Complaints from a French prisoner, a Russian kidnap victim and from relatives of a man who disappeared after his arrest by Croatian police come before human rights judges this week.
Payet v. France (no. 19606/08)
The applicant, Pascal Payet, is a French national who was born in 1963. He is currently serving time in prison in Châteauroux (France), in execution of various criminal sentences (notably for murder, escape, organising the escape of accomplices, armed robberies etc.) In 2001, he escaped by helicopter and was redetained in 2003. Since 2005, he has been subjected to security rotations consisting of constantly changing the place of detention in order to prevent any planned escape. In 2007, following another helicopter escape and his subsequent redetention, he was ordered to spend 45 days in the punishment wing.
Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) he complains of the security rotations and the conditions of his detention in a punishment cell. Relying on Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (right to a fair trial), he also complains of the disciplinary procedure to which he was subject following his second escape, and adds that the security rotations have made it impossible to prepare his defence with his lawyer. He considers, further, that the conditions of his detention are incompatible with Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life). He argues lastly that he was not afforded an effective remedy, within the meaning of Article 13, either against the security rotations or against enforcement of the disciplinary measures against him.
Gisayev v. Russia (no. 14811/04)
The applicant, Akhmed Gisayev, is a Russian national who was born in 1973 and lives in Grozny (Chechen Republic, Russia). Mr Gisayev alleges that on 23 October 2003 he was abducted from the family home in Grozny by a large group of Russian servicemen who then held him in unacknowledged detention and repeatedly tortured him in order to obtain information about Chechen rebel fighters.
He was released on 7 November 2003 when his family paid the abductors a 1,500 US dollar ransom. He further alleges that the Russian authorities’ investigation into the abduction, still pending with no tangible results, has been ineffective. He relies in particular on Articles 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment), 5 (right to liberty and security) and 13 (right to an effective remedy). Lastly, he also claims that he has been intimidated by State officials concerning his application to the European Court of Human Rights, in breach of Article 34 (right of individual petition).
Skendžić and Krznarić v. Croatia (no. 16212/08)
The applicants are three Croatian nationals who live in Otočac (Croatia). They are Josipa Skendžić, born in 1957, and her two children, Tamara Krznarić and Aleksandar Skendžić, born in 1985 and 1982 respectively. The case concerns the disappearance of their husband and father, M.S., born in 1948, following his arrest on suspicion of terrorism on 3 November 1991 by the Croatian police.
They also allege that the ensuing investigation into the circumstances of his arrest and disappearance was ineffective. They rely in particular on Articles 2 (right to life), 5 (right to liberty and security) and 13 (right to an effective remedy). Further relying on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), they claim that they have been caused continual anxiety and fear on account of the prolonged uncertainty as to M.S.’s whereabouts. Lastly, they allege that M.S. was arrested because of his Serbian ethnic origin and that the authorities failed to investigate whether such a motive was behind his arrest and disappearance, in breach of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination).