Recently, more and more often, when preparing to write new material, the first words that come to mind are "as everyone (or many) know ...". This is already beginning to look like a professional deformation. Most likely, this is due to the fact that we are confronting and fighting with long-known and unfortunately entrenched manifestations of lawlessness, indifference, evil, outright cruelty on the part of both the state in general and individual officials in particular.
As everyone has long known, it is practically impossible to achieve the truth in a Russian court. Very rarely there are exceptions, but these are manifestations of a lucky chance, not evidence of the rule of law.
There used to be a way out – the ECHR. The European Court of Human Rights. But on September 16, 2022, the Russian Federation ceased to be a party to the European Convention on Human Rights and, accordingly, to recognize the jurisdiction of the ECHR.
How now to defend your rights in a dispute with the Russian state? There is no independent judicial system, there is also no possibility to appeal to an international court, whose decisions Russia will perceive as binding.
Or is there?
No intrigues. Straight to the point.
Our (together with our friends from EPLN) ward Anatoly is serving a prison sentence in the Samara region. The end of the term is 2032 – "it's never," as the prisoners say. Anatoly's state of health is not just deplorable, but terribly bad. To print out his diagnosis, a freshly refilled cartridge must be inserted into the printer. The man is dying. Prison doctors transfer him from one prison hospital to another, in an apparent attempt to shift responsibility. From February to November 2022, he will be examined together. The result of the survey: the identification of a number of diseases, two of which are grounds for release from serving a sentence according to the list approved by the government, deprivation of vital therapy and a conclusion on the need to continue treatment in a specialized (non–prison) medical institution.
In January 2023, Anatoly appeals to the court. with a petition for release from further serving of punishment for health reasons. In February, a refusal follows. An appeal from the lawyer and Anatoly himself. Reasonable arguments, common sense, the testimony of doctors. It's all useless. The May verdict is the famous "b/w" in the prison environment (to leave the decision of the court of first instance unchanged).
In July 2023 – a new petition. Another rejection.
All this time, Anatoly is tormented by incredible pain, he is rapidly losing immune cells, therapy is not resumed, he is rapidly losing weight. A man is dying in front of everyone.
September 13, 2023. Appeal. B/Z.
There is no other way out – a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee. It worked once. We even talked about it (https://unmode.org/novosti/komitet-po-pravam-cheloveka-oon-otreagiroval-na-adresnoe-obrashhenie-nashego-pravozashhitnika-iz-rossii.html). The complaint was accepted. The recommendation on interim measures for the time of consideration of the complaint was issued to the Russian authorities.
Last time it worked – the man was saved. So it should work this time too. We hope. We are working.
The main conclusion we draw from this story is that it seems that there is still an international instance in which you can find protection from the Russian court. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.