Sentsov and Kolchenko v. Russia (communicated case) (European Court of Human Rights)

Information Note on the Court’s case-law 224
December 2018

Sentsov and Kolchenko v. Russia (communicated case)29627/16

Article 6
Criminal proceedings
Article 6-1
Fair hearing
Tribunal established by law

Conviction of Ukrainian citizens by Russian courts for terrorism committed in Crimea after its annexation: communicated

The first applicant, Mr Sentsov, is a Ukrainian filmmaker, writer and native of Crimea who actively opposed the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014. The second applicant, Mr Kolchenko, is an activist and supporter of anarchism, anti-fascism and internationalism, as well as of a united Ukraine, including Crimea and the eastern oblasts.

In May 2014 they were arrested on suspicion of membership in a terrorist group. In August 2015 the Military Court of the North-Caucasian Command convicted both applicants of terrorism and rendered a sentence of twenty and ten years’ imprisonment respectively. The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the verdict upon appeal.

The first applicant complains under Article 3 that he was tortured and ill-treated by Federal Security Service (FSB) officers and that there was no effective investigation into his complaints. Both applicants complain under Article 6 § 1 that they were not brought before a tribunal established by law as the annexation of Crimea was unlawful and, consequently, the Russian courts did not have jurisdiction over crimes committed by Ukrainian citizens on Ukrainian territory, namely Crimea. They also complain that their convictions were politically motivated and that their trial was unfair.

Communicated under Article 3 (material and procedural limbs) and Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (d) of the Convention.

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