Application no. 24984/02
by Aleksandr Nikolayevich SEREDYUK
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section),
19 January 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
Mr L. Loucaides,
Mrs F. Tulkens,
Mr P. Lorenzen,
Mrs N. Vajić,
Mrs S. Botoucharova,
Mr A. Kovler, judges,
and Mr S. Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 25 April 2002,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Aleksandr Nikolayevich Seredyuk, is a Russian national, who was born in 1961 and lives in Vitebsk, Belarus. The respondent Government are represented by Mr Pavel Laptev, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
Between 12 January 2002 and 12 February 2004 the applicant served his sentence in the prison UN 1612/37 of the village Yaya in the Kemerovo Region (Учреждение УН 1612/37 р.п. Яя, Кемеровская обл., 652100). In prison the applicant used to work as a barber. The applicant submitted that twice a week he also had to perform certain works without pay, such as cleaning the territory of the prison.
The applicant submitted that on 10 March 2002 after his working hours two officials of the prison administration had come and asked for a haircut. He refused on the grounds that his working day was over. He was subsequently put in a disciplinary cell. On the way and upon arrival at the disciplinary cell he was beaten by prison officers. The applicant was later examined by a doctor who stated certain injuries. Despite his requests the applicant was not provided with a copy of the medical certificate. The applicant submitted that he had filed numerous complaints about the beating before various State agencies, but received no replies.
The Government submitted that on 10 March 2002 the rubber truncheon had been applied to the applicant. According to the results of the subsequent investigation the applicant had refused to comply with the lawful requirements of the prison officials and had threatened them and another inmate. On 3 November 2002 the Prosecutor of the Mariinskiy District of the Kemerovo Region refused to institute criminal proceedings on the grounds that the rubber truncheon had been applied to the applicant in accordance with the law.
Between 10 March and 4 April 2002, 25 May and 6 June 2002 and between 5 and 10 January 2003 the applicant was placed in a disciplinary cell.
The applicant submitted that the temperature in the disciplinary cell was 0 Centigrade. He was provided with linen and all the time in the cell he spent sitting or standing. During 15 days he was not allowed to take a walk outside. The applicant had to eat near an iron bucket, which served as a toilet. There was no water in the cell due to which the applicant could neither wash himself nor shave.
The Government submitted that the applicant had been held in the disciplinary cell no. 12 of 12 square meters and the disciplinary cell no. 00 of 5 square meters. In March – April 2002 the temperature in the cells was +17-18 Centigrade. Wash-stands, coolers with drinking water and removable lavatory pans were placed in the cells. It was not possible to install drainage system because of the high level of subterranean waters in the area. The inmates could take shower once a week in a separate shower cabin. The applicant was provided with linen in accordance with the prison regulations and could take daily walks during one hour.
The applicant submitted that he had been prohibited from attending the Orthodox church situated within the territory of the prison.
The Government submitted that the applicant had regularly attended the prison church. However, on 1 July 2003 at the meeting of the parishioners the applicant was excluded from the parish because of his tactless attitude in respect of the clergyman and conflicts with the parishioners. The prison administration had nothing to do with this decision.
The applicant submitted that his correspondence from the Court had been opened by the administration and that the latter had precluded him from sending his complaints to the Court.
The Government submitted that the applicant’s correspondence with the Court had never been subjected to censorship.
The applicant submitted that in the prison HIV infected inmates had shared cells with other prisoners.
The Government submitted that the applicant had never shared cells with HIV infected inmates.
The applicant submitted that in September 2003 he had lodged complaints before the Prosecutor and the Chairman of the Yayskiy District Court about the refusal to provide him with a copy of the medical certificate of 10 March 2002. On 16 October 2003 criminal proceedings were instituted against unspecified persons in connection with the complaint. On 17 November 2003 they were terminated. It appears that the applicant received no documents related to the proceedings except for a reply of the Ministry of Justice of 11 November 2003. In the reply it was stated, inter alia, that the refusal to provide the applicant with certain documents concerning the state of his health was in accordance with an Order of the Ministry of Justice No. 224 of 30 July 2001, which laid down that prisoners were forbidden to have any documents save for identification papers, copies of judgments and receipts for certain items.
The Government submitted that on 2 November 2003 the Prosecutor of the Yaya District of the Kemerovo Region had refused to institute criminal proceedings following the applicant’s complaint on the grounds that the prison officials’ refusal to provide the applicant with the medical certificate of 10 March 2002 had been lawful.
On 12 February 2004 the applicant was released from prison.
1. The applicant complained under Article 3 of the Convention that he had been beaten on 10 March 2002. He further complained about the conditions of detention in the disciplinary cell and HIV infected inmates sharing cells with other prisoners.
2. The applicant complained under Article 4 of the Convention about having had to perform certain unpaid works in the prison.
3. The applicant complained under Article 8 of the Convention that the letters from the Court addressed to him had been opened by the prison administration and that the latter had prevented him from sending his letters to the Court. He also alleged that the administration either had failed to forward his correspondence to the State authorities at all or had done it with a significant delay.
4. The applicant complained under Article 9 § 1 of the Convention about the prohibition to attend the Orthodox church.
5. The applicant complained under Article 10 § 1 of the Convention about the refusal of the prison administration to provide him with copies of documents related to the investigation of his complaint about ill-treatment.
6. The applicant complained under Articles 13 and 17 of the Convention that his complaint about the beating had been dismissed by the prison administration and his submissions had been disregarded solely on the ground of his being a prisoner, while assertions of the prison officers had been presumed to be more credible. He further alleged that his other complaints had not been examined by competent agencies.
The Court notes that on 6 October 2004 the Court informed the applicant that notice of the application had been given to the respondent Government. On 10 January 2005 the Court sent to the applicant the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application and invited him to submit his observations in reply by 14 March 2005. The applicant did not reply. On 13 June 2005 the Court advised the applicant that he had not complied with the time-limits for submission of his observations, and that in the absence of an application for extension of the time-limits the Court might conclude that he was no longer interested in pursuing the application and decide to strike it out of its list of cases. On 11 July 2005 the Court received a postal notice with the applicant’s signature acknowledging the receipt of the Court’s letter on 21 June 2005.
In these circumstances, having regard to Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention, the Court concludes that the applicant has lost interest in his application and no longer intends to pursue it before the Court. Furthermore, in accordance with Article 37 § 1 in fine, the Court finds no special circumstances regarding respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which require the examination of the application to be continued.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis
SEREDYUK v. RUSSIA DECISION
SEREDYUK v. RUSSIA DECISION