CASE OF YERYOMENKO AND OTHERS v. UKRAINE (European Court of Human Rights) Application no. 59600/19 and 2 others – see appended list

FIFTH SECTION
CASE OF YERYOMENKO AND OTHERS v. UKRAINE
(Application no. 59600/19 and 2 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
16 September 2021

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

In the case of Yeryomenko and Others v. Ukraine,

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

Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström, President,
Jovan Ilievski,
Mattias Guyomar, judges,
and Viktoriya Maradudina, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 26 August 2021,

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

PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in applications against Ukraine 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.

2. The applicants were represented by Mr A.V. Pustyntsev, a lawyer practising in Dnipro.

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

THE FACTS

4. The list of applicants and the relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table.

5. The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention and of the lack of any effective remedy in domestic law. The applicants also raised other complaints under the provisions of the Convention.

THE LAW

I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

6. Having regard to the similar subject matter of the applications, the Court finds it appropriate to examine them jointly in a single judgment.

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

7. The applicants complained principally of the inadequate conditions of their detention and that they had no effective remedy in this connection. They 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 …”

8. 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, Muršić v. 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).

9. In the leading cases of Melnik v. Ukraine (no. 72286/01, 28 March 2006) and Sukachov v. Ukraine (no. 14057/17, 30 January 2020) the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.

10. 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.

11. The Court further notes that the applicants did not have at their disposal an effective remedy in respect of these complaints.

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

III. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS UNDER WELL-ESTABLISHED CASE-LAW

13. The applicants submitted other complaints which also raised issues under the Convention, given 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 Kharchenko v. Ukraine (no. 40107/02, § 80, 10 February 2011), Ignatov v. Ukraine (no. 40583/15, 15 December 2016), Tymoshenko v. Ukraine (no. 49872/11, §§ 286-287, 30 April 2013), and Kotiy v. Ukraine (no. 28718/09, § 55, 5 March 2015).

IV. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

14. In applications nos. 59600/19 and 23891/20, the applicants also raised other complaints under various Articles of the Convention.

15. The Court has examined the applications listed in the appended table and considers that, in the light of all the material in its possession and in so far as the matters complained of are within its competence, these complaints either do not meet the admissibility criteria set out in Articles 34 and 35 of the Convention or do not disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Convention or the Protocols thereto.

It follows that this part of the applications must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.

V. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

16. 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.”

17. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case‑law (see, in particular, Sukachov, cited above, §§ 165 and 167), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table.

18. 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. Decides to join the applications;

2. Declares the complaints concerning the inadequate conditions of detention, the lack of any effective remedy in domestic law in that regard and the other complaints under well-established case-law of the Court, as set out in the appended table, admissible and the remainder of applications nos. 59600/19 and 23891/20 inadmissible;

3. Holds that these complaints disclose a breach of Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention concerning the inadequate conditions of detention and absence of an effective domestic remedy in this regard;

4. Holds that there has been a violation of the Convention as regards the other complaints raised under well-established case-law of the Court (see appended table);

5. Holds

(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 16 September 2021, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Viktoriya Maradudina                                    Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström
Acting Deputy Registrar                                               President

________

APPENDIX

List of applications raising complaints under Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention

(inadequate conditions of detention and lack of any effective remedy in domestic law)

No. Application no.

Date of introduction

Applicant’s name

Year of birth

Facility

Start and end date

Duration

Sq. m

per inmate

Specific grievances Other complaints under

well-established case-law

Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage

per applicant

(in euros)[1]

Amount awarded for costs

and expenses

per application

(in euros)[2]

1. 59600/19

09/11/2019

Valeriy Oleksandrovych YERYOMENKO

1980

Dnipro Detention Facility no. 4

 

20/03/2017

pending

 

More than 4 years and 3 months

and 12 days

3,5 m² Lack of fresh air, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or insufficient electric light, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, no or restricted access

to shower, lack or insufficient quantity of food, poor quality

of food

Art. 5 (3) – excessive length

of pre-trial detention –

(14/03/2017 – pending);failure to conduct the proceedings with due diligence during the period of detention; fragility of the reasons employed by the courts, failure to assess the applicant’s personal situation reducing the risks of re-offending, colluding or absconding

9,800 250
2. 22469/20

13/05/2020

Rostyslav Pavlovych POPOVYCH

1985

Cherkasy Pre-Trial Detention Facility

 

19/07/2018

pending

 

More than 2 years and 11 months

and 13 days

2,5 m² Overcrowding, lack of fresh air, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or insufficient electric light, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of toiletries,

 

lack or insufficient quantity

of food, no or restricted access to shower, poor quality of food

Art. 5 (3) – excessive length of pre-trial detention –

(17/05/2018 – pending) continuous detention based on standard grounds without assessment of existing risks

 

 

 

Art. 5 (5) – lack of, or inadequate compensation,

for the violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention – the right to compensation for breaches of the Convention is not provided for in the domestic legal system (see, Kotiy v. Ukraine, no. 28718/09, § 55, 5 March 2015, and Tymoshenko v. Ukraine, no. 49872/11, §§ 286-287,

30 April 2013)

9,100 250
3. 23891/20

13/05/2020

Volodymyr Ivanovych BURIMOV

1982

Cherkasy Pre-Trial Detention Facility

 

03/07/2018

pending

 

More than 3 years

1,7 – 4,2m² Infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of fresh air, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of privacy for toilet, lack of toiletries, mouldy or dirty cell, no or restricted access to shower, overcrowding, passive smoking Art. 5 (3) – excessive length of

pre-trial detention – continuous detention on remand between 16/05/2018 and 24/12/2019; and between 24/12/2020 until the present moment, based on standard grounds without any assessment

of risks

 

Art. 5 (5) – lack of, or inadequate compensation, for the violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention – the right to compensation for breaches of the Convention is not provided for in the domestic legal system (see, Kotiy v. Ukraine,

no. 28718/09, § 55, 5 March 2015, and Tymoshenko v. Ukraine,

no. 49872/11, §§ 286-287,

30 April 2013)

8,700 250

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

[2] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.

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