CASE OF IVANTSOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (European Court of Human Rights) 20509/17 and 11 others

The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention, which were incompatible with their disabilities and that there was no effective remedy in that regard. Some applicants also raised other complaints under the provisions of the Convention.


THIRD SECTION
CASE OF IVANTSOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 20509/17 and 11 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
23 June 2022

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

In the case of Ivantsov and Others v. Russia,

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

Darian Pavli, President,
Andreas Zünd,
Mikhail Lobov, judges,
and Viktoriya Maradudina, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 2 June 2022,

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

PROCEDURE

1. 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.

2. The Russian 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 of the inadequate conditions of their detention, which were incompatible with their disabilities and that there was no effective remedy in that regard. Some applicants also raised other complaints under the provisions of the Convention.

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. LOCUS STANDI OF MS URYUPINA (application no. 78137/17)

6. The Court takes note of the death of Mr Presnyakov and of the wish of his female partner, Ms E. Uryupina, to pursue the proceedings he had initiated.

7. The Court reiterates that where an applicant dies during the examination of a case, his or her heirs may in principle pursue the application on his or her behalf (see Ječius v. Lithuania, no. 34578/97, § 41, ECHR 2000‑IX). It further reiterates that in a number of cases in which applicants have died in the course of the proceedings, it has taken into account the statements of their heirs or close family members expressing their wish to pursue the proceedings before the Court (see Latif Fuat Öztürk v. Turkey, no. 54673/00, § 27, 2 February 2006, and Hanbayat v. Turkey, no. 18378/02, § 20, 17 July 2007). In the present case, the Court considers that apart from explicitly expressing her wish to do so, the applicant’s female partner with whom the applicant had lived together since 2013, prior to his imprisonment, and who had supported him, including financially, during his imprisonment, has a sufficient legitimate interest in pursuing the proceedings on his behalf. The Court also does not lose sight of the fact that the Government did not object against Ms Uryupina’s standing.

8. The Court therefore considers that Ms E. Uryupina has standing to continue the present proceedings in the applicant’s stead.

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

9. The applicants complained principally about the poor conditions of their detention, aggravated by the seriousness of their medical problems 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 …”

10. The Court notes that the applicants who suffer from various disabilities, were, kept in detention in poor conditions which did not satisfy their special needs. The details of the applicants’ detention are indicated in the appended table. The Court refers to the principles established in its case‑law regarding conditions of detention of disabled inmates (see, for instance, Topekhin v. Russia, no. 78774/13, §§ 78‑81, 10 May 2016, and Butrin v. Russia, no. 16179/14, §§ 46‑51, 22 March 2016). It reiterates in particular, that where the authorities decide to place and keep a disabled person in detention, they should demonstrate special care in securing detention conditions which correspond to the special needs resulting from his disability (see Butrin, cited above § 49; Semikhvostov v. Russia, no. 2689/12, § 72, 6 February 2014; Zarzycki v. Poland, no. 15351/03, § 102, 12 March 2013; and Farbtuhs v. Latvia, no. 4672/02, § 56, 2 December 2004).

11. In the cases of Topekhin, Butrin and Semikhvostov (all cited above), the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.

12. 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 conditions of the applicants’ detention, exacerbated by their physical impairments, amount to “inhuman and degrading treatment” within the meaning of the Convention.

13. The Court further notes that the applicants did not have at their disposal an effective remedy in respect of these complaints (see, among other authorities, Butrin, cited above, §§ 43-45, and Semikhvostov, cited above, §§ 61‑68).

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

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

15. Some 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 Blokhin v. Russia [GC], no. 47152/06, §§ 135-50, 23 March 2016, related to lack of medical assistance in detention, and Dirdizov v. Russia, no. 41461/10, 27 November 2012, related to unreasonably long detention on remand.

V. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

16. In applications nos. 33392/17 and 38091/17 the applicants also raised other complaints under various Articles of the Convention.

17. 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.

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

VI. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

19. 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.”

20. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case‑law (see, in particular, Butrin, cited above, §§ 72-74, and Semikhvostov, cited above, §§ 88-90), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table.

21. The Court further 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. Holds that Ms Uryupina has standing to pursue the proceedings in Mr Presnyakov’s stead;

3. Declares the complaints concerning the conditions of detention of disabled inmates, 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. 33392/17 and 38091/17 inadmissible;

4. Holds that these complaints disclose a breach of Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention on account of the applicants’ detention in poor conditions and the lack of an effective remedy in that connection;

5. 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);

6. 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 during the default period plus three percentage points.

Done in English, and notified in writing on 23 June 2022, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Viktoriya Maradudina                     Darian Pavli
Actin Deputy Registrar                     President

___________

APPENDIX

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

(conditions of detention of disabled inmates 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 Type of disability Detention with disability: facility and periods 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)[i]

1. 20509/17

30/01/2017

Sergey Shaykhlislamovich IVANTSOV

1971

Mitrokhina Yuliya Vyacheslavovna

Novosibiisk

Paresis of arms and legs IK-12, Kuiybishev, Novosibirsk Region

03/07/2013 to 02/06/2017

3 year(s) and 11 month(s)

and

02/10/2017 to 14/03/2018

5 month(s) and 13 day(s)

and

LIU-10, Novosibirsk Region

02/06/2017 to 12/07/2017

1 month(s) and 11 day(s)

inability to move within the territory (the cell on the second floor); lack of special mattress, lack of nursing assistance

the applicant was bedridden, and suffered from incontinence, he was fully dependant on his inmates

 

bedridden, could not walk unaided, he was fully dependant on his inmates, assistance only provided by the latter

15,000
2. 33392/17

03/05/2017

Stanislav Valeryevich YARMUKHAMETOV

1977

Bushmakov Aleksey Vladimirovich

Yekaterinburg

Encephalopathy, epilepsy, visual nerve’s atrophy, poor hearing, personality disorder IK-12 Sverdlovsk Region

20/11/2016 to 07/12/2019

3 year(s) and 18 day(s)

Constantly needs nursing assistance, claustrophobic, walks with a great difficulty, significant problems with coordination, unable to hold his head straight, unable to use toilet, takes shower with great difficulty, unable to wash bedding, etc. there were no ramps in the facility; assistance provided exclusively by inmates to move around, use toilet, shower, etc. 15,000
3. 38091/17

12/05/2017

Dmitriy Vladimirovich BUSHMENEV

1975

Semenova Olga Viktorovna

Perm

Paraplegia Prison hospital in IK-9,

Solikamsk, Perm Region

01/01/2015 – pending

More than 7 year(s) and 3 month(s) and 25 day(s)

the applicant depends on the assistance of other prisoners, who have no special trainings; toilets and showers are not adapted for the needs of disabled persons; lack of proper access ramps for wheelchair-bound inmates; lack of rehabilitation measures for a wheelchair-bound inmate. 15,000
4. 78137/17

04/11/2017

Igor Aleksandrovich PRESNYAKOV

Born in 1974;

Died in 2018

 

Heir:

Ekaterina Vladimirovna URYUPINA

1983

 

Petryakov Sergey Ivanovich

Kazan

Paraplegia IZ-1 Tver, Tver Regional prison hospital

29/06/2016 to 27/01/2017

6 month(s) and 29 day(s)

and

IK-10 Tver Region

27/01/2017 to 04/05/2018

1 year(s) and 3 month(s) and 8 day(s)

no facilities for wheelchair-bound inmates, particularly for using toilet and changing bandages; inmates had to carry the applicant to his cell or dormitory and to lavatory or shower room;

the applicant had to spend his entire day in bed; no prison yards equipped for a wheelchair-bound detainee;

lack of a specific medical/condition-related assistance taking into account the applicant’s condition; the applicant died in the medical unit of the colony on 4 May 2018

15,000,

to be paid to Ms E. Uryupina

5. 3917/18

12/02/2017

Oleg Leonidovich CHASHCHUKHIN

1976

 

 

Two-sided coxarthrosis, the applicant is wheelchair-bound IK-6 Chelyabinsk Region

26/05/2017 to 08/06/2020

3 year(s) and 14 day(s)

colony facilities not suitable for wheelchair-bound inmates; the applicant’s cell was on the third floor with the steep stairs leading to it and no access ramps for the wheelchair; the applicant had to be carried around, to bring him food, etc. 15,000
6. 16147/18

23/03/2018

Sergey Pavlovich DESYATOV

1953

 

 

Amputated left leg IK-1 Arkhangelsk Region

01/04/2013 – pending

More than 9 year(s) and 25 day(s)

cannot freely move due to scarcity of free space – inmates in general do not have more than 1.2 sq. m of personal space, which made the applicant’s mobility extremely limited, with his poor prosthetic leg or crutches; access to toilet and shower is limited due to the lack of special equipment, limited access to canteen, walking yard; inability to receive a prosthetic leg in due time; inability to perform proper hygienic procedures to prevent the infection of the place of amputation 15,000
7. 34672/18

12/07/2018

Petr Mikhaylovich GONCHAROV

1974

 

 

Bechterew’s Disease IK-13 Novosibirsk Region

06/02/2016 – pending

More than 6 year(s) and 2 month(s) and 20 day(s)

lack of crutches, special shoes and other prescribed equipment; extremely limited mobility as a result; reliance on inmates for help 15,000
8. 3097/19

18/12/2018

Amir Shugayupovich GILYAZOV

1973

Golovleva Anzhela Yuryevna

Chelyabinsk

Muscular dystrophy, the applicant is unable to move unaided; he cannot even sit in a wheelchair; he has the first-degree disability Special Tuberculosis Hospital No. 3, Chelyabinsk Region

26/10/2018 to 21/12/2018

1 month(s) and 26 day(s)

lack of assistance to move around; to take a shower; to eat; to access sanitary facilities Art. 5 (3) – excessive length of pre-trial detention – the applicant arrested on 23/10/2018; date of the end of detention unknown, but extended at least until 2018; detention authorised and extended by Tsentralnyy District Court of Chelyabinsk; Chelyabinsk Regional Court; use of stereotyped formula citing risks of the applicant absconding, re-offending and obstructing justice 16,000
9. 7614/19

24/01/2019

Denis Yuryevich SINYUTIN

1980

Radnayeva Nadezhda Valeryevna

Balashikha

Disability II, paraplegia, wheelchair-bound inmate IK-3 Ryazan Region

01/09/2017 – pending

More than 4 year(s) and 7 month(s) and 28 day(s)

restricted access to facility premises due to serious walking impairment; inability to take a shower or to go to a toilet; to visit a canteen unaided; as the facility does not provide special equipment; no railings installed in the hygienic facilities; the applicant cannot access the walking yard, thus being restricted to his sleeping place throughout the day; other inmates provide assistance to the applicant in exchange of goods; the applicant is not provided with hygienic items (pampers, etc.), the applicant relies on relatives to provide them Art. 3 – inadequate medical treatment in detention – The applicant has been serving his sentence in IK-3, Ryazan Region, since 2017. He suffered from physical injury, paraplegia, and bladder dysfunction. He complained of the lack of/delay in medical examination, need of two surgeries – bladder and leg, and the lack of/delay in consultation with a specialist between 1/09/2017 and 23/04/2020

 Art. 13 – lack of any effective remedy in domestic law in respect of inadequate medical treatment in detention

19,500
10. 11676/19

05/02/2019

Samat Nagashpayevich KUSAMANOV

1993

Kudryavtsev Aleksey Gennadyevich

Kolpino

Amputee, missing both hands IK-5 Orenburg Region

01/10/2014 to 22/04/2020

5 year(s) and 6 month(s) and 22 day(s)

unsuitable conditions of detention in view of the applicant’s disability; lack of necessary care and assistance; dependence on inmates’ assistance; lack of rehabilitation procedures 15,000
11. 24424/19

10/04/2019

Denis Gennadyevich MUNIN

1972

Radnayeva Nadezhda Valeryevna

Balashikha

Encephalo-polineuropathy of the upper and lower limbs IK-16 Murmansk Region, Hospital no. 2 of MSCh-10

01/03/2018 to 25/11/2019

1 year(s) and 8 month(s) and 25 day(s)

lack of assistance to move around the detention facility, lack of any equipment for disabled with limited mobility in the toilet rooms, lack of any benches in the exercise yard, lack of any assistance during the transportation between the detention facilities 15,000
12. 24751/19

09/04/2019

Vitaliy Valeryevich BOYKOV

1971

Potkin Vladimir Yevgenyevich

Arkhangelsk

Amputated left leg IK-4 Arkhangelsk Region

29/06/2017 to 30/11/2018

1 year(s) and 5 month(s) and 2 day(s)

toilets and showers not equipped for disabled detainees with limited mobility, inadequate ramps and high thresholds, no wheelchair, no orthopaedic shoes and no prosthetic leg provided, restricted access to running water, lack of warm water, lack of privacy for toilet, lack of fresh air, inadequate temperature in wintertime, insects and rodents, poor quality of food 15,000

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

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