CASE OF BUTOV AND OTHERS v. UKRAINE (European Court of Human Rights) Applications nos. 44272/20 and 6 others – see appended list

The applicants complained about inadequate conditions of their detention and lack of any effective remedy in domestic law.

FIFTH SECTION
CASE OF BUTOV AND OTHERS v. UKRAINE
(Applications nos. 44272/20 and 6 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
14 October 2021

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

In the case of Butov 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 23 September 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 Ukrainian Government (“the Government”) were given notice of the applications.

THE FACTS

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

4. The applicants complained about inadequate conditions of their detention and lack of any effective remedy in domestic law.

THE LAW

I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

5. 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

6. The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention and absence of any 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 …”

7. 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 January2012).

8. 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.

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 applicants’ conditions of detention were inadequate.

10. The Court further notes that the applicants did not have at their 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.

III. 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, Sukachov, cited above, §§ 165 and 167), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums 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. Decides to join the applications;

2. Declares the applications admissible;

3. Holds that these applications disclose a breach of Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention concerning the inadequate conditions of detention and lack of any effective remedy in domestic law;

4. 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 14 October 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

Representative’s name and location 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]

1. 44272/20

19/09/2020

Denys Volodymyrovych BUTOV

1990

Ignatov Oleksandr Anatoliyovych

Dnipro

Zaporizhzhya Pre‑Trial Detention Facility

10/06/2017

to

23/04/2020

2 years and 10 months and 14 days

2 – 4.2 m² infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of fresh air, passive smoking, lack of privacy for toilet, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack or insufficient quantity of food, poor quality of food, no or restricted access to shower, overcrowding 6,500
2. 44544/20

17/09/2020

Anatoliy Petrovych STARISHKO

1980

Kopytets Karyna Valeriyivna

Slobozhanske

Dnipro Pre-Trial Detention Facility

13/11/2019

pending

More than 1 year and 9 months and 22 days

2.9 m² overcrowding 4,600
3. 55052/20

14/12/2020

Andriy Yuriyovych SHAMALO

1984

Kulbach Sergiy Oleksandrovych

Limoges

Kyiv Pre-Trial Detention Facility

16/01/2019

to

02/10/2020

1 year and 8 months and 17 days

2.5 – 3 m² lack of fresh air, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, overcrowding 4,400
4. 55593/20

30/11/2020

Ivan Sergiyovych SHEVCHENKO

1989

Pustyntsev Andriy Vitaliyovych

Dnipro

Cherkasy Pre-Trial Detention Facility

10/09/2015

pending

More than 5 years and 11 months and 25 days

2.31 – 5.49 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 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 7,500
5. 55898/20

20/11/2020

Mykyta Dmytrovych VYSHNYAKOV

1993

Vavrenyuk Oleksandr Volodymyrovych

Pyatykhatky

Cherkasy Pre-Trial Detention Facility

11/05/2019

pending

More than 2 years and 3 months and 24 days

2 – 3.66 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 poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of toiletries, lack or insufficient quantity of food, poor quality of food, no or restricted access to shower, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or insufficient electric light 5,500
6. 55899/20

20/11/2020

Sergiy Yuriyovych ORLICHENKO

1989

Pustyntsev Andriy Vitaliyovych

Dnipro

Cherkasy Pre-Trial Detention Facility

26/07/2018

pending

More than 3 years and 1 month and 9 days

2.37 – 2.55 m² overcrowding, lack of fresh air, 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, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or insufficient electric light, mouldy or dirty cell, passive smoking, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of privacy for toilet, poor quality of food 7,000
7. 91/21

20/11/2020

Mykhaylo Ruslanovych PEKARSKYY

1998

Pustyntsev Andriy Vitaliyovych

Dnipro

Cherkasy Pre-trial Detention Facility

28/12/2018

pending

More than 2 years and 8 months and 7 days

2.5 m² overcrowding, lack of fresh air, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, no or restricted access to shower, lack or insufficient quantity of food, lack of or insufficient natural light, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, passive smoking, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, mouldy or dirty cell, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of privacy for toilet, lack of toiletries, poor quality of food 6,200

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

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