The European Court of Human Rights has rendered three judgments today regarding Russian detention centers. Firstly, in Allahverdiyev v. Azerbaijan, Allahverdiyev was charged with kidnapping and was taken into custody in March of 2008 for a three month pre-trial detention. He appealed his detention to no avail. In June 2008, the district court extended his detention by a month. Finally, in March 2009, he was convicted as charged and sentenced to two years imprisonment. Allahverdiyev’ relied on Article 5 §§ 1 (the right to liberty) and 3 (security) of the European Convention on Human Rights claiming that his prolonged detention in 2008 had been unlawful. The Court agreed with Allahverdiyev, and he was awarded 13,000 euros in damages.
Gorbulya v. Russia involved similar claims against Russian detention centers. Gorbulya was convicted of murder and robbery in December 2008. He alleged that the conditions of his detention in both the temporary detention facility in St. Petersburg, and in the correctional facility in the Sverdlovsk Region violated his human rights under Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment). He complained of extremely overcrowded cells, degrading sanitary conditions, and not enough adequate medical care. The Court held that Article 3 was violated and awarded Gorbulya 25,000 euros in damages.
Lastly, in Gordiyenko v. Russia, Gordiyenko was arrested on the suspicion of drug trafficking in June 2005. He was beaten and mistreated for several hours by his arresting officers who were trying to make him confess. He relied on Article 3 claiming that the officers had repeatedly beaten him, damaging his kidneys and causing other injuries. Interestingly, the Court found there to be no violation of Article 3. Surely, in the United States a case concerning police brutality would cause a media frenzy.
Should prisoners receive better treatment in international detention centers? Russia is frequently in the spotlight these days, do you think other countries should intervene to insure Russia is not overstepping its boundaries?