European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights

Russia: Disabled convict seeks human rights support

A disabled convict hopes to persuade Strasbourg judges that his detention conditions in Russia breached human rights law.

The European Court of Human Rights will announce its decision in the case Semikhvostov v. Russia (no. 2689/12) on Thursday 6 February.

The applicant, Aleksandr Semikhvostov, is a Russian national who was born in 1965 and lives in the Leningrad Region (Russia).

In February 2001, he was convicted of torture and manslaughter and sentenced to 13 and a half years’ imprisonment. After having initially served his sentence in other facilities, he was transferred to correctional facility IK-11 in the Mordoviya Republic in January 2010, where he stayed until his release in January 2013.

Being paralysed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair, Semikhvostov alleges that the premises of that facility were unsuitable for his condition. In particular, he states: that the toilets were not accessible for disabled people, so that he had to ask other inmates for help to use them; that he needed assistance to use the bathhouse; that during the last year of his detention he could not take exercise outside, as he could not get into his wheelchair without assistance; and, that during this latter period his wheelchair was taken away from him in the dormitory for security reasons.

Semikhvostov complains that those detention conditions were in breach of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment).

Relying on Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), he further complains that he did not have an effective remedy at national level in respect of those complaints.

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