ECtHR: Khamrakulov v. Russia (no. 68894/13), [Articles 3 and 5 § 4], 16 April 2015

Date: 
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found that extraditing a Kyrgyz national of Uzbek ethnic origin from Russia to Kyrgyzstan would give rise to inhumane and degrading treatment prohibited by Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). It was also found that the repeated delays by the Russian authorities in hearing the applicant’s appeals against his detention in Russia constituted a violation of his Article 5 § 4 rights to a speedy judicial decision on the lawfulness of the applicant’s detention between January 2013 and January 2014.

The applicant had left Kyrgyzstan in September 2010, applying for refugee status in March 2013. The proceedings for refugee status were concluded in 2014, with the Moscow City Court upholding previous decisions to refuse the application for refugee status. The Kyrgyz authorities charged the applicant in February 2011 in his absence of participating in the mass disorder and ethnic clashes that took place in the country in June 2010. Examining international reports from UN bodies and reputable NGOs evidencing systematic and indiscriminate ill-treatment of detainees in Kyrgyzstan, the Court observed that individuals of Uzbek origin in Kyrgyzstan constitute a vulnerable group and run a real risk of inhumane treatment. Secondly, and with regards to the authority’s duty to adequately assess the applicant’s claim of ill-treatment, the Court held that there had been no attempt to evaluate the risks of an Article 3 breach in the eventuality of extradition or in the asylum proceedings. The Court consequently found a violation of Article 3 if the applicant were sent back.

Reiterating that Article 5 § 4 ECHR proclaims the right to a speedy judicial decision concerning the lawfulness of detention, the Court said that the absence of any explanation from the Russian authorities that justified the delays between the applicant’s appeals against the detention orders and their subsequent extension, meant that the delays could only be seen as being excessively long, and thus violated the Article 5 § 4 requirement of “speediness”.


24 April 2015

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Keywords: 
Delay
Detention
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Procedural guarantees
Vulnerable person