FOURTH SECTION

DECISION

AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

Application no. 41220/98

by Pakhrudin Mukhtarovich ALIEV

against Ukraine

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section) sitting on 25 May 1999 as a Chamber composed of

Mr M. Pellonpää, President,

Mr A. Pastor Ridruejo,

Mr L. Caflisch,

Mr J. Makarczyk,

Mr V. Butkevych,

Mr J. Hedigan,

Mrs S. Botoucharova, Judges,

with Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar;

Having regard to Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

Having regard to the application introduced on 31 March 1998 by Pakhrudin Mukhtarovich ALIEV against Ukraine and registered on 14 May 1998 under file no. 41220/98;

Having regard to the reports provided for in Rule 49 of the Rules of Court;

Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government on 10 November 1998, the observations in reply submitted by the applicant on 17 March 1999 and further observations submitted by the respondent Government on 19 April 1999;

Having deliberated;

Decides as follows:

 

THE FACTS

The applicant is a Russian citizen of Avarian nationality (Caucasus region), born in 1968. He is currently detained in the prison of Simferopol (Crimea, Ukraine).

He is represented before the Court by his wife, Mrs S. O. Saypudinova.

The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

A. Particular circumstances of the case

On 5 March 1996 the applicant was arrested by the police and detained on remand.

On 10 February 1997, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (судебная коллегия по уголовным делам Βерховного Суда Автономной Республики Крым) convicted the applicant of the organisation and conducting of organised crime and complicity in murders and attempts of murders and sentenced him to death and confiscation of his property.

On the same day, the Administration of the Investigation Isolation Ward of the Chief Department of the Ministry of the Interior (адміністрація слідчого ізолятору Головного Управління міністерства внутрішніх справ Автономної Республіки Крим) decided to remove the applicant in a separate cell to await his execution, in accordance with the Imprisonment Before Trial Act of 30 June 1993.

On 15 May 1997, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Ukraine (судебная коллегия по уголовным делам Βерховного Суда Украины) upheld the judgment of the first instance.

Following this judgment, the applicant's wife and lawyer filed a plea for pardon with the President of Ukraine.

B. Constitution of Ukraine

Article 8 §§ 2 and 3 - Стаття 8 §§ 2 та 3

“Конституція України має найвищу юридичну силу. Закони та інші нормативно-правові акти приймаються на основі Конституції України і повинні відповідати їй.

Норми Конституції України є нормами прямої дії. Звернення до суду для захисту конституційних прав і свобод людини і громадянина безпосередньо на підставі Конституції України гарантується.”

The Constitution of Ukraine has the highest legal force. Laws and other normative legal acts are adopted on the basis of the Constitution of Ukraine and shall conform to it.

The norms of the Constitution of Ukraine are norms of direct effect. Appeals to the court in defence of the constitutional rights and freedoms of the individual and citizen directly on the grounds of the Constitution of Ukraine are guaranteed.

Article 9 § 1 - Стаття 9 § 1

“Чинні міжнародні договори, згода на обов’язковість яких надана Верховною Радою України, є частиною національного законодавства України.”

International treaties that are in force, agreed to be binding by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, are part of the national legislation of Ukraine.

Article 15 § 3 - Стаття 15 § 3

“Цензура заборонена.”

Censorship is prohibited.

Article 19 - Стаття 19

“Правовий порядок в Україні грунтується на засадах, відповідно до яких ніхто не може бути примушений робити те, що не передбачено законодавством.

Органи державної влади та органи місцевого самоврядування, їх посадові особи, зобов’язані діяти лише на підставі, в межах повноважень та у спосіб, що передбачені Конституцією та законами України.”

The legal order in Ukraine is based on the principles according to which no one shall be forced to do what is not envisaged by legislation.

Bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government and their officials are obliged to act only on the grounds, within the limits of authority, and in the manner envisaged by the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

Article 22 - Стаття 22

“Права і свободи людини і громадянина, закріплені цією Конституцією, не є вичерпними.

Конституційні права і свободи гарантуються і не можуть бути скасовані.

При прийнятті нових законів або внесенні змін до чинних законів не допускається звуження змісту та обсягу існуючих прав і свобод.”

Human and citizens’ rights and freedoms affirmed by this Constitution are not exhaustive.

Constitutional rights and freedoms are guaranteed and shall not be abolished.

The content and scope of existing rights and freedoms shall not be diminished in the adoption of new laws or in the amendment of laws that are in force.

Article 29 § 2 - Стаття 29 § 2

“Ніхто не може бути заарештований або триматися під вартою інакше як за вмотивованим рішенням суду і тільки на підставах та в порядку, встановлених законом.”

No one shall be arrested or held in custody other than pursuant to a substantiated court decision and only on the grounds and in accordance with the procedure established by law.

Article 29 § 4 - Стаття 29 § 4

“Кожному заарештованому чи затриманому має бути невідкладно повідомлено про мотиви арешту чи затримання, роз’яснено його права та надано можливість з моменту затримання захищати себе особисто та користуватися правовою допомогою захисника.”

Everyone arrested or detained shall be informed without delay of the reasons for his or her arrest or detention, apprised of his or her rights, and from the moment of detention shall be given the opportunity to personally defend himself or herself, or to have the legal assistance of a defender.

Article 55 §§ 2 and 4 - Стаття 55 §§ 2 та 4

“Кожному гарантується право на оскарження в суді рішень, дій чи бездіяльності органів державної влади, органів місцевого самоврядування, посадових і службових осіб.

Кожен має право після використання всіх національних засобів правового захисту звертатися за захистом своїх прав і свобод до відповідних міжнародних судових установ чи до відповідних органів міжнародних організацій, членом або учасником яких є Україна.”

Everyone is guaranteed the right to challenge in court the decisions, actions or omission of bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government, officials and officers.

After exhausting all domestic legal remedies, everyone has the right to appeal for the protection of his or her rights and freedoms to the relevant international judicial institutions or to the relevant bodies of international organisations of which Ukraine is a member or participant.

Article 59 - Стаття 59

“Кожен має право на правову допомогу. У випадках, передбачених законом, ця допомога надається безоплатно. Кожен є вільним у виборі захисника своїх прав.

Для забезпечення права на захист від обвинувачення та надання правової допомоги при вирішенні справ у судах та інших державних органах в Україні діє адвокатура.”

Everyone has the right to legal assistance. Such assistance is provided free of charge in cases envisaged by law. Everyone is free to choose the defender of his or her rights.

In Ukraine, the advocacy acts to ensure the right to a defence against accusation and to provide legal assistance in deciding cases in courts and other state bodies.

Article 63 § 3 - Стаття 63 § 3

“Засуджений користується всіма правами людини і громадянина, за винятком обмежень, які визначені законом і встановлені вироком суду.”

A convicted person enjoys all human and citizens’ rights, with the exception of restrictions determined by law and established by a court verdict.

Article 64 - Стаття 64

“Конституційні права і свободи людини і громадянина не можуть бути обмежені, крім випадків, передбачених Конституцією України.”

Constitutional human and citizens’ rights and freedoms shall not be restricted, except in cases envisaged by the Constitution of Ukraine.

C. Provisions of domestic law, inter alia, presented by the Government in their observations

Imprisonment Before Trial Act 1993 - Закон України Про попереднє ув’язення - 1993

Section 1 - Стаття 1

“Попереднє ув’язнення відповідно до кримінально-процесуального законодавства України є запобіжним заходом щодо обвинуваченого, підсудного, підозрюваного у вчиненні злочину, за який може бути визначено покарання у вигляді позбавлення волі, та засудженого, вирок щодо якого не набрав законної сили.

Порядок попереднього ув’язнення визначається цим законом, Кримінально-процесуальним і Виправно-трудовим кодексами України та іншими актами законодавства.

Тримання осіб, взятих під варту, відповідно до завдань кримінального судочинства здійснюється на принципах неухильного додержання Конституції України, вимог Загальної декларації прав людини, інших міжнародних правових норм і стандартів поводження з ув’язненими і не може поєднуватися з навмисними діями, що завдають фізичних чи моральних страждань або принижують людську гідність.”

According to the Code of Criminal Procedure of Ukraine, an imprisonment before trial is a preventive measure with regards to an accused, a defendant or a person suspected of having committed a crime punishable with imprisonment, as well as a sentenced person with regards to whom a sentence has not yet been enforced.

The procedure of imprisonment before trial is defined by this law, the Criminal Procedure Code and the Corrective labour Code of Ukraine and other legislative acts.

In accordance with the objectives of criminal jurisdiction the detention is effected on the principles of compliance with the requirements of the Constitution of Ukraine, provisions of the General Declaration of Human Rights and other legal norms and standards for treatment of detained persons and cannot be based on deliberate actions causing physical or moral suffer or degradation.

 

Section 8(4) - Стаття 8 (частина 4)

“Засуджених до смертної кари тримають ізольовано від усіх інших осіб, які перебувають під вартою.”

Persons sentenced to capital punishment are to be held  separately from all other detained persons.

Section 9(1) - Стаття 9 (частина 1)

“Особи, взяті під варту, мають право (1) на захист відповідно до кримінально-процесуального законодавства, (2) знайомитися з правилами тримання під вартою, (3) на щоденну прогулянку тривалістю одна година (вагітним жінкам і жінкам, які мають при собі дітей, неповнолітнім, а також хворим з дозволу лікаря та за їх згодою тривалість щоденної прогулянки встановлюється до двох годин), (4) одержувати два рази на місяць передачі або посилки вагою до восьми кілограмів та без обмежень грошові перекази і передачі, (5) купувати протягом місяця за безготівковим розрахунком продукти харчування і предмети першої необхідності на суму до одного мінімального розміру заробітної плати та без обмежень письмове приладдя, газети, книги через торгівельну мережу на замовлення, (6) користуватися власним одягом і взуттям, мати при собі документи і записи, що стосуються кримінальної справи, (7) користуватися телевізорами, одержаними від родичів або інших осіб, настільними іграми, газетами і книгами з бібліотеки місця попереднього ув’язнення та придбаними через торгівельну мережу, (8) відправляти в  індивідуальному порядку релігійні обряди і користуватися релігійною літературою та властивими їх віруванню предметами релігійного культу, виготовленими з малоцінних матеріалів, якщо при цьому не порушується встановлений у місцях попереднього ув’язнення порядок, а також не обмежуються права інших осіб, (9) на восьмигодинний сон в нічний час, під час якого не допускається залучення до участі в процесуальних та інших діях, за винятком невідкладних випадків, (10) звертатись зі скаргами, заявами та листами до державних органів і службових осіб у порядку, встановленому Статтею 13 цього Закону.”

Detained persons have the right (a) to be defended in accordance with the rules of criminal law, (b) to be acquainted with the rules of detention, (c) to  one hour’s  walk a day (the length of the walk may be extended to up to two hours for pregnant women, women who have children accompanying them, persons under 18 years old and sick persons with permission from their doctor and with their own consent), (d) twice a month to receive a parcel (передача, посилка вагою до 8 кг) weighing up to eight kilograms and unlimited money transfers and unlimited amounts of money by way of remittance or personal delivery, (e) to buy foodstuffs and toiletries to the value of one month’s minimum salary, paying by written order, as well as stationery, newspapers and books without limitation through shops, (f) to use his or her own clothing and footwear and to have with him or her documents and notes related to his or her criminal case, (g) to make use of TV sets received from relatives or other persons and board games, newspapers and books borrowed from the library in his or her previous place of imprisonment or bought through shops, (h) individually to perform religious rituals and use religious literature and  objects made of semi-precious materials pertaining to his or her beliefs provided that this does not lead to a breach of the order applicable to places of imprisonment before trial or restrict the rights of other persons, (i) to sleep for eight hours a night, during which time they shall not be required to participate in proceedings or to do anything else except in cases of extreme emergency and (j) to lodge complaints and petitions and send letters to State authorities and officials in accordance with the procedure prescribed by Article 13 of this Act.

Section 11 - Стаття 11

“Особам, взятим під варту, забезпечуються побутові умови, що відповідають правилам санітарії та гігієни.

Норма площі в камері для однієї взятої під варту особи, не може бути менше 2.5 квадратного метра, а для вагітної жінки або жінки, яка має при собі дитину, - 4.5 квадратного метра.

Особам, взятим під варту, надаються безплатно за єдиними нормами, встановленими Кабінетом Міністрів України, харчування, індивідуальне спальне місце, постільні речі та інші види матеріально-побутового призначення. В необхідних випадках їм видається одяг і взуття встановленого зразка.

Медичне обслуговування, а також лікувально-профілактична і протиепідемічна робота в місцях попереднього ув’язнення організуються і проводяться відповідно до законодавства про охорону здоров’я.

Порядок надання ув’язненим медичної допомоги, використання лікувальних закладів органів охорони здоров’я, залучення з цією метою їх медичного персоналу та проведення медичних експертиз визначається Міністерством Внутрішніх Справ України, Службою Безпеки України і Міністерством Здоров’я України.”

Detained persons should be provided with everyday conditions which meet sanitary and hygienic requirements.

The cell area allocated to one detained person should be not less than 2.5 square metres, and for a pregnant woman or a woman accompanied by a child, not less than 4.5 square metres.

Detained persons are to be supplied with meals, an individual sleeping-place, bedclothes and other types of material and everyday provision free of charge and according to the norms laid down by the Government. In case of necessity, they are to be supplied with clothes and footwear of a standard form.

Medical service and treatment and prophylactic and anti-epidemic measures in detention cells are to be arranged and provided pursuant to legislation on health protection.

Medical care provided to detained persons, use of medical facilities of the healthcare system, involvement of medical staff and conduction of medical examinations fall within the competence of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine and the Ministry of Health Care of Ukraine.

Section 12(1) - Стаття 12 (частина 1)

“Побачення з родичами або іншими особами (як правило, один раз на місяць тривалістю від однієї до двох годин) може надавати взятим під варту адміністрація місця попереднього ув‘язнення лише з письмового дозволу слідчого, органу дізнання або суду, в провадженні яких знаходиться справа.”

Permission for relatives or other persons to visit a detained person (in principle, once a month for one to two hours) can be given by the administrative authorities of the places of imprisonment, but only with the written approval of an investigator, an interrogating authority or a court dealing with the case.

Section 12(4) - Стаття 12 (частина 4)

“Особа, взята під варту, має право на побачення з захисником наодинці, без обмеження кількості побачень та їх тривалості, з моменту допуску захисника до участі у справі, підтвердженого письмовим повідомленням особи або органу, в провадженні яких знаходиться справа.”

Detained persons have the right to be visited by a defence counsel, whom he or she may see alone, with no limitation as to the number of visits or their length, from the moment the said counsel is authorised to act as a defender, this to be confirmed in writing by the person or body dealing with the case.

Section 13(1) - Стаття 13 (частина 1)

“Особи, взяті під варту, можуть листуватися з родичами або іншими громадянами, а також підприємствами, установами, організаціями з письмового дозволу особи або органу, в провадженні яких знаходиться справа. Після набрання вироком законної сили листування здійснюється без обмежень.”

Detained persons can exchange letters with their relatives and other persons and enterprises, establishments and organisations with the written permission of an authority dealing with the case. After a sentence starts to run, correspondence is no longer subject to any limitations.

Correctional Labour Code - Виправно-трудовий кодекс України

Section 28 - Стаття 28

“Основними вимогами режиму в місцях позбавлення волі є: обов’язкова ізоляція засуджених і постійний нагляд за ними з тим, щоб виключалася можливість учинення ними нових злочинів чи інших антигромадських вчинків; точне і неухильне виконання ними своїх обов’язків; різні умови тримання залежно від характеру та ступеня суспільної небезпечності вчиненого злочину, особи і поведінки засудженого.

Засуджені носять одяг єдиного зразка, їх піддають обшукові; особистий обшук проводиться особами однієї статі з обшукуваним. Кореспонденція засуджених підлягяє цензурі, а посилки, передачі і бандеролі - преглядові.

У виправно-трудових установах встановлюється суворо регламентований внутрішній розпорядок.

Зберігання заудженими при собі грошей та цінних речей, а також предметів, які заборонено використовувати у виравно-трудових установах, не допускається. Виявлені у засуджених гроші та інші речі вилучаються і, як правило, передаються в доход держави за мотивованою постановою начальника виправно-трудової  установи санкціонованою прокурором.

Перелік і кількість предметів та речей, яки засуджені можуть мати при собі, а також порядок вилучення предметів, яки забонено викорстовувати у виправно-трудових  установах, встановлюються Правилами внутрішнього розпорядку виправно-трудових  установ.

У порядку, встановленому цим Кодексом, засудженим дозволяється купувати за безготівковим розрахунком продукти харчування і предмети першої потреби, мати побачення, одержувати посилки, передачі, бандеролі, грошові перекази, листуватися, відправляти грошові перекази родичам.”

The main features of the regime in detention establishments are: the compulsory isolation of sentenced persons and permanent supervision over them, so as to exclude any possibility of new crimes or other anti-public acts being committed by them; precise and steady observance of obligations by these persons; and various detention conditions dependent on the character and gravity of the committed offence and the personality and behaviour of the sentenced person.

Sentenced persons shall wear a uniform. They shall be searched; body searches shall be conducted by persons of the same sex as the person searched. Correspondence shall be subject to censoring, parcels and post packages - to opening and checking.

A strict internal routine and rules shall be established in corrective labour establishments.

Sentenced persons shall be prohibited to keep money and valuable objects, or other objects not allowed to be used in corrective labour establishments. When found, money and valuable objects shall be confiscated and, as a rule, transferred to the State under a reasoned decision of the governor of the institution, sanctioned by a prosecutor.

A list of objects which sentenced persons are allowed to possess, showing the number or quantity of each which they are allowed to possess, as well as a procedure for confiscating objects the use of which is prohibited in corrective labour establishments, shall be established by internal regulations of corrective labour establishments.

Under the procedure established by this Code, sentenced persons are allowed to buy food and articles of daily necessity, paying by written order, to be visited, to receive parcels, packages, postal packages and money by remittance, to correspond and to send money to relatives by remittance.

Section 37(1) - Стаття 37 (частина 1)

“Засудженим дозволяється купувати за безготівковим розрахунком продукти харчування і предмети першої потреби на кошти, одержані за переказами.”

Sentenced persons are allowed to buy food and articles of daily necessity, paying by written order, out of the money received by remittance.

Section 41 - Стаття 41

“Засудженим, яких тримають у виправно-трудових колоніях, дозволяється одержувати протягом протягом року: у колоніях загального режиму - 7 посилок (передач), посиленого режиму - 6 посилок (передач), суворого і особливого режиму - 5 посилок (передач). Засудженим, яких тримають у виховно-трудових колоніях. дозволяється одержувати протягом року: у колоніях загального режиму - 10 посилок (передач), посиленого режиму - 9 посилок (передач).

Засудженим, які відбувають позбавлення волі в тюрмах, одержання посилок і передач не дозволяється.

Засудженим, незалежно від призначеного їм виду режиму, дозволяється одержання не більш як двох бандеролей на рік, а також придбання без обмеження літератури через книготоргівельну мережу.

У виправно-трудових колоніях-поселеннях усіх видів кількість посилок, передач і бандеролей, одержуваних засудженими, не обмежується.

Перелік продуктів харчування і предметів першої потреби, які дозволяється одержувати засудженим у посилках, передачах і бандеролях, а також порядок приймання та вручення засудженим посилок, визначаються Правилами внутрішнього розпорядку виправно-трудових установ.”

Sentenced persons held in corrective labour colonies are allowed to receive, per year: 7 parcels or packages in the general regime colonies, 6 parcels or packages in the strengthened regime colonies and 5 parcels or packages in the strict and special regime colonies. Sentenced persons held in the educational labour colonies are allowed to receive per year: 10 parcels or packages in the colonies of general regime and 9 parcels or packages in the colonies of strengthened regime.

Sentenced offenders serving their sentence in a prison are not allowed to receive parcels or packages.

Irrespective of the type of regime under which they are held, sentenced persons shall be allowed to receive not more than 2 postal packages per year, as well as to buy literature through the sales distribution network without any restriction.

The quantity of parcels, packages and postal packages of all types is not restricted for sentenced persons held in corrective labour colonies.

A list of foodstuffs and articles of daily necessity which sentenced persons are allowed to receive in parcels, packages and postal packages, as well as the procedure for the receipt of the parcels, packages and postal packages and their delivery to the sentenced persons, shall be defined in the internal regulations of corrective labour establishments.

Section 42 - Стаття 42

“Засудженим дозволяється одержувати без обмеження грошові перекази  і відправляти грошові перекази родичам, а з дозволу адміністрації виправно-трудової установи і іншим особам. Одержані по переказах гроші зараховуються на особовий рахунок засудженого.”

Sentenced persons are allowed to receive unlimited amounts of money by remittance, as well as to send money to their relatives and, if this is permitted by the authorities of the corrective labour establishments, to other persons. The money received by remittance is transferred to the personal account number of the sentenced person.

Section 43(2) - Стаття 43 (частина 2)

“В тюрмах засуджені можуть одержувати листи без обмеження їх кількості, а відправляти листи за такими нормами: на загальному режимі - один лист на місяць, на суворому режимі - один лист на два місяці.”

Sentenced persons held in prisons may receive unlimited mail and may send letters as follows: one letter per month for those held under general regime and one letter every two months for those held under the strengthened regime. 

Public Prosecution Office Act - Закон України Про прокуратуру

Section 12(1) - Стаття 12 (частина 1)

“Прокурор розглядяє заяви і скарги про порушення прав громадян та юридичних осіб, крім скарг, розгляд яких віднесено до компетенції суду.”

The public prosecutor deals with petitions and complaints concerning breaches of rights of citizens and legal entities, except complaints which are within the competence of the courts.

Section 12(4) - Стаття 12 (частина 4)

“Прийняте прокурором рішення може бути оскаржене вищестоячому прокурору, а в передбачених законом випадках - до суду.”

The prosecutor’s decision is open to an appeal to the supervising prosecutor and, in certain cases, to the court.

Section 12(5) - Стаття 12 (частина 5)

“Рішення, винесене Генеральним Прокурором, є остаточним.”

The decision of the Prosecutor General is final.

Section 38 - Стаття 38

“Прокурор, його заступник мають право в межах своєї компетенції витребувати із суду будь-яку справу або категорію справ, по яких вироки, рішення, ухвали або постанови набрали законної сили. За наявності підстав для перегляду справи в порядку судового нагляду прокурор приносить протест на вирок, рішення, ухвалу або постанову суду.”

It falls within the competence of the prosecutor or his deputy to make a request to a court for any materials in a case where a judgement or other decision has come into force. If there are any grounds for reopening of the procedure, the prosecutor files a protest against the court judgement or any other decision.

Section 44(1) - Стаття 44 (частина 1)

“Предметом нагляду є додержання законності під час перебування осіб у місцях позбавлення волі, попереднього ув’язнення, виправно-трудових та інших установах, що виконують покарання, або заходи примусового характеру, які призначаються судом, додержання встановленого кримінально-виконавчим законодавством порядку та умов тримання або відбування покарання особами у цих установах, їх прав і виконання ними своїх обов’язків.

Прокурор має право:

(1) у будь-який час відвідувати місця тримання затриманих, попереднього ув’язнення, установи, в яких засуджені відбувають покарання, установи для примусового лікування і перевиховання, опитувати осіб, що там перебувають, знайомитись з документами, на підставі яких ці особи затримані, заарештовані, засуджені або до них застосовано заходи примусового характеру;

(2) перевіряти законність наказів, розпоряджень і постанов адміністрації цих установ, зупиняти виконання таких актів, опротестовувати або скасовувати їх у разі невідповідності законодавству, вимагати від посадових осіб пояснень з приводу допущених порушень.”

The matters subject to the public prosecutor’s supervision are adherence to the legislation governing the stay of persons in detention, in imprisonment before trial or in corrective labour or other establishments for the execution of sentences or coercive actions ordered by a court; adherence to the procedures and conditions for holding or administering punishment to persons in those establishments; the rights of such persons and the manner of carrying out their duties under the criminal law and legislation on the enforcement of sentences.

The public prosecutor can

(1) at any time visit places of detention or imprisonment before trial, establishments where sentenced persons are serving sentences or establishments for compulsory treatment or reform in order to question persons or peruse documents on the basis of which persons have been detained, arrested or sentenced or compulsory measures have been applied to them.

(2) examine the legality of orders, resolutions and decrees issued by the administrative authorities of such establishments, terminate the implementation of such acts, appeal against them or cancel them where they do not comply with the law and can request officials to give explanations concerning breaches which have occurred.

COMPLAINTS

1. The applicant complains under Article 2 of the Convention that he was sentenced to death for a crime which, he says, he had not committed.

2. He claims that he was detained illegally without any evidence and that his rights guaranteed by Article 5 §§ 1(a) and (c), 3, 4 and 5 of the Convention were breached.

3. He claims under Article 6 §§ 1, 2 and 3(a), (b) and (d) of the Convention that the criminal proceedings brought against him were unfair, that his right to a public hearing by an impartial tribunal was breached, that the reasons of accusation were falsified and that he was compelled to plead guilty.  He also claims that he was informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him eleven days after his arrest and in detailed form only at the trial.  He was informed in Russian although he is of Avarian origin and has difficulties to understand Russian legal terms.  He further claims that the court refused to examine some witnesses proposed by him and his solicitor and that he could not question witnesses who were at the trial.  He submits that the trial was not translated into the Avarian language.

4. He complains that the Ukrainian courts prevented him to have effective remedies as guaranteed by Article 13 of the Convention.

5. The applicant also complains that he was discriminated against on the ground of his Caucasian origin during the court proceedings.  He invokes Article 14 of the Convention.

6. He further complains about the conditions to which he is subjected on death row in Simferopol prison. He claims that the penitentiary authorities subject him to torture and inhuman treatment and punishments.  He submits that his right to see his family is restricted to one visit a month for 10-20 minutes, that he is prevented from having outdoor walks (in his cell there is only one small lamp, there is no window, mirror and weighing scales) and that he is not allowed to receive parcels with food, vitamins, books or clothes.  He states that the quality of food in prison is unsatisfactory, that it provokes diarrhoea and stomach aches and does not contain any meat, vegetables or white bread.  He also submits that during the visits of his wife he is not allowed to speak his mother tongue with her.  He also claims that he is deprived of toiletries such as toothpaste, soap and shampoo, and that he has no hot water and the cold water is allowed only from time to time: he can take a shower only once every ten days during five minutes and without any soap.  All the prisoners (some of them suffering from AIDS) share  
one razor.  Finally, the applicant states that he is deprived of any qualified medical aid, that there is no television or radio or any other possibility of communication with the outside world in the prison.

PROCEDURE

The application was introduced before the European Commission of Human Rights on 17 September 1996 and registered on 22 January 1998.

On 25 May 1998, the Commission decided to communicate the application to the respondent Government.

The Government’s written observations were submitted on 10 November 1998, after an extension of the time-limit fixed for that purpose. The applicant replied on 17 March 1999, after two extensions of the time-limit fixed for that purpose. On 19 April 1999 the Government submitted their further observations.

On 1 November 1998, by operation of Article 5 § 2 of Protocol No. 11 to the Convention, the case fell to be examined by the Court in accordance with the provisions of that Protocol.

THE LAW

1. The applicant complains under Article 2 of the Convention that he was sentenced to death for a crime which, he says, he had not committed. He also claims that he was detained illegally without any evidence and that his rights guaranteed by Article 5 §§ 1(a) and (c), 3, 4 and 5 of the Convention were breached. He further claims under Article 6 §§ 1, 2 and 3(a), (b) and (d) of the Convention that the criminal proceedings brought against him were unfair, that his right to a public hearing by an impartial tribunal was breached, that the reasons of accusation were falsified and that he was compelled to plead guilty.  He also claims that he was informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him eleven days after his arrest and in detailed form only at the trial.  He was informed in Russian although he is of Avarian origin and has difficulties to understand Russian legal terms.  He further claims that the court refused to examine some witnesses proposed by him and his solicitor, that he could not question witnesses who were at the trial and that the trial was not translated into the Avarian language.

The Government submit that throughout all stages of the investigation and trial proceedings the applicant enjoyed his right for the defence and that no objective evidence of unlawful methods of investigation used against him have been discovered.

The Court first observes that the applicant’s complaints concerning the criminal proceedings relate to a period prior to 11 September 1997, which is the date of the entry into force of the Convention with respect to Ukraine.  However, the Convention only governs, for each Contracting Party, facts subsequent to its entry into force with respect to that Party.

The Court further notes that insofar as the judgment, by which the capital punishment was inflicted upon the applicant was given before 11 September 1997 and has not been enforced, no claim can be made under Article 2 of the Convention.

It follows that this part of the application is incompatible ratione temporis, ratione personae and ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention, within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention, and must be rejected pursuant to Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.

2. The applicant further complains that the Ukrainian courts prevented him from having effective remedies as guaranteed by Article 13 of the Convention.

The Court recalls that the guarantees of Article 13 of the Convention apply only to a grievance which can be regarded as “arguable (see the Powell and Rayner v. the United Kingdom judgment of 21 February 1990, Series A no. 172, p. 14, § 31). In the present case, the Court has rejected the applicant’s substantive claims under Article 6 of the Convention as incompatible with the Convention. For similar reasons, they cannot be regarded as “arguable”.

It follows that this part of the application is incompatible ratione temporis and ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention, within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention, and must be rejected pursuant to Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.

3. The applicant also alleges a violation of Article 14 of the Convention taken together with Article 6 of the Convention.

The Court recalls that where Article 6 proves to be inapplicable, Article 14 of the Convention cannot be combined with it (see, mutatis mutandis, the Marckx v. Belgium judgment of 13 June 1979, Series A no. 31, p. 23, § 50).

The Court has found that the applicant’s claims concerning the unfairness of the criminal proceedings brought against him are incompatible ratione temporis with the Convention. It follows that the Court cannot deal with the complaint under Article 14 of the Convention in conjunction with Article 6 of the Convention.

It follows that this part of the application is incompatible ratione temporis with the provisions of the Convention, within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention, and must be rejected pursuant to Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.

4. The applicant further complains about the conditions to which he is subjected on death row in Simferopol prison. He claims that the penitentiary authorities subject him to torture and inhuman treatment and punishments.  He submits that his right to see his family is restricted to one visit a month for 10-20 minutes, that he is prevented from having outdoor walks (in his cell there is only one small lamp, there is no window, mirror and weighing scales) and that he is not allowed to receive parcels with food, vitamins, books or clothes.  He states that the quality of food in prison is unsatisfactory, that it provokes diarrhoea and stomach aches and does not contain any meat, vegetables or white bread.  He also submits that during the visits of his wife he is not allowed to speak his mother tongue with her.  He also claims that he is deprived of toiletries such as toothpaste, soap and shampoo, and that he has no hot water and the cold water is allowed only from time to time: he can take a shower only once every ten days during five minutes and without any soap.  All the prisoners (some of them suffering from AIDS) share one razor.  Finally, the applicant states that he is deprived of any qualified medical aid, that there is no television or radio or any other possibility of communication with the outside world in the prison.

The Government submit that all the relevant detention rules applied to the applicant, including the cell facilities, medical treatment, visits and correspondence are governed by Sections 1, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13 of the Imprisonment Before Trial Act of 30 June 1993 (“the 1993 Act”), Sections 44, 61, 155, 397, 399 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Sections 28, 37, 38, 40, 41 and 42 of the Correctional Labour Code.  According to Section 8(4) of the 1993 Act, a person sentenced to capital punishment is kept in custody, separated from other prisoners.  The Government submit that the cell facilities in the present case comply with the requirements for sanitary and hygiene standards: it measures 12m2 or 48m3, it has a radio, bed, table, sufficient natural and electrical lighting, cold running water and a toilet. The prison building has central heating system which operates during the fall and winter period.  The applicant is provided with three meals a day as prescribed by Section 11(3) of the 1993 Act, and with clothing, footwear and bedclothes.

The Government further submit that medical assistance, treatment, prophylactic and anti-epidemic measures among persons sentenced to capital punishment are arranged and fulfilled pursuant to legislation for health protection. They add that during the period the applicant has been detained in the investigation centre he has not applied for medical assistance and that his current state of health is satisfactory.

The Government consider that the applicant’s allegations about poor hygienic conditions (no supply of soap and razors), cleanness of bedclothes and lack of outdoor walks are groundless.

The Government note that in accordance with the prescribed norms, the inmates bathe not less than once every 10 days in a sauna under supervision of a doctor.  They are provided with 50 g of soap and may shave themselves with an ordinary or electric razor.  After each bathing they receive clean bedclothes.  Moreover, inmates may buy soap, toothpaste, toothbrush and other articles in a prison shop.  On a monthly basis they can also buy food.  The amount of money that can be spent in the prison shop by an inmate is 55 hryvnias (45 hryvnias until 3 July 1998).  The Government observe that the applicant has used the possibility of buying food in the prison shop every month. As to the outdoor walks, they state that since May 1998 the applicant has been allowed to have outdoor walks in a specially designed yard where he can also do physical exercises.

The Government submit that when inmates sentenced to the death penalty are submitted to sanitary treatment, the handcuffs are used in accordance with the regulations.  The applicant has never made any complaint about the way handcuffs were fixed on his wrists.

According to Section 12(1) of the 1993 Act, prior to the sentence coming into force, visits of relatives and other individuals to a person sentenced to capital punishment are granted not more than once a month by written permission of a judge at the court in the jurisdiction of which the case rests. The length of a visit may not exceed two hours.  The applicant has been visited by his wife and children every month.  The visits lasted one hour and a half.  After the case has been considered by the appellate court, visits by lawyers at the request of a sentenced person or his relatives can be granted by the Head of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of Crimea (начальник Головного управління міністерства внутрішніх справ Автономної Республіки Крим) or of his deputy in charge of the Investigation Isolation Ward. According to Section 12(4) of the 1993 Act, visits of defence counsel and solicitors are not limited as to their number and length.

The Government also state that no facts have been established as to the applicant’s requests for paper in order to write a complaint and as to his right to send letters. They submit that since February 1997 the applicant has not made any application with respect to his correspondence with his relatives. He has not written any letter to them and they have not written to him. There is no limitation on number of letters that the applicant may receive. The Government further state that the prisoners are provided with newspapers which are delivered to the prison and that they can buy books through the prison shop.

The applicant claims that between February and October 1997 he was held in a cell with other prisoners which was in violation of Section 8(4) of the 1993 Act.  Three months later there was another prisoner put in his cell who suffered from tuberculosis and cancer and who later on died from dystrophy.

The applicant further claims that the radio in his cell rarely works and that the basin was installed only in January 1999.  There is no hot water.  He states that frequently there are cockroaches and worms in the food which is served. He is allowed to receive parcels with 8 kg of food twice a month.  However, there are restrictions on the kind of food: cheese and fish, for example, are forbidden as perishable goods.

The applicant contests the length of visits with his relatives. The visits with his wife do not last more than 30 minutes. He is separated from a visitor by a grill and glass.  He also contests the possibility of buying hygienic goods in the prison shop stating that these goods are not available there.  He claims that the razors he uses are used ones, that bedclothes are not washed properly and that he can bathe himself only once every twelve to fourteen days.

The applicant further submits that he is never seen by a doctor. When he asked for a doctor in February 1999, the latter came the following day but left without having done any examination saying: “It is impossible to cure heartburn since it is caused by the bad food.”

He states that until January 1998 he was allowed to spend only 15 hryvnias in the prison shop.  But even though at present he is allowed to spend 55 hryvnias, in fact there is nothing to buy in the shop except books which cost twice the price one pays in a regular shop outside the prison.  He is not provided with any newspapers and is not allowed to receive them from his relatives. He also claims that until May 1998 he was not allowed daily outdoor walks and the walks he is allowed at present last not more than 15 to 30 minutes.

The applicant further claims that the prisoners are beaten by masked men who burst into cells and beat them until they are half dead.

The applicant contests the Government’s argument that he has never written any complaint.  He wrote repeated complaints, but not one ever arrived anywhere.  One of his three complaints he had addressed to the European Commission of Human Rights was registered at the investigation centre, then transferred as far as to the Supreme Court of Crimea, but apparently got lost there.

The applicant also contests the Government’s submissions on his right to send and receive letters. Permission to write letters to prisoners was given only on 3 March 1998. Out of the four letters sent to him by his wife he has received only one.

The Court considers, in the light of the parties= submissions, that this part of the case raises complex and serious issues of law and facts under the Convention, the determination of which should depend on an examination of the merits of the application as a whole.  The Court concludes, therefore, that this part of the application is not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention.  No other grounds for declaring it inadmissible have been established.

For these reasons, the Court, unanimously,

DECLARES ADMISSIBLE, without prejudging the merits, the applicant’s complaints concerning the conditions to which he is subjected on death row in Simferopol prison; and

DECLARES INADMISSIBLE the remainder of the application.

Vincent Berger Matti Pellonpää 
 Registrar President

41220/98 - -


- - 41220/98