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Court set for decision on Nikolay Kavkazskiy’s human rights complaint against Russia

Activist Nikolay Kavkazskiy, detained following a protest against alleged presidential election rigging, will find out tomorrow the decision of Strasbourg judges on his human rights complaint

The European Court of Human Rights’ ruling in the case Kavkazskiy v. Russia (no. 19327/13) will be published on 28 November.

The applicant, Nikolay Kavkazskiy, is a Russian national who was born in 1986 and lives in Moscow.

The case concerns his complaint about various aspects of his detention following his arrest on suspicion of participating in mass disorder during the Bolotnaya Square protest in May 2012. The demonstration had taken place in order to protest against the allegedly rigged presidential elections and degenerated into clashes between the police and protestors.

Kavkazskiy, a human rights activist and NGO lawyer, was arrested a few months later, in July, for kicking a police officer during the dispersal of the protest. He was placed in pre-trial detention primarily on account of the seriousness of the charges against him and the risk of him absconding or obstructing the course of justice. The same grounds were cited for extending his detention over the next year.

The detention orders were however quashed in August 2013, the courts taking into account Kavkazskiy’s worsening health, and he was placed under house arrest. The house arrest was lifted five months later when he was amnestied.

When being taken into custody Kavkazskiy informed the prison authorities that he had a number of chronic illnesses, including gastritis, which required regular medical supervision and a special diet.

During the first eight months of his detention he was examined by a general practitioner about once a month and was also seen by a neurologist, who prescribed treatment. At a later stage, in April 2013, he was referred for comprehensive inpatient examination in a prison medical wing because of rapid weight-gain as well as recurrent headaches and back pain.

He underwent a series of medical examinations before being discharged back to the remand prison one month later with recommendations for a magnetic resonance imaging procedure, physiotherapy and a special diet.

None of these recommendations were carried out before his release under house arrest.

Kavkazskiy makes a number of complaints under Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) about: the lack of medical care during his pre-trial detention; the conditions of his transfer to and from court on his case; and his confinement in glass cabins during court hearings on his case.

He also alleges under Article 5 § 3 (right to liberty and security / entitlement to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial) that his arrest and pre-trial detention were not sufficiently justified.

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