European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights

Court: Russia’s arrests of Aleksey Navalnyy violated his rights

Human rights judges today ruled that the 2012 and 2014 arrests of Russian political activist and blogger Aleksey Navalnyy violated his human rights.

Video: Court judgement

As just satisfaction (Article 41), the Court held that Russia was to pay the applicant Aleksey Anatolyevich Navalnyy  50,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage, EUR 1,025 in respect of pecuniary damage and EUR 12,653 for costs and expenses.

Navalnyy  is a Russian national, who was born in 1976 and lives in Moscow. He is an opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner.

Navalnyy was arrested on seven occasions between 2012 and 2014 at different public gatherings.

Today’s Grand Chamber decision in the case  Navalnyy v. Russia (application no. 29580/12 and four others) concerned the applicant’s complaint that his arrest, detention and administrative conviction on seven occasions in 2012 and 2014 had breached his rights and had been politically motivated.

In its judgment the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held unanimously that there had been:

a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security/lawfulness of arrest or detention) of the European Convention on Human Rights,

a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial) as regards six sets of administrative proceedings,

no violation of Article 6 § 1 over a seventh set of administrative proceedings, and

a violation of Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association) of the European Convention.

It also held by fourteen votes to three that there had been,

a violation of Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) of the Convention.

The Grand Chamber, endorsing the reasoning of a Chamber judgment in the case, found violations of Navalnyy’s rights under Article 5 owing to his seven arrests and two instances of pre-trial detention, and under Article 6 over six out of seven sets of court proceedings after the arrests.

The court also found a violation of Article 11, holding that two of the arrests had lacked a legitimate aim while the five others had not been necessary in a democratic society. The Grand Chamber significantly expanded the reasoning of the Chamber under this provision.

The court found that Navalnyy’s complaint under Article 18 that the arrests had been politically motivated represented “a fundamental aspect” of the case. Focussing on two of the arrests, the court held that they had actually aimed at suppressing political pluralism, in violation of Article 18 in conjunction with Article 5 and 11.

It also recommended under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgements) of the European Convention that the Government take measures to ensure the right to peaceful assembly in Russia.




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