, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of privacy for toilet, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, poor quality of food, no or restricted access to shower 6,800

[1] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant.

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