CASE OF BANCHILA AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (European Court of Human Rights) 82816/17 and 4 others

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”)


THIRD SECTION
CASE OF BANCHILA AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 82816/17 and 4 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
28 July 2022

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

In the case of Banchila 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 16 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. Notice of the applications was given to the Russian Government (“the Government”).

THE FACTS

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

4. The applicants alleged that they did not receive adequate medical care in detention 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. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3 OF THE CONVENTION

6. The applicants complained principally that they were not afforded adequate medical treatment in detention. They relied on Article 3 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

Article 3

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

7. The Court notes that the applicants suffered from serious medical conditions, as indicated in the appended table, which affected their everyday functioning. Therefore, they could have experienced considerable anxiety as to whether the medical care provided to them was adequate.

8. The Court reiterates that the “adequacy” of medical assistance remains the most difficult element to determine (see Blokhin v. Russia [GC], no. 47152/06, § 137, ECHR 2016). It has clarified in this context that the authorities must ensure that diagnosis and care are prompt and accurate (see, for example, Gorbulya v. Russia, no. 31535/09, § 62, 6 March 2014, with further references, and Pokhlebin v. Ukraine, no. 35581/06, § 62, 20 May 2010, with further references) and that ‒ where necessitated by the nature of a medical condition ‒ supervision is regular and systematic and involves a comprehensive therapeutic strategy aimed at successfully treating the detainee’s health problems or preventing their aggravation (see, inter alia, Ukhan v. Ukraine, no. 30628/02, § 74, 18 December 2008, with further references, and Kolesnikovich v. Russia, no. 44694/13, § 70, 22 March 2016, with further references). The Court stresses that medical treatment within prison facilities must be appropriate and comparable to the quality of treatment which the State authorities have committed themselves to providing for the entirety of the population. Nevertheless, this does not mean that each detainee must be guaranteed the same level of medical treatment that is available in the best health establishments outside prison facilities (see, for instance, Sadretdinov v. Russia, no. 17564/06, § 67, 24 May 2016, with further references, and Konovalchuk v. Ukraine, no. 31928/15, § 52, 13 October 2016, with further references).

9. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court has identified the shortcomings in the applicants’ medical treatment, which are listed in the appended table. The Court has already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case (see Blokhin, cited above, §§ 120‑50, Reshetnyak v. Russia, no. 56027/10, §§ 49-101, 8 January 2013 and Koryak v. Russia, no. 24677/10, §§ 70-110, 13 November 2012). Bearing in mind its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the applicants did not receive comprehensive and adequate medical care whilst in detention.

10. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention.

III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 13 OF THE CONVENTION

11. The applicants also complained that no effective domestic remedies regarding the quality of the medical care in detention were available to them. Their complaints fall to be examined under Article 13 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

Article 13

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

12. The Court has on many occasions established that there is a lack of effective domestic remedies to complain about the quality of medical treatment in detention (see, among many other authorities, Reshetnyak, cited above, §§ 49-101, and Koryak v. Russia, cited above, §§ 70-110). In the aforementioned cases the Court established that none of the legal avenues suggested by the Government constituted an effective remedy to prevent the alleged violations or stop them from continuing, or to provide the applicants with adequate and sufficient redress for their complaints under Article 3 of the Convention.

13. The Court sees no reason which would justify departure from its well‑established case-law on the issue. It finds that the applicants did not have at their disposal an effective domestic remedy for their complaints, in breach of Article 13 of the Convention.

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

14. Mr Banchila (application no. 82816/17) 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 well-established case-law (see Svinarenko and Slyadnev v. Russia [GC], nos. 32541/08 and 43441/08, §§ 84-139, ECHR 2014 (extracts)).

V. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

15. Mr Gorbulya (application no. 50830/18) and Mr Lipin (application no. 26037/20) also raised other complaints under various Articles of the Convention.

16. 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.

VI. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

17. 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.”

18. As to Mr Gorbulya (application no. 50830/18), having taken into account the awards made to the applicant by the Court in earlier cases (see, in particular, Gorbulya v. Russia, no. 31535/09, 6 March 2014; and Tselovalnik and Others v. Russia [Committee], no.17957/09 and 7 others, 6 July 2017), the Court considers it reasonable not to make any award to the applicant in the present case (compare Ivanov and Others v. Russia [Committee], no. 44363/14 and 2 others, §§ 11-13, 4 June 2020).

19. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case‑law (see, in particular, Kolesnikovich, cited above, §§ 82-92, Tselovalnik v. Russia, no. 28333/13, §§ 70-77, 8 October 2015 and Budanov v. Russia, no. 66583/11, §§ 77-83, 9 January 2014), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table to the remaining applicants.

20. The Court further finds 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 failure of the authorities to provide the applicants with adequate medical care in detention, the complaints concerning the lack of effective remedies in this 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. 50830/18 and 26037/20 inadmissible;

3. Holds that these complaints disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention on account of the inadequate medical care in detention;

4. Holds that these complaints disclose a breach of Article 13 of the Convention on account of the lack of an effective domestic remedy regarding complaints about the quality of the medical care in detention;

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 the appended table);

6. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, with exception of Mr Gorbulya, 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 28 July 2022, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Viktoriya Maradudina                 Darian Pavli
Acting Deputy Registrar                President

_____________

APPENDIX
List of applications raising complaints under Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention
(inadequate medical treatment in detention and lack of any effective remedy in this regard)

No. Application no.

Date of introduction

Applicant’s name

Year of birth

Representative’s name and location Principal medical condition Shortcomings in medical treatment

Dates

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. 82816/17

20/11/2017

Vasiliy Filippovich BANCHILA

1978

 

 

Paradental disease Lacking/delayed drug therapy, lack of/delay in consultation by a specialist

 

20/07/2017 – pending

More than 4 year(s) and 8 month(s) and 26 day(s)

Art. 13 – 1 – lack of any effective remedy in domestic law in respect of placement in a metal cage during court hearings;

Art. 3 – use of metal cages and/or other security arrangements in courtrooms – Ezhvinskiy District Court of Syktyvkar and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Komi (by means of video-link from a remand prison); several occasions between 29/08/2016 and 21/06/2017; judgment of 21/06/2017

19,500
2. 50830/18

16/10/2018

Vadim Vladislavovich GORBULYA

1973

Zhansugurov Salimzhan Rakhmetovich

Moscow

Absence of teeth, the applicant has only two teeth left Lack of dental prosthetic treatment despite the applicant’s repeated request and his willingness to cover its cost, in IK-56 in the Sverdlovsk Region and in IZ-47/6 in St Petersburg

07/12/2017 – 18/03/2021

More than 3 year(s) and 3 month(s)

15,000
3. 26037/20

23/03/2020

Yevgeniy Vasilyevich LIPIN

1979

 

 

Hepatitis, Stomach ulcer, Post thrombophlebitis disease of the lower extremities, Cholecystitis In the IK-1 of Republic of Komi, the applicant has suffered from the lack of medical examination and drug therapy for his serious chronic illnesses.

19/09/2014 – pending

More than 7 year(s) and 6 month(s) and 27 day(s)

15,000
4. 28719/20

15/07/2020

Sergey Yevgenyevich RYZHOV

1984

Sidorkina Svetlana Ivanovna

Moscow

Physical injury, hip fracture on 05/11/2019 while in custody Failure to provide with the right hip endoprosthesis, since January 2020

24/01/2020 -pending

More than 2 year(s) and 2 month(s) and 22 day(s)

15,000
5. 42156/20

02/09/2020

Fozil Usmonovich KHAMITOV

1993

 

 

Physical injury, broken jaw; impossibility to open mouth Lack of surgery, IK-5 Krasnoyarsk Region, the applicant needs a high-tech implant surgery

14/05/2018 – pending

More than 3 year(s) and 11 month(s) and 1 day(s)

15,000

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

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