CASE OF SULTANOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (European Court of Human Rights) 11374/18 and 5 others

The applicants complained about their confinement in a metal cage in the courtroom during the criminal proceedings against them. In application no. 42915/19 the applicant also raised other complaints under the Convention.


THIRD SECTION
CASE OF SULTANOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 11374/18 and 5 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
15 September 2022

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

In the case of Sultanov 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 25 August 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 about their confinement in a metal cage in the courtroom during the criminal proceedings against them. In application no. 42915/19 the applicant also raised other complaints under 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 about their confinement in a metal cage in the courtroom during the criminal proceedings against them. 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 were kept a metal cage in the courtroom in the context of their trial. In the leading cases of Svinarenko and Slyadnev v. Russia [GC], nos. 32541/08 and 43441/08, ECHR 2014 (extracts) and Vorontsov and Others v. Russia, no. 59655/14 and 2 others, 31 January 2017, the Court already dealt with the issue of the use of metal cages in courtrooms and found that such a practice constituted in itself an affront to human dignity and amounted to degrading treatment prohibited by Article 3 of the Convention.

8. 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’ confinement in a metal cage before the court during the criminal proceedings against them amounted to degrading treatment.

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

III. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

10. In application no. 42915/19 the applicant also raised other complaints under Articles 8 and 13 of the Convention.

11. The Court has examined the application 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 do not meet the admissibility criteria set out in Articles 34 and 35 of the Convention.

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

IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

13. 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.”

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

15. 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. Declares the complaints concerning the use of metal cages in courtrooms admissible, and the remainder of application no. 42915/19 inadmissible;

3. Holds that these complaints disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention on account of the applicants’ placement in a metal cage before the court during the criminal proceedings against them;

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 15 September 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 Article 3 of the Convention
(use of metal cages in courtrooms)

No. Application no.
Date of introduction
Applicant’s name
Year of birth
 
Name of the court
Date of the relevant judgment
Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses per applicant
 (in euros)[1]
1. 11374/18
19/02/2018
Tagir Tavisovich SULTANOV
1969
Naberezhnye Chelny Town Court of the Republic of Tatarstan
15/11/2017
7,500
2. 11761/18
25/02/2018
Andrey Alekseyevich MARCHENKO
1975
Oktyabrskiy District Court of Novosibirsk
10/10/2017
7,500
3. 14035/18
26/02/2018
Sergey Aleksandrovich NAZAROV
1978
Yuryev-Polskiy District Court of the Vladimir Region
04/09/2017
7,500
4. 26462/18
16/05/2018
Lenar Azatovich SAITOV
1987
Privolzhskiy District Military Court
08/12/2017
7,500
5. 26785/18
03/05/2018
Ruzil Rimovich DAVLETSHIN
1988
Privolzhsky District Military Court
08/12/2017
7,500
6. 42915/19
26/07/2019
Dmitriy Aleksandrovich DILSHNAYDER
1981
Kirovskiy District Court of Irkutsk, Ivdel Town Court (by way of videoconference from a metal cage) from 12/03/2019 to
02/04/2019
7,500

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

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