ECtHR: Russian man held in cage during video link appeal hearings suffered degrading treatment

A Russian man who was held in a cage during appeal hearings via video link while on remand suffered a violation of his rights under article 3 of the Convention, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Karachentsev v Russia the court held, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of article 3 (prohibition of torture) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The court noted that it had previously found violations when people had been held in cages during courtroom appearances in public, citing the case of Svinarenko and Slyadnev v Russia.

Although Mr Karachentsev’s appeal appearances had not been public, holding him in a cage for hearings by video link from his remand prison had anyway objectively been degrading, in violation of article 3.

However, there was no violation of article 5 § 4 (right to liberty and security / right to have lawfulness of detention decided speedily by a court), on account of alleged procedural flaws in the detention proceedings.

The complaint under article 5 § 4 concerned two of his detention hearings. At one, he had only had two hours to consult his lawyer, while his lawyer had been absent from the other. However, the court found that the domestic courts’ decisions had been justified in both cases.

The court also accepted a government declaration and offer of compensation of €8,800 to resolve a complaint on conditions of detention raised under article 3 and complaints made under article 5 § 3 (entitlement to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial) and article 5 § 4, and struck those complaints out of its list.