CASE OF MIKHAELIS AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (European Court of Human Rights) 14128/18 and 5 others

The applicants complainedof the inadequate conditions of their detention.


THIRD SECTION
CASE OF MIKHAELIS AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 14128/18 and 5 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
15 December 2022

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

In the case of Mikhaelis and Others v. Russia,

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Darian Pavli, President,
Ioannis Ktistakis,
Andreas Zünd, judges,
and Viktoriya Maradudina, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 24 November 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 complainedof the inadequate conditions of their detention. 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 of the inadequate conditions of their detention. They relied on Article 3 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

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

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, Kudła v. Poland [GC], no. 30210/96, §§ 90‑94, ECHR 2000‑XI, and Ananyev and Others v. Russia, nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08, §§ 139‑65, 10 January 2012). It reiterates in particular that extreme lack of space in a prison cell or overcrowding weighs heavily as an aspect to be taken into account for the purpose of establishing whether the impugned detention conditions were “degrading” from the point of view of Article 3 and may disclose a violation, both alone or taken together with other shortcomings (see Muršić v. Croatia [GC], no. 7334/13, 20 October 2016, and, amongst many authorities, Karalevičius v. Lithuania, no. 53254/99, §§ 36–40, 7 April 2005).

8. In the leading case of Sergey Babushkin v. Russia, no. 5993/08, 28 November 2013, 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. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention.

III. REMAINING COMPLAINTS

11. Some applicants submitted other complaints under the Convention. Having regard to the facts of the cases, the submissions of the parties, and its findings above, the Court considers that it has examined the main legal question raised in the present applications and that there is no need to give a separate ruling on the remaining complaints (see Centre for Legal Resources on behalf of Valentin Câmpeanu v. Romania [GC], no. 47848/08, § 156, ECHR 2014).

IV. 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, Sergey Babushkin v. Russia, (just satisfaction), no. 5993/08, 16 October 2014, and Mozharov and Others v. Russia, no. 16401/12 and 9 others, 21 March 2017), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table.

14. 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 about poor conditions of the applicants’ detention admissible and finds that it is not necessary to examine the remaining complaints raised by the applicants;

3. Holds that these applications disclose a breach of Article 3 of the Convention concerning the inadequate conditions of detention after conviction;

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 during the default period plus three percentage points.

Done in English, and notified in writing on 15 December 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

(inadequate conditions of detention after conviction)

No. Application no.

Date of introduction

Applicant’s name

Year of birth

 

Facility

Start and end date

Duration

Inmates per brigade

Sq. m per inmate

Number of toilets per brigade

Specific grievances Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses per applicant

(in euros)[i]

1. 14128/18

26/04/2018

VitaliyYuryevich MIKHAELIS

1972

IK-2 Zabaykalskiy Region

13/02/2017

pending

More than 5 year(s) and

6 month(s) and 27 day(s)

6 inmate(s)

2 m²

poor quality of food, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of fresh air 12,500
2. 17540/18

14/05/2018

Roman Vitalyevich MARELTUYEV

1980

IK-2 Zabaykalskiy Region

18/02/2014

pending

More than 8 year(s) and

6 month(s) and 22 day(s)

2.25 m² overcrowding, no or restricted access to warm water, lack of fresh air, no or restricted access to shower, mouldy or dirty cell 12,500
3. 25097/18

29/06/2018

Sergey Nikolayevich KUZMIN

1978

IK-2 Zabaykalskiy Region

05/10/2016

pending

More than 5 year(s) and

11 month(s) and 4 day(s)

150 inmate(s)

2 m²

high humidity, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to shower, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen 12,500
4. 29451/18

28/05/2018

Sergey Anatolyevich REZNIKOV

1975

IK-2 Zabaykalskiy Region

04/09/2016 to

06/05/2021

4 year(s) and

8 month(s) and 3 day(s)

2 m² mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or insufficient natural light, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to shower 12,500
5. 32935/18

01/07/2018

VitaliySergeyevich LUKASHENOK

1980

IK-2 Zabaykalskiy Region

21/03/2009 to

25/05/2021

12 year(s) and

2 month(s) and 5 day(s)

180 inmate(s)

2.5 m²

8 toilet(s)

overcrowding, lack of fresh air, lack of space for walking in fresh air, bad odour in dormitory, lack or inadequate furniture, lack of timing for telephone conversations, punishments for complaining about conditions of detention 12,500
6. 48580/18

27/09/2018

Dmitriy Sergeyevich IVANOV

1985

IK-2 Zabaykalsky Region

28/10/2017 to

06/04/2020

2 year(s) and

5 month(s) and 10 day(s)

2.4 m² lack of fresh air, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, passive smoking, poor quality of food, no or restricted access to warm water, no or restricted access to shower, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air 9,600

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

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