Ministers’ Deputies
    Information documents

    CM/Inf/DH(2006)17 rev33 29 June 20071

    ———————————————

    H46-1 Case of Ilaşcu and others against Moldova and the Russian Federation – Judgment of 08/07/2004 (Grand Chamber)
    Application of Article 46, paragraph 2, of the European Convention on Human Rights

    as amended by Protocol No. 11

    Memorandum prepared by the Secretariat for the 1002nd (DH) meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies
    ———————————————

The purpose of this document is to set out the context and retrace the history of the examination of this case by the Deputies at the Committee of Ministers’ meetings.

    Table of Contents

    A. Introduction 2
    B. The Court’s findings 2
    C. Examination of the case by the Ministers’ Deputies 2
    D. Appendices: Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)42, Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)84, Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)11, Interim Resolution (2006)26 40

    A. Introduction

    1. The case concerns violations committed against the applicants in the “Moldavian Republic of Transdniestria” (“the MRT”), a region of Moldova which declared its independence in 1991 but is not recognised by the international community, after they had been handed over to the “authorities” of the MRT by the former 14th army in 1992. The two last applicants who were detained, Mr Ivanţoc and Mr Popa2 (initially Petrov-Popa), finally regained their freedom respectively on 2 and 4 June 2007.

    B. The Court’s findings

    2. The Court concluded that the applicants are within the jurisdiction3 of the Republic of Moldova for the purposes of Article 1 of the Convention, but that its responsibility for the acts complained of, committed in the territory of the “MRT”, over which it exercises no effective authority, is to be assessed in the light of its positive obligations under the Convention (§ 335). Not having been informed of any new steps by the Moldovan authorities after Mr Ilaşcu’s release in May 2001 aimed at obtaining the release of the applicants still detained, the Court concluded that Moldova’s responsibility could be engaged, because it was within the power of the Moldovan government to take measures to secure the applicants’ rights under the Convention (§ 351-352).

    3. Furthermore, the Court held that the actions of Russian soldiers with regard to the applicants, including their transfer to the charge of the separatist regime in the context of the Russian authorities’ collaboration with this illegal regime, were such as to cause the responsibility of the Russian Federation (§ 385). In view of the fact that the Russian Federation’s policy of support for and collaboration with the regime has continued beyond 5 May 1998, the date on which the Russian Federation ratified the Convention, and that since that date the Russian Federation has made no attempt to put an end to the applicants’ situation brought about by its agents, the Court concluded that the applicants also come within its “jurisdiction” for the purposes of Article 1 of the Convention, and that its responsibility is engaged (§ 393-394).

    4. The Court found several violations of the Convention. In particular, taking into account its conclusions as to the respondent states’ responsibility, the Court said that there has been and continues to be a violation of Article 5 of the Convention by Moldova since May 2001 as regards the applicants still detained; that there was a violation of Article 5 of the Convention by the Russian Federation as regards Mr Ilaşcu until May 2001, and that there has been and continues to be a violation of that provision as regards the applicants still detained.

    5. Accordingly the Court found unanimously that “the respondent states [were] to take all necessary measures to put an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and secure their immediate release” (§ 22 of the operative part of the judgment).

    6. Moreover, it emphasised the urgency of this measure in the following terms (§ 490): “any continuation of the unlawful and arbitrary detention of the…applicants would necessarily entail a serious prolongation of the violation of Article 5 found by the Court and a breach of the respondent states’ obligation under Article 46§1 of the Convention to abide by the Court’s judgment.”

    C. Examination of the case by the Ministers’ Deputies

    7. Given the terms of the judgment, the Deputies decided at their 894th meeting (9 September 2004) to continue examining the urgent measures ordered by the Court not only at their meetings devoted mainly to supervision of the execution of judgments (“DH” meetings) but also at their regular meetings. The Committee has examined the case at most of its meetings since 9 September 2004.4 After the announcement of the applicants’ release, the Secretariat suggested that it was no longer necessary to examine this case at each meeting of the Deputies, since such examination, aimed mainly at securing the release of the two applicants still detained was no longer justified; the Deputies agreed to this approach.

    - Adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)42

    8. On 22 April 2005, at its 924th meeting, the Committee of Ministers adopted, by consensus, an interim resolution concerning this case (ResDH(2005)42). In this resolution, the Committee took note of the measures taken to that date by the respondent states towards the execution of the present judgment, in particular the payment of just satisfaction by both respondent states, the publication of the full text of the judgment by the Moldovan authorities and the publication of a summary of the judgment in the Bulletin of the European Court of Human Rights (Russian edition).

    In addition, “stressing”, on the one hand, “that it is evident that the continuation of the unlawful and arbitrary detention of two of the applicants for more than 9 months after the Court’s judgment failed to satisfy the Court’s demand for their immediate release”, and “noting”, on the other hand, “that the steps taken to date have not been sufficient to secure the release of Mr Ivanţoc and Mr Petrov-Popa”, the Committee “urgently invite(d) the Russian authorities to comply fully with the judgment”; “invite(d) the Moldovan authorities to continue their efforts towards securing the release of the two applicants who are still imprisoned”; and “decide(d) to resume its examination of this case at each of its meetings until the applicants’ release”.

    - Development of the case following the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)42

    9. Following the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)42, the delegation of Moldova continued to regularly provide information regarding the steps its authorities have taken to secure the release of the applicants who are still imprisoned.

    10. As to the delegation of the Russian Federation, it recalled the official position of the Russian Federation concerning this case, as it had already been expressed in a press statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affaires of 8 July 2004, i.e.: the European Court’s judgment is based on affirmations that were not proved concerning the authority that the Russian Federation exercised in Transdniestria; the European Court’s judgment was delivered in breach of international law, as, first, Russia and Moldova were not bound by the Convention “at the time of the facts” and, secondly, the intervention of the Russian Federation that was expected would infringe the principle of non-interference in a state’s internal affairs. The Russian Federation considers that it has fully executed the judgment by paying the just satisfaction and, from its point of view, the case is closed.

    11. Furthermore, several delegations regularly underlined that the state of health of the applicants who are still detained is serious and deteriorating, which further adds to the urgency of their release.

    - Adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)84

    12. At the 935th meeting (13 July 2005), in view of the absence of any progress regarding the applicant’s release, the Committee of Ministers adopted a second Interim Resolution regarding this case (ResDH(2005)84). In this resolution, the Committee, on the one hand, “not(ed) with interest” that since the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)42, “the Moldovan authorities have regularly provided information regarding the steps they have taken to secure the release of the applicants who are still imprisoned”.

    On the other hand, the Committee “deplore(d) that, since the adoption of this Resolution, the Russian authorities have again called into question the validity of the judgment and have insisted that, by paying the just satisfaction awarded, they consider that they have fully executed the judgment”; it “deplore(d) further that they have provided no new information regarding any efforts they may have initiated to secure the release of the applicants who are still imprisoned”. Having in particular “stress(ed) that it is evident that such an excessive prolongation of their unlawful and arbitrary detention” of these applicants, more than one year after the Court’s judgment was delivered, “fails entirely to satisfy the requirements of the Court’s judgment”, the Committee “encourage(d) the Moldovan authorities to continue their efforts towards putting an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and securing their immediate release”; “insist(ed) that the Russian authorities take all the necessary steps to put an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and secure their immediate release”; and “decide(d) to resume its examination of this case at each of its meetings until the applicants have been released”.

    13. The Russian Federation did not take part to the preparation of this interim resolution and opposed its adoption. Moreover, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation had stated (933rd meeting (DH), 5-6 July 2005), even before the adoption of this resolution that his authorities would not participate in its implementation either.

    14. Finally, it is recalled that at the 928th meeting (6-7 June 2005), a delegation asked when the full text of the judgment would be published in Russian. The Director General of Human Rights returned to this question at the 933rd meeting (5-6 July 2005). In response, the Russian delegation indicated in a letter of 14 July 2005 that it considers that the publication that was made of the summary of the judgment is sufficient and corresponds to the Committee’s practice. As for the Secretariat, it drew the delegation’s attention to the case’s importance and Russia’s practice with regard to other important judgments that were published in full in the Rossijskaia Gazeta. On that subject, it also drew attention to Recommendation Rec(2002)13 “on the publication and dissemination in the member states of the text of the European Convention on Human Rights and of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights”. Afterwards, the full text of the judgment has also been published.

    - Observations of the respondent states regarding the steps taken since the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)84 to secure the release of the applicants who are still imprisoned

    15. At the 936th meeting (7 September 2005), the delegation of Moldova referred to a letter sent on 22 August 2005 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova, Mr Andrei Stratan, to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mr Jakob Kellenberger. In this letter, inter alia, the ICRC is asked to intervene with the Russian authorities in order to call on them to respect the obligations deriving from the judgment, in particular as regards the release of the applicants who are still detained.

    16. Following a question raised on this issue by a delegation, the delegation of Moldova also recalled that the state of health of the applicants who are still detained is serious.

    17. At the 937th meeting (14 September 2005), the Permanent Representative of Moldova informed the Committee of Ministers that on 28 August 2005, the Minister of Integration of Moldova (in charge of Transdniestria and of the settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict) sent a letter to the “Minister of Foreign Affairs” of the “MRT”, asking the Transdniestrian authorities to make everything so that the applicants be released, while the judgment was delivered more than one year ago. The “Minister of Foreign Affairs” of the “MRT” stated that the Transdniestrian authorities’ answer to this request was negative. The Permanent Representative of Moldova subsequently sent a copy of this letter from the Transdniestrian authorities to the Secretariat.

    18. Furthermore, the Permanent Representative of Moldova stated that his Minister of Foreign Affairs transmitted a circular letter to all the Moldavian diplomatic missions, instructing them to use all the possible diplomatic contacts with their interlocutors abroad to raise the question of the release of the applicants who are still detained. Moreover, a general mandate is being elaborated for all State agents who are going abroad, regardless on which State institution they are dependent (not only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), asking them to raise this issue with agents of other states, when appropriate. Indeed, the President of Moldova himself raised this issue at his recent meeting with the President of the Russian Federation in Kazan.

    19. However, the Permanent Representative of Moldova concluded that to date the result of these efforts is not satisfactory.

    20. At the 938th meeting (21 September 2005), the Representative of Moldova reaffirmed that his authorities were doing their best to ensure the release of the applicants still detained. His authorities raise this issue with all the relevant interlocutors and will do so at a conference which will take place at the end of September in Chisinau, concerning the settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict.

    21. He recalled the humanitarian aspect of the case and underlined that the modalities of the applicants’ release are not important, if this release can be achieved.

    22. Acknowledging that his authorities’ capacities in this case are limited, the Representative ensured the Committee of their continued efforts.

    23. At the 939th meeting (28 September 2005), the delegation of Moldova referred to a letter sent on 25 August 2005 by the Minister of Reintegration of Moldova, Mr Vasile Sova, to the Head of Mission of the OSCE to Moldova, Mr William Hill, asking him to reinforce the efforts with a view to the release of the applicants who are still imprisoned. In his response of 20 September 2005, Mr Hill cited several actions taken by the OSCE and himself to facilitate the release of the applicants who are still imprisoned. He also assured the Minister that this question will remain a top priority for the OSCE Mission, which will continue to raise the issue with the high-ranking representatives of the Transdniestrian region, and transmit their reactions to the Moldovan authorities. The Moldovan delegation has disseminated Mr Hill’s response to all delegations.

    24. The delegation of Moldova referred also to a letter sent on 20 September 2005 by the Moldovan Ombudsman for Human Rights, Mr Iurii Perevoznic, to his Russian counterpart, Mr Vladimir Lukin, asking him to give his assistance and to use his authority as well as his powers in order to make the applicants’ release possible. The Moldovan delegation has disseminated Mr Perevoznic’s letter to all delegations.

    25. Finally, as concerns the question posed earlier on the current state of health of the applicants who are still imprisoned, the Moldovan delegation stated that it did not have any news. On the other hand, the Minister of Reintegration of Moldova, Mr Vasile Sova, has addressed a letter to the Representative of Transdniestria in charge of the settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict, Mr V. A. Litcai, asking for his assistance in ensuring that the medical personnel and the representatives of the health organs of the Republic of Moldova could proceed with the medical examinations of Mr Ivanţoc and Mr Petrov-Popa. The Moldovan delegation has also disseminated Mr Sova’s letter to all delegations.

    26. At the 940th meeting DH (11-12 October 2005), the Permanent Representative of Moldova referred to a meeting taking place at the same moment in Chisinau between the Moldovan authorities and senior representatives of the Russian Federation, including especially Mr Yury Zoubakov, the Vice-President of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, during which the question of the Transdniestrian conflict would discussed among other things. The Permanent Representative assured the Committee of Ministers that his authorities, and especially the President of Moldova, would insist that the humanitarian aspects are taken into account in the context of the obligation to release the applicants who are still detained. The exact content of these discussions is however not yet known.

    27. Insisting on the humanitarian aspect of the case, the Permanent Representative stated that it was not a question of punishing anyone and recalled once more that the only important issue was the release of the applicants still detained.

    28. In reply to several delegations, the Permanent Representative stated that at this stage no reply had been received to the letters written by the Moldovan authorities to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mr Kellenberger, and to the Russian Ombudsman, Mr Lukin (see paragraphs 14 and 23, above), but that as soon as these replies are received, they will be submitted to the Committee of Ministers.

    29. Finally, like several other delegations, the Permanent Representative expressed his concerns as to the implications of this case for the general functioning of the Convention system insofar as states condemned by the Court must execute the judgments in all circumstances.

    30. At the 941st meeting (13 October 2005), the Permanent Representative of Moldova again assured the Committee that his authorities would pursue their efforts concerning this case. Moreover, he repeated the declarations made at the 940th DH meeting (11-12 October 2005) concerning the meeting between the Moldovan authorities and the Russians in Chisinau and the sole importance of releasing the applicants.

    31. At the 943rd meeting (19 October 2005), the Permanent Representative of Moldova recalled the contacts between his authorities and the ICRC and, in particular the request made to this organisation to assess the medical situation of the applicants who are still detained.

    32. At the 944th meeting (2 November 2005), the Permanent Representative of Moldova, welcoming the letter of the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, assured the Committee of the continuous efforts of his authorities who would not fail to inform it of any developments.

    33. At the 945th meeting (9 November 2005), the Permanent Representative of Moldova repeated his authorities’ position and their determination to find means of releasing the applicants.

    34. At the 947th meeting (23 November 2005), the Moldovan delegation indicated that his authorities continued to search for ways and means of securing the release of the applicants. It also referred to a declaration adopted by the General Assembly of the Helsinki Committee meeting in Budapest on 21 November 2005, in which the Transdniestrian issue was touched upon. The declaration referred to the severe restrictions on civil society, and especially on human rights activists.

    35. At the 948th meeting (DH) (29-30 November 2005) the Moldovan delegation once more indicated that its authorities were still continuing to look for ways and means of securing the applicants’ liberation. It also informed the Committee that the “Representative of Transdniestria” in charge of the settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict, Mr V. A. Litcai, had replied to the letter in which the Minister of Reintegration of Moldova, Mr Vasile Sova, had requested access to the applicant by a Moldovan medical team. The Transdniestrian side refused this request on the grounds that a medical examination of the applicants and an analysis of their medical records showed that their state of health was satisfactory. The text of Mr Litcai’s letter was distributed to delegations.

    36. At the 949th meeting (1 December 2005) the Moldovan delegation declared that to free the applicants still detained was one of its authorities’ major priorities. It noted that no reply had been received from the ICRC in reply to the request it had addressed to it.

    37. At the 950th meeting (7 December 2005), the Permanent Representative of Moldova insisted on the fact that his authorities are taking measures with a view to the release of the applicants who are still detained, but that their possibilities were limited because they do not control Transdniestria. Concerning the answer of the ICRC to the Moldovan authorities’ request, the Permanent Representative added that, according to the contacts taken by his authorities with the ICRC, it had examined the applicants and made a report on their state of health, but that this kind of reports cannot be made public.

    38. At the 951st meeting (14 December 2005) the Permanent representative of Moldova informed the Committee of Ministers that his authorities had received the ICRC’s reply to its requests concerning first, the possible intervention of the latter to facilitate the release of the applicants still detained and secondly, the ICRC’s evaluation of these applicants’ state of health. The Permanent Representative read out this letter, which may be obtained from the Secretariat. It indicates in particular that the ICRC carried out annual examinations of the applicants’ health during visits which are strictly humanitarian in nature and following which the ICRC may make confidential recommendations. However, the ICRC does not consider that it is in a position to intervene to procure the applicants’ release. The Permanent Representative of Moldova nonetheless informed the Committee of new demarches undertaken by his authorities, in particular a letter of 1 December to the ICRC requesting a copy of its report on the applicants’ health.

    39. The Representative of Moldova, referring to intervention by the acting Director General of human rights (see paragraph 92 below) recalled the outcome of the letter sent on 20 September 2005 by the Moldovan Human Rights Ombudsman, Mr Iurii Perevzonic, to his Russian counterpart, Mr Vladimir Lukin (see paragraph 23 above). After considering initially that he could not intervene in this case, Mr Lukin finally agreed, at the meting with the enlarged Bureau on 26 October 2005 to examine whether he could do so within the scope of his terms of reference. Further information is awaited on this question. The Permanent Representative of Moldova raised the possibility that the Chair of the Committee might invite Mr Lukin to share his thoughts on the subject with the Deputies or their Bureau.

    40. At the 952nd meeting (11 January 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova declared that his authorities will continue their efforts in order to release the applicants still detained or at least to improve their conditions.

    41. The Moldovan authorities have been able to obtain further information from the President of the ICRC, Mr Kellenberger, in the form of a letter dated 20 December 2005. It emerges from the letter, which has been distributed to the delegations, that the ICRC will next visit the detainees in spring 2006 and that regular contacts are maintained with the “penitentiary authorities” of Transdniestria, the OSCE and the families of the detainees. Contacts with the OSCE indicate that the applicants had the benefit of a doctors’ visit at the end of October and that the doctors have been authorised to continue their medical supervision of the detainees. However, the President of the ICRC confirmed that the reports made following the visits, inter alia on the state of health of the applicants still detained, are confidential.

    42. Assuring the Committee of Ministers of his authorities’ will fully to execute the judgment, the Permanent Representative of Moldova welcomed the proposal made in the name of the European Union (see below, paragraph 101).

    43. At the 953rd meeting (18 January 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova declared that his authorities were exploring different possibilities in order to achieve the release of the applicants still detained.

    44. He confirmed that his authorities welcomed the proposal made in the name of the European Union concerning the organisation of informal contacts with the parties concerned (see paragraph 101 below). The Permanent Representative concluded by appealing to all to do their best to find a solution as quickly as possible.

    45. At the 954th meeting (1 February 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova, in response to the declaration made at the same meeting on behalf of the European Union, assured the Committee that his authorities bear their share of responsibility and were doing their best with a view to securing the applicants’ release, in particular by raising this question in all relevant contacts.

    46. The Permanent Representative reiterated that every effort must be made in order to find a solution as soon as possible and that only the release of the applicants is important.

    47. At the 955th meeting (DH) (7-8 February 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova, following the request made at the same meeting (see § 112) that the Secretariat begin preparing a new draft interim resolution, expressed the hope that this would serve as an incentive to execute the judgment. He once again assured the Committee of Ministers of the efforts made by his authorities to this end.

    48. At the 956th meeting (15 February 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova confirmed the efforts made by his authorities with a view to the release of the applicants who are still detained.

    49. At the 957th meeting (1 March 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova informed the Committee of Ministers that the Minister of Reintegration of Moldova, Mr V. Sova, wrote, at the end of February 2006, to the Ambassador for special missions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr V. M. Nesteruskin, and to the Representative of Transnistria in charge of the settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict, Mr V. A. Litcai, asking for their cooperation to secure the release of the applicants still detained. Copies of these letters are available with the Secretariat.

    50. The Permanent Representative also stated that his authorities had no objection to either the wording of the draft Interim resolution submitted to the Deputies for examination at this meeting, or its immediate adoption (concerning the adoption of this text, see below points 132-134).

    51. At the 939th meeting (28 September 2005), the delegation of the Russian Federation stated, following the intervention of the Moldovan delegation, that as far as the Russian Ombudsman is an independent authority, it cannot be prejudged what response he will give to the above-mentioned letter of his Moldovan counterpart. However, he highlighted that, according to the law, this authority is competent to protect the human rights only within the Russian Federation.

    52. Concerning the state of health of the applicants, the delegation of the Russian Federation stated that their authorities have taken note of the proposal that the Red Cross could intervene in order to proceed with an independent examination, and that they have nothing against it.

    53. At the 940th (DH) meeting (11-12 October 2005), the delegation of the Russian Federation said that it was conscious of the fact that the credibility of the system was at stake in this case.

    54. In reply to certain delegations, the delegation of the Russian Federation also declared itself aware that, after Romania, the Russian Federation is scheduled to take over the Chair of the Committee of Ministers.

    55. Finally, this delegation recalled the position of its authorities, as stated previously by their Ambassador, last time at the 935th meeting (13 July 2005, the date of the adoption of the second interim resolution).

    56. At the 943rd meeting (19 October 2005), in response to a request made by several delegations, the delegation of the Russian Federation declared not to be in a position to make any comment, as the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers was at that time discussing the case with the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Moscow.

    57. At the 945th meeting (9 November 2005), the delegation of the Russian Federation referred to the reply the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Serguei Lavrov, had sent on 7 November 2005 to his Portuguese colleague, Mr Diogo Freitas do Amaral, Chairman of the Committee of Ministers. This letter had been distributed to delegations by the Chair at the same meeting. Mr Lavrov among other things repeated that, having paid the just satisfaction, the Russian Federation had satisfied its obligations under the Court’s judgment in this case, called on the Moldovan authorities to take urgent measures with a view to freeing the applicants still detained and emphasised that the Russian Federation could not be held to be responsible alone for their fate, expressed readiness to continue within the Committee of Ministers, patiently to look for mutually acceptable ways to arrive at the effective implementation of the judgments of the European Court.

    58. Insisting on the fact that the obligation to execute the judgment concerns not only the Russian Federation but also Moldova, the delegation of the Russian Federation added that the “President” of the “MRT”, Mr Smirnov, had not to date been contacted directly by the Moldovan authorities. He also underlined that the Russian Federation is favourable to the idea that a humanitarian organisation, such as the Red Cross, could lead action there.

    59. At the 949th meeting (1 December 2005) the delegation of the Russian Federation emphasised that there could be no serious doubt as to the objectivity of the evaluation of the applicants’ state of health provided by the “RMT” authorities and alluded to by the Moldovan delegation before the Committee of Ministers. It also asked the Moldovan delegation whether there had been a reply to the letter sent by its authorities to the ICRC.

    60. At the 950th meeting (7 December 2005), the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation recalled that the Russian Federation had nothing against the applicants’ being freed, but that both applicants were on the territory of another state and that Russia could do nothing to release them without breaching the basic principles of international law. The Permanent Representative stated that the Russian federation is entirely in favour of the intervention of a third person, if there is a possibility of mediation. On this point, he said he was surprised to hear that Moldova could not get an answer from the ICRC.

    61. At the 952nd meeting (11 January 2006), the Representative of the Russian Federation declared that he could accept the proposal made on behalf of the European Union concerning the organisation of informal contacts with a view to finding a solution (see below, point 102).

    62. At the 953rd meeting (18 January 2006), the Representative of the Russian Federation reiterated his delegation’s support for the proposal made on behalf of the European Union concerning the organisation of informal contacts with a view to finding a solution.

    63. At the 957th meeting (1 March 2006), in the context of the examination by the Committee of Ministers of a draft third Interim Resolution (concerning the adoption of this text, see points 132-134 below), the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation made a statement included in the record of this meeting. In this statement, after having recalled the position of his authorities as already set out inter alia in a letter from the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers (see above, point 57), the Permanent Representative underlined, in particular, that the third Interim Resolution was of no purpose for the Russian Federation.

    - Observations of other delegations after the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)84

    64. At the 936th meeting (7 September 2005), the Permanent Representative of United Kingdom, on behalf of the European Union, recalled the request, already made regularly at previous meetings, to the parties to execute as quickly as possible the judgment. Several delegations supported this statement.

    65. The Permanent Representative of Romania, whose authorities have contacts with the families of the applicants who are still detained, confirmed the information provided by the delegation of Moldova regarding the preoccupying state of health of the applicants.

    66. At the 937th meeting (14 September 2005), the Permanent Representative of United Kingdom, on behalf of the European Union, requested both respondent states to make everything that is possible in view of an urgent execution of the judgment. He also requested that the Committee of Ministers be informed of every development in this case.

    67. Other delegations, referring to the statements made at the 936th meeting (7 September 2005) regarding the preoccupying state of health of the applicants who are still detained, asked whether initiatives were taken at a humanitarian level, for example by an international organization.

    68. At the 938th meeting (21 September 2005), the Representative of United Kingdom, on behalf of the presidency of European Union, repeated his request to both respondent states to execute this judgment. He stressed the political, legal and humanitarian importance of the case, which could question the credibility of both the Committee of Ministers and of the Council of Europe as a whole.

    69. Several delegations subscribed to this declaration. One of these delegations recalled the possibility, already mentioned before, of searching for a humanitarian solution to this case, in particular through a third party, who might take charge of the applicants who are still detained. This delegation strongly invited the Russian Federation to examine this suggestion.

    70. Another delegation underlined that the manner in which the judgment is executed is not important and that it is only the release of the applicants who are still detained that counts. This delegation added that if the power of releasing the applicant is not directly in the hands of the authorities concerned, they should nevertheless use all their influence, be it economic, financial, political, social etc., so that this goal is achieved.

    71. At the 939th meeting (28 September 2005), the Permanent Representative of United Kingdom, on behalf of the European Union, recalled again the request to the respondent states to execute the judgment. He also thanked Moldova for the steps it has taken.

    72. Furthermore, the Permanent Representative of United Kingdom stated that one should go beyond the simple repetition, every week, of the wish that the judgment should be executed and to keep constantly in mind the humanitarian situation of the applicants who are still imprisoned. Therefore, in the name of the European Union, he stated that he was very favourable to the idea, that, as soon possible, the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers would send a letter to his counterpart, the Minister of the Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, insisting on the legal and especially humanitarian aspects of the case.

    73. Several delegations subscribed to the declaration of the Permanent Representative of United Kingdom and in particular to the proposal of sending a Chairman’s letter insisting on the two above-mentioned aspects.

    74. Moreover, a delegation drew the attention to the context of this step and shared the worry that the future Presidency of the Russian Federation would proceed in the best conditions.

    75. After the debate, the Chairman noted that the Committee welcomed the proposal that his Minister should write to his Russian colleague, drawing his attention among other things to the legal and humanitarian dimensions of the situation.

    76. At the 940th meeting DH (11-12 October 2005), the delegation of United Kingdom, on behalf of the European Union, welcomed the latest information provided by the Moldovan delegation. In this regard, several delegations asked for details, in particular, on the content of the discussions taking place in Chisinau between the Moldovan authorities and the Russian delegation (see point 26 above). The delegation of United Kingdom once more recalled its request that the respondent states should execute the judgment fully, and highlighted that the state of health of the applicants was of highest concern. It also noted the growing interest of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in this case and drew the attention to the wording of the reply that the Chairman had given to the question asked by Mr Ilaşcu the preceding week. Moreover, the delegation asked whether there was a reply to the letters sent recently by the Moldavian authorities to the President of ICRC, Mr Kellenberger, and to the Russian Ombudsman, Mr Lukin (see points 15, 24 and 28 above).

    77. Several delegations strongly supported this statement and recalled, as did also the Director General of human rights (see below), that it is indisputable that the humanitarian aspect in this case is very important, but that the obligation to execute the judgment follows from the wording of the European Court’s judgment itself.

    78. The Portuguese delegation stated for its part that its authorities, who are exercising the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers, have noted the Committee’s wish to send a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; this delegation assured the Committee that this undertaking and the details that it could entail were taken into consideration at the highest level by their authorities.

    79. Finally, several delegations underlined that this case is a very serious source of concern for the Committee of Ministers, not least with regard to the credibility it needs to supervise the execution of the European Court’s judgments. It was also noted that a question arose in view of the fact that the Russian Federation was shortly scheduled to assume the Chair of the Committee of Ministers.

    80. At the 941st meeting (13 October 2005), the Permanent Representative of United Kingdom made a statement on behalf of the European Union and with the support of the countries which are in the process of acceding to the European Union (Bulgaria and Romania), of the candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey), and of the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“ and Serbia and Montenegro). Recalling the outstanding questions concerning measures taken or to be taken (letter of the President of the Committee recalling the deep concern over the applicant’s continued illegal detention;
    waiting for an answer to the letters sent by the Moldavian authorities – see points 15, 24 and 28 above), he noted that three months had passed since the second interim resolution in this case, and that the most recent reports concerning the applicants’ health condition were deeply worrying. Once again, he asked the respondent states to make everything that is possible in view of an execution of the judgment.

    81. Several delegations strongly supported this statement. One of these delegations suggested that the Commissioner for Human Rights could be asked to engage in this case.

    82. Answering a question in this regard, the Chairman of the Deputies stated that the Committee’s invitation to the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs to write to his Russian counterpart should be followed up shortly. He also invited the member states to make use of their bilateral contacts at a very high level with the Russian Federation to raise this case.

    83. At the 943rd meeting (19 October 2005), the Permanent Representative of United Kingdom made a statement on behalf of the European Union and with the support of the countries which are in the process of acceding to the European Union (Bulgaria and Romania), of the candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey), and of the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“ and Serbia and Montenegro). On the one hand, he welcomed the meeting taking place in Moscow, during the course of which the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers would hand over, in accordance with the Committee’s request, a letter to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs concerning this case. On the other hand, repeating his request to the respondent states to do everything possible with the view to the implementation of the judgment, he asked the Russian delegation to comment.

    84. Several delegations supported this statement and stressed the importance of the letter from the Committee’s Chair to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    85. At the 944th meeting (2 November 2005), the Permanent Representative of United Kingdom once again made a statement on behalf of the European Union and with the support of the countries which are in the process of acceding to the European Union (Bulgaria and Romania), of the candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey), and of the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“ and Serbia and Montenegro). Referring to the letter of the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, he pointed out that a reply to this letter as well as to the letters sent to the ICRC and to Mr Lukin is still awaited. Noting that more than three months had passed since the second interim resolution was adopted, he recalled that the health of the applicants still detained was deeply worrying and, once again, asked the respondent states to make everything that is possible with a view to implementing the judgment.

    86. These states' concern was heightened by the impending Russian Chairmanship in the Committee of Ministers. They wanted the Russian Chairmanship to be a success for the Russian Federation and the Council of Europe, but noted that the non-execution of this judgment would undermine that prospect.

    87. At the 945th meeting (9 November 2005), the Permanent Representative of United Kingdom made a statement on behalf of the European Union and with the support of the countries which are in the process of acceding to the European Union (Bulgaria and Romania), of the candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey), and of the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“ and Serbia and Montenegro). Taking note of the reply by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers (letter distributed to the delegations by the Chair, see for a short summary of this letter, point 57 above), he stated that this reply called for careful examination. He then reiterated all the points of his declaration at the 944th meeting.

    88. Several delegations supported this statement (Iceland, Norway, Monaco, Switzerland). One of them, commenting on the wording of the letter of the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, observed in particular that it was not the duty of the Committee of Ministers but of the respondent states to execute the judgment of the Court and that the action of the member states within the Committee of Ministers in the context of Article 46 is purely jurisdictional.

    89. At the 947th meeting (23 November 2005), the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the countries which are in the process of acceding to the European Union (Bulgaria and Romania), of the candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey), and of the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“ and Serbia and Montenegro). Recalling that the Committee now had response by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs to the letter of the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, he noted that the responses to the letters addressed to Mr Lukin and to the ICRC were still awaited. He then reiterated the points of his statement at the 944th meeting and noted that the non-execution of this judgment would undermine the success of the Russian Chairmanship in the Committee of Ministers.

    90. Several delegations associated themselves with this statement (Iceland, Norway, Monaco, Switzerland). One delegation, commenting on the letter of the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, observed in particular that it was clearly stated in the judgment that the applicants came within the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. Another delegation referred to the statement of his Minister at the 115th session (16-17 November 2005), emphasising that all judgments must be executed over and above the payment of just satisfaction.

    91. At the 948th meeting (DH) (29-30 November 2005), the United Kingdom delegation, speaking on behalf of the European Union, noted with regret the continued detention of the applicants and once more called upon the respondent states to do everything in their power to ensure the execution of the judgment.

    92. Two delegations (Norway and Romania) associated themselves with this declaration.

    93. At the 949th meeting (1 December 2005) the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania), the candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey), the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“ and Serbia and Montenegro).

    Recalling the terms of the second Interim Resolution of July 2005, which encouraged the Moldovan authorities to continue their efforts aimed at securing the release of Mr Ivantoc and Mr Petrov-Popa and called on the Russian authorities to take all the necessary steps to put an end to their arbitrary detention, the abovementioned states urged the Russian Federation to take those necessary steps. Moldova and the Russian Federation must do all in their power to bring about the release of the detainees as soon as possible.

    94. Several delegations (Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) associated themselves with this declaration.

    95. At the 950th meeting (7 December 2005) the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania), the candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey), the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“ and Serbia and Montenegro). The Permanent Representative recalled that the second interim resolution encouraged the Moldovan authorities to continue their efforts towards putting an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still detained, and insisted that the Russian authorities take all necessary steps to put an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and secure their immediate release.

    96. The concern of the above-mentioned states over the continuing detention of Mr Ivantoc and Mr Petrov-Popa was heightened for two reasons. First, the impending Russian Chairmanship in the Committee of Ministers: the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom recalled that the states concerned wished the Russian Chairmanship to be a success for the Russian Federation and the Council of Europe, but considered that the non-execution of this judgment had implications for that prospect. Secondly, for the first time the Court had found that any continuation of the applicants’ unlawful and arbitrary detention “would necessarily entail (…) a breach of the respondent States’ obligation under Article 46 of the Convention to abide by the Court’s judgment”. The states concerned accordingly appealed to Moldova and the Russian Federation to do all in their power to bring about the release of the detainees as soon as possible.

    97. Several delegations (Norway, Monaco, Iceland and Switzerland) associated themselves with this declaration. One of them noted a certain evolution in the Russian Federation’s position, as it had declared that it had nothing against the release of the applicants still detained.

    98. At the 951st meeting (14 December 2005) the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, speaking on behalf of the European Union with the support of the acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania), the candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey), the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“ and Serbia and Montenegro), repeated the statement he had made at the 950th meeting (7 December).

    99. Several delegations (Norway, Monaco, Iceland, Switzerland, the Russian Federation) associated themselves with this declaration. One of them noted that whilst it was regrettable that the appeal addressed to the ICRC could not help with the applicants’ release, this obligation was actually incumbent upon the respondent states.

    100. At the 952nd meeting (11 January 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania), the candidate countries (Croatia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“ and Turkey), the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro), as well as Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) and of the European Economic Area (EEA). The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    101. Underlining that this case remains for the European Union a highly charged and high-profile issue which must be resolved, the Permanent Representative recalled that the Court's judgments have to be implemented by states and that the implementation of the Court's decisions is of utmost priority for all member states of the Council of Europe.

    102. In order to facilitate the implementation of this judgment, the above-mentioned states suggested that all possibilities should be used to find a successful solution. In this sense, these states proposed informal contacts with those concerned. Such contacts should provide the framework for all parties to work for a solution to the matter as soon as possible.

    103. Two delegations associated themselves with this declaration (Monaco and Switzerland).

    104. At the 953rd meeting (18 January 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania), the candidate countries (Croatia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“ and Turkey), the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro), as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) and of the European Economic Area (EEA). The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    105. Reiterating his statement made at the 952nd meeting (11 January 2006) concerning the necessity of executing this judgment, the Permanent Representative of Austria welcomed the readiness of the Russian Federation and Moldova to participate in informal contacts and to work for a solution as soon as possible. He added that the above-mentioned states are convinced that with good will, the release of the two applicants can be achieved.

    106. Two delegations associated themselves with this declaration (Monaco and Switzerland).

    107. At the 954th meeting (1 February 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same states as at the 953rd meeting (18 January 2006). The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    108. After having reiterated his statements made at the 952nd (11 January 2006) and 953rd (18 January 2006) meetings concerning the need to execute of this judgment, the Permanent Representative also recalled that he had welcomed the readiness of the Russian Federation and Moldova to participate in informal contacts to work for a solution to the matter as soon as possible. At the same time he emphasised that such informal meetings can only be meaningful if the parties concerned bear their share of responsibility and make the necessary efforts to achieve the release of the applicants. The Permanent Representative added that if no progress was made, the European Union would press for a further Interim Resolution.

    109. Two delegations associated themselves with this declaration (Monaco and Switzerland).

    110. Asked by one of these delegations, the Permanent Representative of Austria informed the Committee that the informal contacts have not, so far, lead to solutions.

    111. At the 955th meeting (DH) (7-8 February 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same states as those mentioned at the 953rd meeting (18 January 2006). The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    112. After reiterating his previous statements concerning the need to execute the judgment, the Permanent Representative recalled that he had welcomed the readiness of the Russian Federation and Moldova to participate in informal contacts to work for a solution to the matter as soon as possible. However, he informed the Committee that these contacts could not at this stage lead to the expected results; thus, he expressed the wish that the Secretariat should begin preparation of a further draft interim resolution. The decision adopted by the Deputies following the debates took up this proposal.

    113. Two delegations associated themselves with this declaration (Monaco and Switzerland).

    114. At the 956th meeting (15 February 2006), the Representative of Austria, on behalf of the European Union and with the support of the same states, reiterated the statement made by his delegation at the 955th meeting (DH) (7-8 February 2006). He concluded by expressing the wish that the Secretariat should distribute as soon as possible a text of a draft Interim Resolution. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    115. Two delegations associated themselves with this declaration (Monaco and Switzerland).

    116. The Chairman noted that the Secretariat would, on the first occasion, disseminate a draft prepared by the Secretariat to all delegations, with a view to its examination at the next meeting.

    117. At the 957th meeting (1 March 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania), the candidate countries (Croatia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Turkey), the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro), Iceland and Norway, members of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) and of the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as Ukraine. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    118. After having reiterated his previous statements concerning the necessity of executing this judgment, the Permanent Representative regretted, in particular given the forthcoming Russian chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, that the informal contacts with the Russian Federation and Moldova have not led to the expected results.

    119. He also expressed his hope that the third Interim Resolution, the adoption of which the States enumerated above supported, would serve as a new incentive to secure the release of the detainees still detained (concerning the adoption of this text, see below the points 132-134).

    120. Two delegations associated themselves with this declaration (Monaco and Switzerland). Following the statement made by the Russian Federation at this meeting (point 63), one of these delegations referred to the conclusions of the European Court as concerns the responsibility of the Russian Federation in this case.

    121. At the same meeting, the Representative of Romania informed the Committee that one of the applicants still detained, Mr Ivanţoc, had started a hunger strike on 27 February 2006, in order to protest against the ”abusive, inhuman and degrading” treatment of which he claims to be the object by the “penitentiary authorities” of Transdniestria (among others the refusal to give him urgent medical assistance). The Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs published a press release on 1 March 2006, the English translation of which was disseminated by the Romanian delegation to all delegations at this meeting.

    - Action of the Chair after the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)84

    122. At the 943rd meeting (19 October 2005), the Chairman of the Deputies stated that the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Diogo Freitas do Amaral, was at the same moment in Moscow, that the question of the Ilaşcu case was on the agenda of the meetings with his Russian colleague, Mr Serguei Lavrov, and that he would hand over to the latter the letter prepared in accordance with the Committee’s request.

    123. At the 944th meeting (2 November 2005), the Chairman of the Deputies confirmed that the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers had handed over the letter to his Russian colleague.

    124. At the 945th meeting (9 November 2005), the Chairman of the Deputies stated that the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers had received a reply, dated 7 November 2005, from his Russian colleague Mr Lavrov and that this answer had been distributed to delegations (see below point 57 for a short summary of the letter).

    - Observations of the Secretariat after the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)84

    125. At the 940th meeting (DH) (11-12 October 2005), the Director General of human rights recalled certain basic ideas. On the one hand, the demands made and the pressure exerted by member states towards a state condemned by the Court do not constitute “unfriendly acts” or “interference in their internal affairs”, in the meaning of international law; these states are just assuming their responsibilities as Parties to the ECHR.

    126. On the other hand, the Director General insisted on the fact that much has been made quite rightly of the humanitarian aspect of this case, but nevertheless stressed that the obligation to free the applicants comes out from the judgment’s wording. He expressed the hope that the determination of the members of the Committee of Ministers will be reinforced, but above all find expression in concrete and effective measures in such a way to maintain the pressure.

    Finally, he underlined that it is not just the Ilaşcu case, but the Committee of Ministers’ practice and its consistency. The full text of the Director General’s intervention was distributed to the Deputies at the 941st meeting (13 October 2005).

    127. Several delegations subscribed to these observations.

    128. At the 948th meeting (DH) (29-30 November 2005), the acting Director General of human rights, emphasising the amount of time which had passed since the adoption of the second interim resolution without the applicants’ being freed, recalled the terms of the judgment, in which the European Court stated that “any continuation of the unlawful and arbitrary detention of the (…) applicants would necessarily entail a serious prolongation of the violation of Article 5 found by the Court and a breach of the respondent states’ obligation under Article 46 § 1 of the Convention to abide by the Court’s judgment”. In addition, she recalled that, for the purposes of executing this judgment, all that was needed was that the Committee of Ministers could note that the applicants had been freed, without going into the ways and means of their liberation.

    129. At the 950th meeting (7 December 2005), the acting Director General of human rights recalled the successive statements made by the former Director General of human rights at several meetings in response to arguments developed by the Russian delegation regarding the general principles of international law. She recalled that, for the purposes of executing this judgment, all that was needed was that the Committee of Ministers could note that the applicants had been freed, without going into the ways and means of their liberation.

    130. At the 951st meeting (14 December 2005), the acting Director General of human rights, noting that the ICRC had not considered itself competent to facilitate the applicants’ release, underlined once more that it was for the respondent states to ensure execution of the judgment. In addition, she mentioned that other possible humanitarian interventions had been mentioned at various meetings.

    131. At the 955th meeting (DH) (7-8 February 2006), the acting Director General of human rights, referring to the request made at the same meeting (see point 113), that the Secretariat begin preparing a new draft interim resolution, underlined that this should in no way dissuade the parties from actively pursuing all avenues capable of securing the release of the applicants.
    On the contrary, she declared that the fact that a new text would be in preparation should provide a further incentive in this regard. Furthermore, she once again recalled that, for the purposes of executing this judgment, all that was needed was that the Committee of Ministers could note that the applicants had been freed, without going into the ways and means of their liberation.

    - Adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)11

    132. At the 957th meeting (1 March 2006), deeply deploring the fact that, more than one and a half years after the Court’s judgment was delivered, two applicants are still imprisoned and stressing that the excessive prolongation of the unlawful and arbitrary detention of Mr Ivanţoc and Mr Petrov-Popa fails entirely to satisfy the requirements of the Court’s judgment and the obligation under Article 46, paragraph 1, of the Convention”, the Committee of Ministers adopted a third Interim Resolution concerning this case (ResDH(2006)11).

    133. In this Resolution, the Committee “not(ed) however that the Moldovan authorities have regularly informed the Committee of the steps they have taken to secure the applicants’ release” and “that the Russian authorities have recently declared themselves in favour of the search for a solution in the present case”.

    134. The Committee “encourage(d) the Moldovan authorities to continue their efforts towards putting an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and securing their immediate release”, “strongly urge(d) the Russian authorities to pursue actively all effective avenues capable of putting an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and of securing their immediate release”, and “insiste(d) that the results required by the Court’s judgment be attained without any further delay”.

    - Observations of the respondent states regarding the steps taken since the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)11 to secure the release of the applicants who are still imprisoned

    135. At the 958th meeting (15 March 2006), the Representative of Moldova referred to the most recent letters, calling for assistance to secure the release of the applicants still detained, sent by her authorities to : the “Representative from Transdniestrian side in charge with political questions in the negotiations”, the “Avocat parlementaire” of the Russian Federation, the Special Representative of the European Union in Moldova, the Head of OSCE Mission in Moldova, and the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in Moldova. A copy of these letters is available from the Secretariat.

    136. At the 959th meeting (22 March 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova informed the Committee that his authorities had sent further letters aiming at the execution if this judgment. These letters were sent to the Head of the Delegation of the Russian Federation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, to the Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation and to the “vice-Minister of Justice” of Transdniestria. Some of these persons had already been contacted in the past. A copy of these letters is available from the Secretariat.

    137. The Permanent Representative reiterated that his authorities were doing their best to put an end to the unlawful and arbitrary detention of the applicants, but that their possibilities were very limited, because of the situation in Transdniestria. Concerning the latter point, he recalled the wording of certain paragraphs of the European Court’s judgment.

    138. In particular in view of the third interim resolution in this case, he expressed his interest in the document which would be submitted to the Deputies for the 960th (DH) meeting (28-29 March 2006), according to the request made to the Secretariat at the 958th meeting (15 March 2006), concerning the measures at the Committee of Ministers’ disposal in case of persistent failure to respect the obligation to execute a judgment of the European Court.

    139. At the 960th meeting (28-29 March 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova welcomed the document submitted by the Secretariat according to the request made at the 958th meeting (15 March 2006), concerning the measures at the Committee of Ministers’ disposal in case of persistent failure to respect the obligation to execute a judgment of the European Court. In particular in view of the third interim resolution in this case, he reiterated that his authorities were trying to secure the execution of the judgment through all appropriate bilateral and multilateral channels.

    140. At the 961st meeting (5 April 2006), the Representative of Moldova informed the Deputies that on 23 March 2006the “authorities” of Transdniestria had written to the authorities of Moldova, giving a negative answer to their request of 22 February 2006 with a view to the execution of this judgment. A French translation of the Transdniestrian letter is available from the Secretariat. The Representative stated again that her authorities were using all appropriate bilateral and multilateral channels to secure the execution of the judgment.

    141. At the 962nd meeting (26 April 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova referred to the meeting of the Rapporteur Group on Democracy (GR-DEM) of 20 April 2006, and more particularly to the exchange of views with Ambassador William Hill, Head of the OSCE Mission in Moldova, and Ambassador Vladimir Philipov, Special Representative of the Secretary General in Moldova, and laid particular stress on Ambassador Hill’s statement that he had asked the “authorities” of the “MRT“ on numerous occasions to let the detained applicants go, without success.

    142. The Permanent Representative insisted on the need for all parties involved to wish sincerely for the release of the applicants who are still detained. In this context, he once again assured the Deputies of his authorities’ determination to achieve this objective.

    143. At the 963rd meeting (3 May 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova informed the Deputies of the response of the State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation to a letter from the Moldovan Minister of Justice. This response recalls in particular that the Russian Federation considers that no further measures for the implementation are necessary as far as the Russian Federation is concerned. The French translation of an extract of this answer is available from the Secretariat.

    144. The Permanent Representative once again stated that his authorities were doing their best to put an end to the unlawful and arbitrary detention of the applicants.

    145. At the 964th meeting (10 May 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova stated that his authorities were in favour of the draft fourth Interim Resolution which had been circulated, before that meeting, at the Deputies’ request. He added that he hoped this text would be an input to move forward towards execution of the judgment.

    146. At the 959th meeting (22 March 2006), the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation again referred to the official position of his authorities concerning this case, as expressed in a press statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of 8 July 2004. However, he declared that his authorities had undertaken measures, in the limits of the international law, but that these had not been successful.

    147. The Permanent Representative added that his Minister would have presented the position of the Russian Federation in this case to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, during his official visit in Moscow.

    148. Finally, he expressed doubts regarding the advisability for the Deputies to examine the document which would be circulated by the Secretariat for the 960th (DH) meeting (28-29 March 2006), concerning the measures at the Committee of Ministers’ disposal in case of persistent non-respect of the obligation to execute a judgment of the European Court.

    - Observations of other delegations after the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)11

    149. At the 958th meeting (15 March 2006), the Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania), the candidate countries (Croatia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Turkey), the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro), Iceland and Norway, members of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) and of the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as Ukraine. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    150. After having reiterated his previous statements concerning the necessity of executing this judgment, the Representative reiterated that he regretted, in particular given the forthcoming Russian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, that the informal contacts with the Russian Federation and Moldova have not led to the expected results.

    151. He also expressed his hope that the third Interim Resolution adopted in this case would serve as a new incentive to the parties concerned to secure the release of the detainees still detained.

    152. Two other delegations associated themselves with this declaration (Monaco and Switzerland). One of these Delegations recalled that, in the context of the examination of another case, the Deputies had examined a note presenting means at the Committee of Ministers’ disposal in case of persistent non-respect of the obligation to abide by a judgment of the European Court. This delegation expressed the wish that the Secretariat could provide the Deputies again with such a document, for the next DH meeting (960th, 28-29 March 2006).

    153. Following this statement, the Deputies instructed the Secretariat to prepare such a document.

    154. At the 959th meeting (22 March 2006), the Chairman of the Deputies recalled that the Secretariat had been asked at the last meeting to prepare a document concerning the measures at the Committee of Ministers’ disposal in case of persistent failure to respect the obligation to execute a judgment of the European Court. He informed the Deputies that this document was ready and would be disseminated in due time for the 960th DH meeting (28-29 March 2006).

    155. The Permanent Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same states as at the 958th meeting (15 March 2006), as well as Liechtenstein. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations. After reiterating his previous statements concerning the necessity of executing this judgment, he once again expressed his hope that the third Interim Resolution adopted in this case would serve as a new incentive to the parties concerned to secure the release of the detainees still detained. He stated that the states on whose behalf or with whose support he was speaking, were deeply worried by the fact that the health condition of the detained applicants was deteriorating and that these states would continue to follow their situation closely.

    156. The Representative of Romania gave some details about the situation of Mr Ivanţoc who, according to his wife, had stopped his hunger strike but still suffered from sanctions imposed by the Transdniestrian “prison authorities” (blocking of food parcels addressed to him). He also informed the Committee that the “prison authorities” had refused to discuss the situation of the two detained applicants with the OSCE Mission to Moldova, which had contacted them for this purpose.

    157. Two other delegations (Monaco, the Permanent Representative of which also associated himself with the declaration made on behalf of European Union, and Switzerland) underlined the importance for the Committee of Ministers of the information provided by Romania and Moldova at that meeting.

    158. The Permanent Representative of Belgium informed the Committee of the measures taken following the contacts between Belgian Presidency of the OSCE and the Romanian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers. He informed that the Presidency of the OSCE has charged Mr Hill, Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, to ask, on behalf of this Presidency, the de facto Transdniestrian authorities to release the two applicants still detained, and that the President of the OSCE would visit the region and would intervene in favour of the release of these two applicants.

    159. At the 960th meeting (28-29 March 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same countries that at the previous meeting. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    160. After having reiterated his previous statements concerning the necessity of executing this judgment, the Permanent Representative of Austria once again expressed his hope that the third Interim Resolution adopted in this case would serve as an incentive to the parties concerned to secure the release of the detainees still detained. He stated that the states on whose behalf or with whose support he was speaking, were deeply worried by the deteriorating health condition of the detained applicants and that these states would continue to follow their situation. These states also took note that a delegation of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) had carried out a visit to the Transdniestrian region on 15-20 March 2006, and they would like to ask the CPT, through the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, to indicate whether they also visited the applicants still detained and if so, what was their condition.

    161. The Representative of Switzerland recalled that the Court’s judgment required that all necessary measures be taken to release the applicants. This wording clearly indicated that the limits of traditional diplomacy must be overcome and that convincing pressure must be exerted on the Transdniestrian authorities as long as necessary. As to the document submitted by the Secretariat, the Representative of Switzerland stated that it provided interesting avenues but expressed the hope that it would not be necessary to resort to the more extreme measure foreseen. The full text of this statement was included in the records of the meeting. At the 961st meeting (5 April 2006), the Permanent Representative of Switzerland, referring to the wish expressed by several delegations, asked for this text to be circulated to all the Delegations.

    162. Several other delegations also welcomed the document submitted by the Secretariat, two delegations considering it set out a useful inventory of possible means available to the Committee.

    163. The Representative of Turkey pointed out that the Secretariat’s document had never been adopted. It had been drawn up in the framework of different reflections engaged since the Ministerial Conference on Human Rights in Rome, in November 2000. While it contained interesting ideas, it could not serve as a formal point of reference.

    164. The Representative of Romania indicated that Mr Ivanţoc had ceased his hunger strike after the visit of CPT had taken place. The Transdniestrian “prison authorities” had promised to restore his rights (including his right to receive food parcels from his family) but his condition remained a matter of concern.

    165. The Chairman concluded that the Chair would seek all relevant means to secure a solution in this case.

    166. At the 961st meeting (5 April 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same countries that at the previous meeting. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    167. After reiterating his previous statements concerning the necessity of executing this judgment, he once again expressed his hope that the third Interim Resolution adopted in this case would serve as an incentive to the parties concerned to secure the release of the detainees still detained. These states confirmed their interest, expressed at the previous meeting, for information relating to the recent visit to Transdniestria of a delegation of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).

    168. The Chairman reiterated that if, as he had underlined at the previous meeting, the Chair would seek all relevant means to secure a solution in this case, this in any way detracted from the defendant states’ responsibility for executing this judgment.

    169. At the 962nd meeting (26 April 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania), the candidate countries (Croatia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Turkey), the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro), Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) and of the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as Ukraine. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    170. These states once again insisted on the necessity of executing this judgment, and expressed the hope that the third Interim Resolution adopted in this case would serve as an incentive to the parties concerned to secure the release of the detainees still detained. Furthermore, these states said that they wished the Russian Chairmanship to be a success for the Russian Federation and the Council of Europe, but they considered that the non-execution of this judgment would undermine that prospect and send a negative message to the international community.

    171. The delegation of Monaco associated itself with this statement.

    172. The delegation of Romania informed the Deputies of the measures taken by the Romanian Chair with a view to the release of the applicants who are still detained. The Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affaires, Mr Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu, had written to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross concerning the applicant’s situation; the President of the ICRC answered invoking the confidentiality rule prevailing in the activities of the ICRC. Furthermore, the Romanian delegation, in the context of informal contacts with the Secretariat of the CPT, expressed the wish that the CPT pay special attention to the applicants. The Chairman of the Deputies added that these demarches were undertaken in line with the request made at previous meetings by the Austrian delegation on behalf of the European Union and with the support of numerous other states.

    173. Answering a question by the Permanent Representative of Switzerland on whether the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers had directly addressed the defendant states’ authorities with a view to the execution of this judgment, the Chairman of the Deputies stated that the above-mentioned demarches are only examples of the steps taken by the Romanian Chair. He added that all the contacts at a significant political level are used by the Romanian Chair to raise the question of the detained applicant’s release. Furthermore, he recalled that in 2005, before Romania took over the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, his Minister had written to his counterparts in this respect.

    174. The Chairman of the Deputies concluded by expressing the hope that the statement made on behalf of the European Union and with the support of numerous states would offer food for thought for the next Deputies’ meeting.

    175. At the 963rd meeting (3 May 2006), the Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania), the candidate countries (Croatia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Turkey), the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland (these four states being members of the European Free Trade Agreement – EFTA -, and the first three of them also being members of the European Economic Area - EEA) as well as Ukraine and Monaco. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    176. These states once again insisted on the necessity of executing this judgment and recalled the conclusions of the third Interim Resolution adopted by the Committee of Ministers. They stated, with deep regret, that the parties concerned have not secured the release of the detainees and therefore suggested that the Secretariat draft a new Interim Resolution which takes into account this fact.

    177. These states again said that they wished the Russian Chairmanship to be a success for the Russian Federation and the Council of Europe, but they considered that the non-execution of this judgment would undermine that prospect and send a negative message to the international community.

    178. The Permanent Representative of Switzerland noted the Committee’s determination to bring about the execution of the judgment by the respondent states, in particular by the Russian Federation.

    179. Following the debate, the Deputies instructed the Secretariat to prepare a fourth draft Interim Resolution.

    180. At the 964th meeting (10 May 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania), the candidate countries (Croatia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Turkey), the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro), Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) and of the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as Ukraine. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    181. These states once again insisted on the necessity of executing this judgment and all the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. They recalled their previous statements in this respect. They stated, with deep regret, that the parties concerned have not secured the release of the detainees.

    182. Recalling that they suggested at the previous meeting that a draft new interim resolution be prepared, these states expressed the hope that the draft which was circulated at the Deputies’ request could be adopted immediately.

    183. These states again said that they wished the Russian Chairmanship to be a success for the Russian Federation and the Council of Europe, but they considered that the non-execution of this judgment would undermine that prospect and send a negative message to the international community.

    184. Two delegations (Monaco and Switzerland) associated themselves with this declaration.

    185. Following the debate, the Deputies adopted Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)26. The Chairman added, in his name, that it should not be forgotten that two persons, illegally convicted, are still in prison.

    - Action of the Chair after the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)11

    186. At the 962nd meeting (26 April 2006), the Delegation of Romania informed the Deputies of the measures taken by the Romanian Chair with a view to the release of the applicants who are still detained (see above), in particular a letter of the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affaires, Mr Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu, to the Chairman of the ICRC, as well as informal contacts of the Romanian Delegation with the Secretariat of the CPT. The Chairman of the Deputies added that all the contacts at a significant political level are used by the Romanian Chair to raise the question of the detained applicant’s release.

    187. At the same meeting, the Permanent Representative of Switzerland recalled that the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers had expressly mentioned this case during his speech before the Parliamentary Assembly.

    - Observations of the Secretariat after the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)11

    188. At the 960th DH meeting (28-29 March 2006), in response to the question raised on behalf of the European Union, whether the CPT delegation had met the detained applicants (see point 160), the acting Director General of human rights confirmed that indeed, this was the case. She drew attention to Article 11 of the European Convention on the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which embodied the rules on confidentiality. That said, the Chair might usefully pursue informal avenues with all relevant bodies with a view to securing the applicant’s release. As to the document submitted by the Secretariat (CM/Inf/DH(2006)18, disseminated for the 960th DH meeting and available on the Internet site of the Committee of Ministers), she stressed that it had been prepared in part in response to the call made by the Ministerial Conference on Human Rights in Rome, in November 2000, that the Committee of Ministers pursue these issues. There was nothing new in the document; it was a mere extract of a broader document developed at the Committee of Ministers’ DH meetings, in the context of a general item, concerning slow or negligent execution or non execution of Court’s judgments.

    - Adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)26

    189. At the 964th meeting (10 May 2006), the Committee of Ministers adopted Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)26, in which it “regret(s) profoundly that the authorities of the Russian Federation have not actively pursued all effective avenues to comply with the Court’s judgment, despite the Committee’s successive demands to this effect”. In view of this situation, in this Resolution, the Committee of Ministers:

    “ - Encourages the authorities of the Republic of Moldova to continue their efforts towards putting an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and securing their immediate release;
    - Declares the Committee’s resolve to ensure, with all means available to the Organisation, the compliance by the Russian Federation with its obligations under this judgment;
    - Calls upon the authorities of the member states to take such action as they deem appropriate to this end.”

    - Observations of the respondent states regarding the steps taken since the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)26 to secure the release of the applicants who are still imprisoned

    190. At the 965th meeting (24 May 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova, referring to the statement concerning this case made by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs at the 116th Session of the Committee of Ministers, underlined that the execution of the judgments of the European Court is obligatory. He considered that the Russian Federation is in a position to influence the Transdniestrian “authorities”.

    191. At the 966th meeting (DH) (6-7 June 2006), the Representative of Moldova recalled the efforts made by her authorities with a view to executing this judgment. In particular, the case has been mentioned by her authorities at the last meeting of the Committee for Parliamentary cooperation Moldova-European Union (with participation of a European Parliament Delegation), on 30 May 2006 in Brussels. She added that she hoped the fourth Interim Resolution would serve as en additional impetus to the parties involved to advance in their efforts towards achieving the release of the applicants who are still detained.

    192. At the 967th meeting (14 June 2006), the Representative of Moldova reiterated her statement made at the previous meeting.

    193. At the 969th meeting (21 June 2006), the Representative of Moldova recalled once again the efforts made by her authorities to execute this judgment. She especially referred to a letter sent on 9 June 2006 by the Moldovan Minister of Justice to the Russian Minister of Justice. Referring to the authority the Russian Federation exercises in the member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States and in the world, as well as to the Russian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, the Moldovan Minister expressed her wish that a call for the release of the applicants would be made by the competent organs of the Russian Federation towards Transdniestria. A copy of this letter and its French translation are available at the Secretariat.

    194. At the 970th meeting (DH) (4 July 2006), the Representative of Moldova recalled her authorities’ constant position and underlined that the specific circumstances of this case require a specific solution.

    195. At the 971st meeting (12 July 2006), the Representative of Moldova recalled her authorities’ constant position in this case.

    196. At the 972nd meeting (6 September 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova recalled the determination of his authorities to execute this judgment, and that they will continue to explore all the avenues available to this end. In particular, he indicated that on 4 September 2006, the Head of the Moldovan Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly, Deputy President of the parliament of the Republic of Moldova, wrote to the Head of the Russian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly, requesting his intervention with a view to the execution of this judgment. Copies of this letter may be obtained from the Secretariat.

    197. At the 973rd meeting (13 September 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova recalled, once again, the determination of his authorities to execute this judgment. Furthermore, he reported on the following steps. On 7 September 2006, the Minister of Reintegration of the Republic of Moldova, Mr Sova, wrote to the Head of the OSCE Mission in Moldova, Mr O’Neill, to the Representative of Transdniestria in charge of the settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict, Mr Litcai, and to the Ambassador at large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr Nesteruskin. In these letters, he called in particular for the adoption of concrete measures with a view to securing the release of the applicants still detained. Copies and translations of these letters are available by the Secretariat.

    198. At the 974th meeting (13 September 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova indicated that among the letters sent by his authorities before the previous meeting (see above), only the one sent to the OSCE received an answer. It emerges from this answer that this Organisation raises the question of the release of the applicants still detained at each of its meetings with the Transdniestrian “authorities”. Furthermore, on 26 September 2006, the Moldavian Minister of Justice, Mr Pirlog, wrote to his Russian counterpart, Mr Ustinov, asking him to participate in the search for a solution in this case. Copies and translations of these letters are available by the Secretariat.

    199. The Permanent Representative furthermore asked that a document be prepared, presenting the action taken by all member states, in the light, in particular, of the final paragraph of the fourth Interim resolution concerning this case (to be read together with the previous paragraph)5. This request was seconded by other delegations.

    200. Referring to the end of the applicants’ “sentences”, which approaches, and to the threat constituted by the non-execution of this judgment for the Council of Europe as a whole, the Permanent Representative once again assured the Committee of Ministers of his authorities’ wish to find a solution.

    201. At the 975th meeting (11 October 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova underlined his authorities’ preoccupation due to the delay of execution of this judgment, notwithstanding the obligation imposed by the European Court to release the applicants immediately. He called for the adoption of every measure which could contribute to bring about the applicants’ release.

    202. He also informed the Deputies that the Ombudsmen of Moldova have sent letters to the Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Hammarberg, and to the Governmental Agent of the Russian Federation to the European Court of Human Rights, Mr Laptev, requesting their intervention with a view to the execution of this judgment. He also mentioned calls made by an NGO (Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Moldova) as well as by the press. Copies of the documents mentioned are available from the Secretariat.

    203. The Permanent Representative stressed that civil society pays attention to the execution of the present judgment and that this has a serious impact on the Council of Europe’s credibility.

    204. Finally, he noted that his delegation could not remain indifferent to the provision of certain information, by the Russian Federation, at the same meeting. This constituted the end of the Russian Federation’s silence on this case. However, he added that concrete steps on the part of the Russian Federation were now awaited.

    205. At the 976th (DH) meeting (17-18 October 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova reiterated his authorities’ concern in view of the prolongation of the time needed to execute this judgment. He invited all the member states to be diligent in sending information on the measures taken by their authorities to facilitate the execution of this judgment, according to the request made at the 974th meeting.

    206. At the 978th meeting (25 October 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova, referring to the press release disseminated by the Russian Delegation at the 975th meeting concerning the visit of the Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to the applicants still detained, mentioned uncertainties existing as to the date and the conclusions of this visit. He underlined that, in any case, the applicants’ detention remains illegal and arbitrary and that the judgment will only be executed when this detention will be brought to an end; his authorities work constantly towards this aim.

    207. At the 979th meeting (8 November 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova repeated that his authorities will continue to make efforts in order to release the applicants, notwithstanding that their resources in this respect are limited. Concerning the latest letters sent to several authorities during the last weeks, he stated that there are not yet replies to them.

    208. The Permanent Representative stressed the fact that there's only a very short time left to execute the judgment of the European Court since the applicants' "sentences" are going to expire very shortly, in June 2007. He also referred to the bad health condition of the applicant Ivantoc's wife, which makes it even more necessary to release of the applicants rapidly. He asked the second Respondent State to make further efforts in order to execute the judgment, in view of its obligatory nature.

    209. Finally, he invited all the member States to send before the time limit (6 December 2006) information on the measures taken by their authorities to facilitate the execution of this judgment, in line with the request made at the 974th meeting.

    210. At the 980th meeting (22 November 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova referred to a recent visit to Moldova of members of the Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by member states of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee). In this context, he expressed the view that the next meeting of this Committee, which will be held on 13 December 2006 in Paris, could bring some light to the applicants’ current situation. He also asked the Russian delegation whether the Russian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs has discussed the liberation of the applicants in his meeting with the “President” of the “MRT”, on 18 November 2006.

    211. Finally, he again reiterated the will of his authorities to keep on doing their best to execute this judgment and reminded the member States to send to the Director General of Human Rights before the time limit (6 December 2006) information on the measures taken by their authorities to facilitate the execution of this judgment.

    212. At the 981st meeting (29 November 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova referred to a meeting which had taken place the day before between the Moldovan President Mr Voronin and the Russian President Mr Putin, and which concerned the general situation in Transdniestria. He indicated that, on the same day, a meeting between the Moldovan Minister of Justice Mr Pirlog and the Special Representative of the European Union for Moldova Mr Jacobovits de Szeged was held. Finally, he again asked the Russian delegation to indicate whether the Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs had discussed the release of the applicants during his meeting with the “President” of the “MRT” on 18 November 2006.

    213. The Permanent Representative repeated the worry of his authorities that there was only a short time left before the expiry of the applicants’ “sentences” in June 2007, and he again stressed the challenge for the Council of Europe to have this judgment executed, as well the determination of his authorities to attain this aim.

    214. At the 982nd (DH) meeting (5-6 December 2006), the Permanent Representative of Moldova stated that his authorities had explored all diplomatic means to ensure the applicants’ immediate release, and stressed his authorities position that the collective action of the member states is, more that ever, requested so that the respondent states can execute the judgment.

    215. Furthermore, the Permanent Representative expressed a positive opinion on the proposal that the fourth Interim Resolution adopted in this case be disseminated to the attention of the UN and the OSCE, in line with the proposal made at the previous meeting.

    216. At the 985th meeting (31 January 2007), the Permanent Representative of Moldova, whose statement has been distributed to all delegations, touched in particular upon the following issues.

    217. He underlined that the above-mentioned meeting constituted the beginning of the final stages before the end of the period of time available for a full execution of this judgment, since the applicants’ “convictions” will soon be approaching their end. Moreover, he indicated that the applicants’ health conditions are continually getting worse, since Mr. Popa (initially Petrov-Popa, see footnote No. 2) caught tuberculosis in prison and, according to unofficial information, he is not being treated suitably.

    218. As regards the measures taken by the Moldovan authorities to bring about the execution of this judgment, the Permanent Representative enumerated several steps that had been taken: a statement made by the Moldovan Ombudsman concerning the execution of this judgment at the meeting of the Ombudsmen of the Community of the Independent States and the Baltic States in Vilnius on 11-13 October 2006; a letter sent on 16 January 2007 by the Moldovan Parliamentary Attorneys to the Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights; a letter addressed on 17 January 2007 by the Vice-President of the Moldovan Parliament, who is also the leader of the Moldovan delegation in PACE, to the leader of the Russian delegation in PACE; several letters sent on 17 January 2007 by the Moldovan Minister of the Reintegration to the Representative of Transdniestria in charge of the settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict, to the Ambassador at large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, to the Head of the OSCE Mission in Moldova, to the Ambassador of Ukraine in Moldova and to the Special Representative of the European Commission to Moldova. Copies of all letters and their French translations are available at the Secretariat.

    219. In view of the response by the Commissioner for Human Rights’ Office to the Moldovan authorities on 5 December 2006, the Permanent Representative also asked the Secretariat to envisage, in the near future, an exchange of views between the Committee of Ministers and the Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Hammarberg, whose assistance could in his view be valuable.

    220. Finally, the Permanent Representative expressed the wish that the information document CM/Inf/DH(2006)52 rev, concerning the measures taken by the Member States with the view of facilitating the execution of this judgment, would be declassified, and he indicated that the applicant Petrov-Popa is called from now on Popa6.

    221. At the 986th meeting (7 February 2007), the Permanent Representative of Moldova underlined the firm position of his authorities that all means available to the Council of Europe and its member states must be put to use in order to prevent this case from becoming a precedent of non-execution of European Court judgments. He added that Moldova continues to use all available means in order to release the applicants.

    222. By referring to the proposal that he had made at the previous meeting concerning the possibility to exchange views with the Commissioner for Human Rights on this issue, he informed the Committee that he had had discussions with the Commissioner in this respect. He repeated that he was convinced that a future exchange of views on this case between the Committee of Ministers and the Commissioner would be useful.

    223. At the 987th meeting (DH) (13-14 February 2007), the Permanent Representative of Moldova stated that, among other efforts made by his authorities towards the applicants’ release, contact had been taken with “representatives of the administration of the Transdniestrian region”.

    224. Recalling that the reasons on which the judgment is based are purely legal, he underlined however that the measures needed to ensure execution go further than merely legal measures. He referred to possible humanitarian, diplomatic and political steps, which Moldova would not be in a position to take alone. He thanked the delegations which had lent their support with a view to achieving the applicants’ release.

    225. At the 988th meeting (21 February 2007), the Permanent Representative of Moldova confirmed again that his authorities were pursuing their efforts towards the applicants’ release, by way of bilateral contacts and within the framework of international organisations.

    226. Furthermore, he expressed his authorities’ disappointment at the failure to organisate negotiations on the situation in Transdniestria in general, scheduled on 15 and 16 February 2007. However, he underlined that his authorities remained open and available for dialogue to reinforce mutual confidence between the parties and aiming at fixing “the existing problems”.

    227. The Permanent Representative added that he would himself continue to have exchanges with his colleagues, Representatives of member states of the Council of Europe, including the Russian Federation, with a view to developing a new reflection on the methods still to be envisaged to achieve the execution of the judgment.

    228. Finally, the Permanent Representative provided information on the follow-up given to the transmission of the fourth interim Resolution by the Secretary General, Terry Davis, at the request of the Committee of Ministers, to the Secretaries General of the OSCE and the United Nations. The Representative of Moldova to the OSCE met the Secretary General of that organisation, who undertook to consider the material put at his disposal and to find how to fulfil Mr Davis’ request. The Representative of Moldova to the United Nations sent a note to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 25 January 2007, asking him to have the 4th Interim Resolution circulated to the General Assembly of the United Nations.

    229. At the 989th meeting (14 March 2007), the Permanent Representative of Moldova regretted that contacts that had taken place at the end of 2006 between the Moldovan and Russian Presidents concerning the situation in Transdnistria generally, had not had the expected positive consequences for the execution of the present judgment. In referring to several contacts between the Russian authorities and the Transdniestrian “authorities”, the last time being on 20 February 2007, he wished for the Russian Delegation to inform the Committee of Ministers whether the release of the applicants had been discussed during these contacts. In addition, concerning the lack of dialogue between the Moldovan authorities and the Transdnistrian “authorities”, he wished to stress that the latter had been hindering all attempts to establish such a dialogue for more than a year now.

    230. He insisted that the execution of the present judgment was not to be linked to the solution of the Transdniestrian problem, nor conditioned by such a solution. He nevertheless stated that his authorities were examining all possibilities, including in the general context of the Transdniestrian problem, to contribute to the applicants’ release. He underlined that his authorities were aware of the urgent necessity to abide by the judgment.

    231. Finally, by referring to the possible implication of the Commissioner, the UN and the OSCE to the execution of the judgment, he estimated that they constituted necessary levers for this purpose.

    232. At the 990th meeting (21 March 2007), the Representative of Moldova, reiterating his authorities’ will to achieve the applicants’ release, referred to the numerous steps that they have taken with a view to the execution of the judgment since the latter was delivered, notwithstanding their limited means. The competent ministries (ministries of foreign affairs, reintegration and justice), as well as civil society, have explored all available avenues with a view to the execution of the judgment, including in the broader context of the Transdniestrian conflict. In particular, the Representative of Moldova recalled that his authorities were incessantly trying to approach the so-called Transdniestrian “authorities” concerning the execution of this judgment, but that no response had been received from the latter by the Moldovan authorities for a year (since a letter dated 23 March 2006). He added that, on 19 March 2007, the Minister of reintegration of the Republic of Moldova, Mr. Vasilel Sova, has addressed a letter to the Representative of Transdniestria in charge of the settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict, Mr V. A. Litcai, calling for the immediate release of the applicants. Both these letters, together with their translation into French, have been distributed to all Delegations (document reference DD(2007)142).

    233. At the 992nd meeting (3-4 April 2007) (DH), the Permanent Representative of Moldova gave details concerning the meeting referred to at the previous meeting by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation and which took place on 21 March 2007 between a representative of the Russian authorities and the Secretary of the Security Council of the Moldovan Republic. On one hand, during the meeting, where the Ilaşcu case was discussed, the Russian Federation was represented by a diplomat from the Russian Embassy in Chişinău, and not by the Ambassador as announced by the Russian delegation at the previous meeting of the Committee of Ministers. On the other hand, contrary to what had also been announced at the previous meeting, no reference had been made to the President of Moldova during this meeting of 21 March. Finally, during this meeting emphasis was laid on the necessity for Moldova to take measures in order to release the applicants. The Permanent Representative insisted on the fact that his authorities are continuously taking such measures and that they were examining what measures could still be taken in the future. Most recently, the Representative of the Government of the Moldovan Republic to the European Court of Human Rights has sent on 26 March 2007 a letter to his Russian counterpart, asking to intervene in the execution of this judgment.

    234. Recalling the conclusions of the fourth Interim Resolution7, he asked the Committee firmly to reject all speculation concerning this case; to support the immediate publication of the information document putting together the measures taken by the member states to contribute to the execution of the judgment (CM/Inf/DH(2006)52 rev); and the Secretariat to inform the Deputies of any reactions by the UN and the OSCE following on being informed the fourth Interim Resolution.

    235. Finally, referring, in a more general context, to efforts made by his authorities in favour of the Transndniestrian “authorities” and to their good faith in their dialogue with the latter, he expressed his hope that the separatist authorities of the Transdniestrian region, with the help of the Russian Federation, will react to these efforts and release the applicants.

    236. At the 993rd meeting (11-12 April 2007), the Permanent Representative of Moldova stated that it seemed obvious that the Transdniestrian problem had important implications for this case and the applicants’ release. For this reason, his authorities were exploring all possibilities, also in the general context of the Transdniestrian problem, to contribute to their release. In this respect, he welcomed the recent meeting between the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and of European Integration. During this meeting, the situation in the Transdniestrian region was examined and the Ilaşcu case was discussed, with a view to reaching a solution. The question of the Transdniestrian conflict was also raised at a meeting between a representative of the Secretary of State of the United States and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The Permanent Representative of Moldova indicated that these meetings restored Moldova’s hope concerning the execution of this case.

    237 he Permanent Representative added that the Moldovan Minister of Justice recently discussed the case with the new Special Representative of the European Union in Moldova, Mr. Kalman Mizsel. The Minister requested the Special Representative’s support with a view, in particular, to the applicant’s release. He added that the Special Representative undertook to use all legal means to find a solution to the Transdniestrian problem, together with the Moldovan authorities and the relevant international organisations.

    238. At the 994bis meeting (7 May 2007), the Permanent Representative of Moldova insisted on the very short time – less than a month – which remained to achieve the applicants’ release, as requested by the Court’s judgment and the necessity to safeguard the credibility of the Council of Europe and of the Court. He referred to his authorities’ openness and to their continuous efforts towards the full implementation of this judgment.

    239. Although the execution of this judgment and the solution of the Transdniestrian problem are two different issues, the Permanent Representative stressed the complex ties which exist nevertheless between them. In this context, he presented to the Deputies several recent initiatives of his authorities with a view to solving the Transdniestrian problem. He added that this judgment provides a good illustration of the question of shadow areas within Council of Europe member states where obstacles exist to the effective implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights (including the “black holes”), as recently underlined by the Parliamentary Assembly, within the framework of the debates concerning the state of Human Rights and democracy in Europe. He expressed the opinion that the Committee of Ministers should give an adequate response to Assembly’s Recommendation 1791(2007) in this respect.

    240. At the 995th meeting (16 May 2007), the Permanent Representative of Moldova referred to the recent visit of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Moldova, during which the problem of the applicants’ illegal detention had a central place in the discussions. Nevertheless, he noted with regret that the “Transdniestrian” authorities had no intention to change their position. He added that what was at stake at this stage, was to find a way out protecting the credibility of the Council of Europe and the authority of the Court, notwithstanding the applicants’ situation, a few days before the end of their “sentence”.

    241. The Permanent Representative called upon all member states, in particular the Russian Federation, to put pressure on the Transdniestrian “authorities” so that they immediately release the applicants. He recalled his authorities’ openness to the proposals and actions which could contribute to the applicant’s release.

    242. At the 996th meeting (23 May 2007), the Permanent Representative of Moldova referred to recent statements by representatives of the so-called Transdniestrian “authorities”, confirming that the – arbitrary – detention of the applicants should end on 2 and 4 June 2007. He referred to the efforts made by all Delegations, for almost three years, to obtain the applicants’ release; he also referred to the fact that the transmission of the fourth Interim Resolution had, unfortunately, not had the expected result, even if the Chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly recently addressed the issue of this case with the separatist “authorities”. Finally, the Permanent Representative reiterated his authorities’ call to the authorities of the Russian Federation, both respondent state and mediator in the Transdniestrian problem, so that they provide effective support with a view to the applicants’ release.

    243. At the 997th meeting (5-6 June 2007) (DH), the Permanent Representative of Moldova informed the Deputies that the applicants Ivanţoc and Popa had regained their freedom respectively on 2 and 4 June 2007. Welcoming this release, he however expressed his authorities’ worry that the release was so belated, despite all their efforts. He added that lessons should be learned from this case, and thought given to what action can be taken at this stage.

    244 At the 965th meeting, the Representative of the Russian Federation indicated that the statement made by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs on the occasion of 116th Session of the Committee of Ministers reflected the position of the Russian Federation in this case. The Minister had stated that the Russian Federation had always implemented judgments to the extent to which it could physically and legally do so. Concerning the execution of the present judgment, the Minister had recalled the initial position of the Russian Federation, namely that in order not to interfere in internal affairs of another state, the Russian authorities could not do more than paying the just satisfaction awarded by the Court, which had already been done.

    245. At the 969th meeting (21 June 2006), the Representative of the Russian Federation recalled the position of his authorities, as it was expressed last time by his Minister of Foreign Affairs on the occasion of the 116th Session of the Committee of Ministers.

    246. At the 975th meeting (11 October 2006), the Representative of the Russian Federation stated that the press statement circulated by his delegation concerning the visit of the Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, to the applicants still detained reflected a purely humanitarian gesture by this Church. A copy of this press statement is available from the Secretariat.

    247. He reiterated that his authorities’ position (as recalled by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Lavrov, on 4 October 2006 before the Parliamentary Assembly) remained unchanged.

    248. At the 978th meeting (25 October 2006), the Representative of the Russian Federation specified that the visit of the Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, which he had mentioned at the 975th meeting, took place in August 2006.

    249. This Delegation again referred to the reasons for which its authorities consider that they do not have to take further measures for the execution of this judgment.

    250. At the 980th meeting (22 November 2006), the Representative of the Russian Federation indicated that he would provide more information, as requested by the Permanent Representative of Moldova, on the meeting between the Russian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and the “President” of the “MRT”, as soon it had been received.

    251. He added that, as his authorities have no jurisdiction over Transdniestria, they cannot change the Transdniestrian “authorities’ ” opinion, that the applicants are criminals and thus have to remain imprisoned.

    252. At the 981st meeting (29 November 2006), the Representative of the Russian Federation confirmed that a meeting had taken place the day before between the Moldovan President Mr Voronin and the Russian President Mr Putin. He indicated that his delegation hoped soon to receive information on this meeting as well as on the other meetings mentioned by the Permanent Representative of Moldova.

    253. At the 982nd (DH) meeting (5-6 December 2006), the Representative of the Russian Federation indicated that a meeting took place on 18 November 2006 with the “President” of the “MRT” , Mr. Smirnov, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow. Furthermore, a meeting also took place on 16 November 2006 with high level representatives of the political leadership of Moldova, in Moscow. These meetings aimed, inter alia, at restoring a dialogue between Moldova authorities and Transdniestrian “authorities”, in order to find solutions to outstanding problems, including the case of Ilascu.

    254. At the 986th meeting (7 February 2007), the Representative of the Russian Federation repeated his authorities’ well known position according to which they have no legal means to release the applicants. Furthermore, he stated that he could not therefore declare to be in favour of the declassification of information document CM/Inf/DH(2006)52 revised (concerning the measures taken by the member states in order to facilitate the execution of this judgment), proposed by the Moldovan delegation at the previous meeting.

    255. At the 990th meeting (21 March 2007), the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation stated that the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Moldova had met the Secretary of the Security Council of Moldova, Mr. Morei, to facilitate co-operation to fulfil the judgment of the European Court in the present case.

    256. The Permanent Representative added that the Russian Federation had done this in a spirit of good will to facilitate the defusing of the present unfortunate situation, but that the principle position of his authorities had not changed. In this respect, he recalled that although the Russian Federation had from the delivery of the judgment considered that it was biased and political, and in spite of strong objections in Russian society and Parliament, the Russian Federation, in a spirit of co-operation, had carried out the part of the judgment which it could execute, but that this could not be considered a precedent.

    257. Finally, the Permanent Representative indicated that his authorities had been informed by the Security Council of Moldova that the President of Moldova had asked his administration to draft a message which he could address to the so-called Transdniestrian “authorities” concerning the execution of this judgment. He concluded by stating that the Russian Federation hoped that these efforts would bear fruit.

    258. At the 993rd meeting (11-12 April 2007), the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation referred to the well known position of his authorities in this case. He expressed the hope that the Moldovan authorities could see the Transdniestrian problem solved.

    259. At the 994bis meeting (7 May 2007), the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, while referring to the position of his authorities in this case (see § 255, above), reaffirmed that they always supported Moldova’s efforts towards the execution of this judgment, and will continue to do so.

    260. At the 995th (16 May 2007) and 996th (23 May 2007) meetings, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation made a similar statement.

    - Observations of other delegations after the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)26

    261. At the 965th meeting (24 May 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania), the candidate countries (Croatia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Turkey), the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro), Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) and of the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as Ukraine. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    262. These states once again insisted on the necessity of executing this judgment and all the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. They recalled their previous statement in this respect. They stated, with great regret, that the parties concerned had not secured the release of the applicants who are still detained. They also recalled that the Committee of Ministers has already adopted four Interim Resolutions.

    263. These states again said that they wished the Russian Chairmanship to be a success for the Russian Federation and the Council of Europe. They recalled that on the occasion of the 116th Session of the Committee of Ministers, the Ministers had taken note of the priorities of the Russian Chairmanship and noted that the achievements of the Russian Chairmanship will be reviewed in due time. In this respect they expressed their wish that the Russian Chairmanship will make a special effort and take the necessary steps concerning the present case.

    264. At the 966th (DH) meeting (6-7 June 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria reiterated his previous statement, on behalf of the European Union with support of the same countries. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    265. The Permanent Representative of Switzerland added that it was up to the Committee of Ministers to convince the Russian Federation that it is in its own interest to undertake real efforts with a view to executing this judgment fully. He considered various elements indicated that the Russian Federation, which up to now had generally performed well in executing the Court’s judgments, could be in a position to take action to implement the judgment fully if it so wished. He appealed to the Russian Federation to take the “extraordinary opportunity” offered by the Russian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers to act in this way.

    266. At the 967th meeting (14 June 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria reiterated his previous statement, on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same countries. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    267. The Representative of Romania underlined that the persistent non-execution of this judgment, almost two years after it has been delivered, affects seriously the credibility of the Convention system.

    268. At the 969th meeting (21 June 2006), the Permanent Representative of Austria made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same countries, except that Serbia is listed among these countries (no longer Serbia and Montenegro). The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations.

    269. These countries recalled their previous statements concerning the necessity of executing this judgment and all the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. They also reiterated their great regret concerning the fact that the parties concerned had not secured the release of the applicants who are still detained, in view of which situation four Interim Resolutions have already been adopted.

    270. They stated that this situation continues to cast a shadow on the Russian Chairmanship and seriously threatens the credibility of the Council of Europe’s system of human rights protection. Once again, they stressed that on the occasion of the 116th Session of the Committee of Ministers, the Ministers had taken note of the priorities of the Russian Chairmanship and noted that the achievements of the Russian Chairmanship will be reviewed in due time. They added that the Russian Chairmanship will also be judged on the basis to what extend the present case has been resolved. In this respect they expressed their wish that the Russian Chairmanship will make a special effort and take the necessary steps concerning the present case.

    271. Furthermore, the Permanent Representative of Romania referred to new steps of his authorities towards the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    272. Finally, at the same meeting, the Permanent Representative of Austria, on behalf of the European Union, proposed that the case be added on the agenda of the next meeting of the Joint Committee (Strasbourg, 29 June 2006). In the decision adopted concerning the preparation of this meeting, the Deputies in particular “proposed the addition of an item on Ilaşcu and others against Moldova and the Russian Federation” and “invited their Chair to reply accordingly to the letter of the President of the Parliamentary Assembly dated 7 June 2006”. The case was examined at the Joint Committee on 29 June 2006 (see below).

    273. At the 970th meeting (DH) (4 July 2006), the Permanent Representative of Finland made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same countries as for the last statements made by the previous Chair of the European Union (see § 198). The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations and is available on the Committee of Ministers’ website.

    274. These countries recalled their previous statements concerning the necessity of executing this judgment and all the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. They also reiterated their great regret concerning the fact that the parties concerned had not secured the release of the applicants who are still detained, in view of which situation four Interim Resolutions have already been adopted.

    275. They stressed that on the occasion of the both 116th Session of the Committee of Ministers and at the third part of the 2006 Ordinary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Ministers and the representatives of the Assembly had taken note of the priorities of the Russian Chairmanship and noted that the achievements of the Russian Chairmanship will be reviewed in due time.

    276. They stated that this situation will cast a shadow on the Russian Chairmanship and seriously threaten the credibility of the Council of Europe’s system of human rights protection. They therefore urged the Russian Chair to do everything within its powers to ensure the full execution of this judgment.

    277. Two delegations (Georgia and Switzerland) associated themselves with this declaration.

    278. At the 971st meeting (12 July 2006), the Permanent Representative of Finland made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same countries as for the last statements made by the previous Chair of the European Union (see § 198). The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations and is available on the Committee of Ministers’ website.

    279. These states recalled the necessity of executing this judgment and all judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. They also recalled that the Court held that the respondent states were to take all necessary measures to put an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and secure their immediate release and that any continuation of the unlawful and arbitrary detention of the applicants would necessarily constitute a breach of the respondent states’ obligation under Article 46§1 of the Convention to abide by the Court’s judgment.

    280. Two years after the Court’s judgment, they expressed once again their great regret that the parties concerned had not secured the release of the applicants who are still detained, in view of which situation four Interim Resolutions have already been adopted.

    281. They stressed that on the occasion of both the 116th Session of the Committee of Ministers and at the third part of the 2006 Ordinary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Ministers and the representatives of the Assembly had taken note of the priorities of the Russian Chairmanship and noted that the achievements of the Russian Chairmanship will be reviewed in due time.

    282. They stated that the failure to execute this judgment would cast a shadow on the Russian Chairmanship and seriously threaten the credibility of the Council of Europe’s system of human rights protection. They therefore urged the Russian Chair to do everything in its power to ensure the full execution of the judgment.

    283. The delegation of Georgia associated itself with this statement.

    284. Furthermore, at the same meeting, the Permanent Representative of Switzerland recalled that at the Joint Committee meeting of 29 June 2006, the Russian delegation had argued among other things that, as the applicants are neither Russian citizens nor detained on the territory of the Russian Federation, the latter could not intervene with a view to their release. The Permanent Representative of Switzerland underlined that the applicants had been arrested by Russian soldiers, who transferred them to the charge of the separatist regime, and that this was justification for asking the Russian Federation to take action with a view to the applicant’s release.

    285. At the 972nd meeting (6 September 2006), the Permanent Representative of Finland made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same countries. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations and is available on the Committee of Ministers’ website.

    286. Reiterating their previous statements concerning the importance of finding a solution to this case and recalling the Court’s conclusions on the necessity of an immediate release of the applicants still detained, they expressed once again their great regret that the parties concerned had not secured the release of these applicants.

    287. Whereas the Russian Chairmanship is already at its mid-point, these States reiterated that the failure to execute this judgment would cast a shadow on the Russian Chairmanship and seriously threaten the credibility of the Council of Europe’s system of human rights protection. They therefore urged the Russian Chair to do everything in its power to ensure the full execution of the judgment.

    288. Two Delegations (Georgia and Switzerland) associated themselves with this statement. The Permanent Representative of Switzerland also invited his colleagues to reflect on the possibility of giving more publicity to this case, including before the Parliamentary Assembly.

    289. Finally, the Permanent Representative of Romania recalled the proposals made by the Director General of Human Rights at a previous meeting as to the follow-up to be given to this case (see points 233-234 below).

    290. At the 973rd meeting (13 September 2006), the Permanent Representative of Finland made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same countries, as well as Georgia. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations and is available on the Committee of Ministers’ website.

    291. Reiterating their previous statement, these states declared that the failure to execute this judgment casts a shadow on the Russian Chairmanship and seriously threatens the credibility of the Council of Europe’s system of human rights protection.

    292. At the 974th meeting (17 September 2006), the Permanent Representative of Finland reiterated this statement, on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same countries. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations and is available on the Committee of Ministers’ website.

    293. This statement was supported by other states, which underlined furthermore that there was a general interest in finding a solution in this case, in view of the fact that it is possible that in the future the European Court of Human Rights could deliver other judgments presenting links to regions in a situation similar to that of Transdniestria.

    294. At the 975th meeting (11 October 2006), the Permanent Representative of Finland reiterated this statement, on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same countries, but this time she stressed that, as that the Russian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers was approaching its end, the non-execution of this judgment continued to cast a shadow on the success of the Russian Chairmanship and on the credibility of the Council of Europe’s system of human rights protection. They therefore urged the Russian Chair to make a special effort to bring about the release of the applicants as soon as possible. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations and is available on the Committee of Ministers’ website.

    295. The Georgian and Romanian delegations stated that they had taken note of the document distributed by the Russian Federation at this meeting. The Georgian delegation expressed its reservations about this document and insisted on the fact that the execution of this judgment constituted a challenge for the organisation in its entirety. The Norwegian delegation raised the question as to whether Moldova could make the latest CPT report on its visit to Transdniestria public. The Swiss delegation, reacting to the fact that the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs once again stated (before the Parliamentary Assembly on 4 October 2006) that nothing could be done to release applicants who had not been convicted by Russian courts and who were not detained in Russia, again underlined that the applicants had been arrested by Russian soldiers, who handed them over to the separatist regime.

    296. At the 976th (DH) meeting (17-18 October 2006), the Permanent Representative of Finland reiterated this statement, on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same countries, underlining however that, while they welcomed any reliable information on the detention conditions of the detainees, they expected information too on the other measures taken with a view to facilitating the execution of this judgment. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations and is available on the Committee of Ministers’ website.

    297. The Permanent Representative of Switzerland noted the efforts made by Moldova in this case, despite the fact that it does not have much room for manoeuvre. In the light of the Court’s conclusions, he insisted on the active role that the Russian Federation has to play in the execution of this judgment.

    298. At the 978th meeting (25 October 2006), the Permanent Representative of Finland reiterated her previous statement, on behalf of the European Union and with the support of the same countries. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations and is available on the Committee of Ministers’ website.

    299. The Permanent Representative of Switzerland once again referred to the elements taken into account by the European Court to decide that the responsibility of the Russian Federation was engaged in this case.

    300. At the 979th meeting (8 November 2006), the Permanent Representative of Finland made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the same countries than during the previous meetings. Insisting on the necessity of releasing the applicants, these States declared that the non-execution of this judgment has cast a shadow on the Russian chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers as well as on the credibility of the Council of Europe‘s system of human rights protection. These states therefore urged the Russian Chair to take all possible measures to bring about the immediate release of the applicants. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations and is available on the Committee of Ministers’ website.

    301. At the 980th meeting (22 November 2006), the Permanent Representative of Finland made a statement along the lines of her previous statement, on behalf of the European Union and with the support of the same countries. These states stated that the non-execution of this judgment undermines the credibility of the Council of Europe and that of the European Court of Human Rights, and they urged the parties concerned to take all possible measures to bring about the immediate release of the applicants. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations and is available on the Committee of Ministers’ website.

    302. The Permanent Representative of Switzerland recalled that any reference to alleged confessions by the applicants is not relevant, and that they must be released in view of the European Court’s judgment, which said, inter alia, that they have been unfairly tried by an illegal court.

    303. At the 981st meeting (29 November 2006), the Permanent Representative of Finland repeated her previous statement, on behalf of the European Union and with the support of the same countries as at the previous meeting and Azerbaijan, adding however that these states asked that the fourth Interim Resolution adopted in this case, ResDH(2006)26, would be brought to the attention of the UN and the OSCE. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations and is available on the Committee of Ministers’ website.

    304. Several states supported this statement. After a debate, the Deputies finally agreed to resume this debate at the 982nd meeting (5-6 December 2006) (DH), with the view to adopt a decision on this point.

    305. At the 982nd (DH) meeting (5-6 December 2006), the Representative of Finland recalled his Delegation’s previous statement, on behalf of the European Union and with the support of the same countries as at the previous meeting. The text of this statement was circulated to all delegations and is available on the Committee of Ministers’ website.

    306. Several states supported this statement. The Permanent Representative of Switzerland stated that he had taken note of the information provided by the Russian Delegation, concerning meetings in Moscow between, the Russian authorities, the Moldovan authorities and the Transdniestrian “authorities”. However, he wanted to stress that the European Court’s judgment requested that the Russian authorities act more specifically and actively with a view to the applicants’ release. He added that the Swiss authorities would raise this question directly with the Swiss authorities within shortly.

    307. Finally, the Deputies decided to instruct the Secretary General to communicate Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)26, adopted on 10 May 2006, to the Secretary General of the United Nations Organisation and the Secretary General of the OSCE, asking them to draw the attention of the competent organs of their respective Organisations to this text.

    308. At the 985th meeting (31 January 2007), the Permanent Representative of Germany made a statement on behalf of the European Union and with the support of the same countries as at the previous meeting. This statement reiterates the important preoccupations expressed in the previous statement made by these states, as well as the calls which had been made. However, it shall be noted that these states have urged the parties concerned, and most particularly the Russian Federation, to take all possible measures to bring about the immediate release of the applicants. The text of this statement has been disseminated to all delegations and it is available on the internet site of the Committee of Ministers.

    309. At the 986th meeting (7 February 2007), the Permanent Representative of Germany repeated his previous statement made on behalf of the European Union and with the support of the same countries as at the previous meeting. These states added that when adhering to the European Convention on Human Rights, the Contracting States undertake to abide by the final judgments of the Court in any case to which they are parties. They reject any statement implying that the Court’s judgments are politically motivated. The text of this statement has been disseminated to all delegations and it is available on the internet site of the Committee of Ministers.

    310. The Permanent Representative of Switzerland underlined that only Moldova had shown any imagination in making an effort to have the judgment executed. He added that in this case it was not only the credibility of the member states and that of the Court that were at stake. Finally, by reacting more specifically to the position taken by the Russian authorities in this case, a position which had been recalled by the delegation at this meeting, the Representative of Switzerland stated that in the absence of legal means to execute the judgment, the Russian Federation had political means available.

    311. At the 987th (DH, 13-14 February 2007), 988th (21 February 2007), 989th (14 March 2007), 990th (21 mars 2007), 992nd (DH, 3-4 April 2007), 993rd (11-12 April 2007), 994bis (7 May 2007), 995th (16 May 2007) and 996th (23 May 2007) meetings, the German Delegation made statements similar to that made at the 986th meeting, on behalf of the European Union and with the support of the same countries as at the previous meeting (as well as Switzerland at the 988th and 995th meeting, the Representative of Switzerland also having stated that his authorities associated themselves with the EU statement at the 996th meeting, as well as San Marino at the 996th meeting). The texts of these statements have been sent out to all delegations and are available on the internet site of the Committee of Ministers.

    312. At the 992nd meeting (3-4 April 2007) (DH), the Permanent Representative of Switzerland indicated that, to some extent encouraged by the statement of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation at the 990th meeting (21 March 2007), he had hoped to get new information from this country at the present meeting. He insisted on the fact that this judgment must be executed. At the 994bis (7 May 2007) meeting, referring to the statement of the Permanent Representative of Moldova at the same meeting, he insisted on recalling that, although the ongoing efforts to solve the Transdniestrian conflict were welcome, the applicant’s release could not depend from the prior solution of this problem. Less than a month before the end of their “sentences”, he insisted on the urgency of the applicants’ release.

    313 At the 995th meeting (16 May 2007), the Permanent Representative of San Marino, recalling his authorities’ attachment to the execution of all judgments of the Court, stated that they support the European Union’s position.

    314. At the same meeting, the Permanent Representative of Romania, also calling upon all member states, in particular the Russian Federation, to do everything that is possible to achieve the applicants’ release, mentioned a statement that the so called Transdniestrian “Minister of foreign affairs” made at a press conference and according to which the applicants would be released, one on the 28 May 2007, and the other on 2 June 2007. At the 996th meeting (23 May 2007), the Representative of Romania confirmed the information provided before him by the Permanent Representative of Moldova, i.e. that according to the Transdniestrian “authorities”, the applicant’s detention should end on 2 and 4 June 2007. Reacting to the statement made by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, he underlined that it was not acceptable to state that a judgment of the Court is politically motivated.

    315. At the 997th meeting (5-6 April 2007) (DH), the Representative of Germany made a statement on behalf of the European Union with the support of the countries which are candidates for accession to the Union (Croatia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Turkey), the countries of the stabilisation and association process and potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland (these four states are members of the European Free Trade Agreement – EFTA- and the first three are members of the European Economic Area - EEA), as well as Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Switzerland.

    316. In their statement, circulated to all delegations and included in the Records of the meeting, these states, referring to the applicants’ release, stated that the present situation constitutes a failure to enforce a judgment of the European Court, a very serious situation, strongly condemned. It runs counter to member states’ commitments under the Convention but also seriously undermines the credibility of the Council of Europe and the Court. They reiterated their rejection of any statement implying that the Court’s judgments are politically motivated and affirmed that all judgments of the Court must be fully implemented by parties found in violation of the Convention. These states urged the respondent states, in particular the Russian Federation, to ensure that in future all judgments of the European Court against them are executed, thus ensuring that this case does not set a precedent.

    317. The Representative of Germany added that the European Union shared the Secretariat’s approach, also reflected in the decision adopted, namely that, in the light of the consequences remaining to be drawn in this case and the application pending before the Court concerning the continuation of the applicants’ detention after the judgment of 8 July 2004, the case should not be closed at this stage. The Deputies so decided.

    - Observations of the Secretariat after the adoption of Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)26

    318. At the 966th (DH) meeting (6-7 June 2006), the Director of Human Rights recalled that with regard to this judgment, the credibility of the collective system of supervision of the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights was at stake. Indeed, despite four Interim Resolutions, the most important execution part of the judgment has not been executed yet. In line with the statement of the Swiss Ambassador, she considered that the time had come for the Committee of Ministers to reflect about what further action could be undertaken in order to convince one of the parties to execute fully the judgment. Finally, she recalled once again that, for the purposes of executing this judgment, all that was needed was that the Committee of Ministers could note that the applicants had been freed, without going into the ways and means of their liberation.

    319. At the 970th meeting (DH) (4 July 2006), the Director General of Human Rights assured the Deputies of his willingness to find a solution that fully meets the requirements of the judgment. He recalled that in this judgment, it is the Court itself that said that the respondent states were to take all necessary measures to put an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and secure their immediate release. Nevertheless, the authorities of one if the respondent states are still of the opinion that they cannot do anything to release the applicants without violating the very basis of international law. The main argument of this state in this respect is its wish not to interfere in the internal affairs of another state, which would be inadmissible.

    320. The Director General gave an example which illustrated his reservations about this last point: if the European Court were to find that an expulsion was contrary to the requirements of Article 3 or Article 8 of the Convention, the defendant state would be obliged for the purposes of execution to take all diplomatic measures to try either to allow the applicant to return to its territory or to prevent that the infliction of treatment contrary to Article 3 on the applicant on the territory of the state to which he was expelled. Diplomatic measures taken in such a situation could in no way be considered as an interference in the domestic affairs of another state. He wondered therefore why diplomatic measures permitting the release of the applicants deprived of their freedom in this case would be considered as such.

    321. He added that on Thursday 29 June 2006, the Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Alexander Grushko, stated before the Parliamentary Assembly that the Russian Federation has always said that the judgments of the European Court must be applied and it has never stated that it would have no intention to execute the Ilaşcu judgment. The Director General, for his part, saw in this a sincere wish to achieve the applicants’ release. In this case, diplomatic and other efforts should be taken in this respect and the Committee of Ministers should be informed about this.

    322. Finally, the Director General recalled that the Convention system provides a collective guarantee of those rights and freedoms set out in the Convention and that every contracting party has a co-responsibility in the full implementation of the Convention.

    323. At the 972nd meeting (6 September 2006), the Director General of Human Rights underlined how deplorable it was that this case was not solved. Further to the proposal made by a delegation to give more publicity to this case, he noted that press statements are made on the occasion of every “Human Rights” meeting concerning inter alia this case. Hence, they are accessible to the Parliamentary Assembly. At this stage, he does not see which other form of publicity could be used to raise the pressure on the respondent states, without ruling out that in the future other avenues could be found.

    324. At the 974th meeting (17 September 2006), the Director General of Human Rights expressed the Secretariat’s availability to prepare, as requested by the Permanent Representative of Moldova, a document presenting the action taken by all member states in the light of the final paragraph of the fourth Interim Resolution concerning this case and above all of the collective responsibility for ensuring the execution of the European Court’s judgments. Having been invited by a delegation to do so, he confirmed that he was ready, as well as the Secretary General if need be, to send a letter to the authorities of all member states to ask which measures have been taken so far with a view to facilitating the execution of this judgment.

    325. The Director General added that he shared, with the delegations that expressed their views in this respect, the fear that this case constitutes a precedent, detrimental to the credibility both of the Court and of the system of supervision of the execution of judgments.

    326. At the 975th meeting (11 October 2006), the Director General of Human Rights informed the Deputies of the progress made in the preparation of the document requested at the previous meeting, relating to the measures taken by member states in order to facilitate the execution of this judgment. He also indicated that the Secretary General would send a letter within the next few days, asking member states to indicate which measures they had taken in this respect.

    327. As to the information circulated by the Russian delegation at the same meeting, concerning the visit of the Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, to the applicants still detained, he noted that it was contained in a press release and thus would probably not be binding vis-à-vis the Russian Federation. However, he noted that if this information were to be officially verified, particularly concerning the applicants’ detention conditions, it would prove to be correct. However, he insisted on the fact that it would not provide the answer to the findings of violations under Article 5 of the Convention, the main violation presently under review by the Committee of Ministers. In this respect, he recalled once again that the European Court of Human Rights clearly indicated that the respondent states should immediately release the applicants.

    328. Finally, answering a question asked in this respect, the Director General recalled that the report of the CPT on its last visit in Transdniestria was confidential at this stage.

    329. At the 976th (DH) meeting (17-18 October 2006), the Director General of Human Rights expressed his strong hope that a solution will be found in this case before the expiry of the applicants’ “sentences”. If such a solution was not found, it would be the first time that a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights remained unexecuted, which must be avoided at any price.

    330. In view of the constant argument of the Russian authorities concerning the impossibility for them to intervene with a view to the applicants’ release without interfering in the internal affairs of another state, the Director General wished to recall his statement made at the 970th (DH) meeting of 4 July 2006, and insisted on the fact that certain diplomatic measures could be taken without such interference.

    331. At the 981st meeting (29 November 2006), the Director General of Human Rights stated that more details were awaited with great interest concerning the recent contacts mentioned by the Moldovan and Russian delegations. He also indicated how many replies had been received to date to the request of the Secretary General concerning measures taken by member states to facilitate the execution of this judgment, and he invited states which had not yet replied to respect the deadline indicated by the Secretary General (6 December 2006).

    332. As concerns the proposition to bring the fourth Interim Resolution to the attention of the UN and the OSCE, the Director General of Human Rights had to underline that the current debate was held in the context of Article 46§2 of the Convention. The Committee of Ministers had to thus determine a certain number of points before giving a mandate to the Secretariat.

    333. At the 982nd (DH) meeting (5-6 December 2006), just before the expiry of the deadline set, the Director General of Human Rights informed the Deputies of the answers already received to the Secretary General’s request concerning the measures taken by the member states with a view to facilitating the execution of this judgment. These measures, generally consisting of efforts aimed – both at multilateral and bilateral level – at convincing the respondent states and in particular the Russian Federation, to act in order to achieve the applicants’ release, will be presented in a separate information document (cf. document CM/Inf/DH(2006)52).

    334. The Director General also took note, with interest, of the Russian Delegation’s Statement at the same meeting, concerning the efforts of its authorities to restore dialogue between the Moldovan authorities and the Transdniestrian “authorities”, at a general level. These efforts, while not concerning this case directly, could possibly create a positive context for the quest for a solution in this case.

    335. As far as the proposal of communicating the fourth Interim resolution to the UN and the OSCE, the Director General recalled that, the current debate being held in the context of Article 46§2 of the Convention, it was up to the Ministers’ Deputies to decide who would send it, to which addressees exactly and which message should be conveyed.

    336. At the 985th meeting (31 January 2007), the Director General of human rights stated, inter alia, that he was in favour of declassifying information document CM/Inf/DH(2006)52 revised, concerning the measures taken by the member states to facilitate the execution of this judgment. Moreover, he confirmed that, by letter of 11 December 2006, the Secretary General had given follow-up to the Deputies’ request by sending a copy of the 4th interim resolution to the Secretaries General of the UN and the OSCE.

    337. As far as the request by the Moldovan Permanent Representative to organise a meeting between the Commissioner of Human Rights and the Committee of Ministers was concerned, the Director General (like the Director of the Office for the Human Rights Commissioner in his reply of 5 December 2006 in this respect to the Moldovan Ombudsmen) recalled the principle that the Commissioner cannot examine individual applications. He added, however, that in this case it would appear possible to consider that what is at issue in this case is the respect for the fundamental principle according to which the judgments of the Court should be executed.

    338. The Director General also referred to the statements made in the Committee of Ministers concerning political contacts between the parties of this case: one could only be in favour of these contacts, which constitute possibilities to make progress in this case. Nevertheless, he very strongly underlined that it should not be forgotten the applicants’ release is an unconditional legal obligation stemming from Article 46§1 of the European Convention of Human Rights and from the wording itself of the Court’s judgment, and that this question should not be confused with the - political - one of the settlement of the Transdnistrian conflict.

    339. At the 986th meeting (7 February 2007), the Director General of human rights insisted on the pressing obligation to execute this judgment and to prevent that this case becomes an indelible stain in the Convention system. He stated again that the Respondent States, but also the other member states through their collective responsibility, should use all possible levers in order to release the applicants.

    340. He informed the Committee of Ministers of the contact made with the Office for the Human Rights Commissioner, thereby responding to the proposal made by the Moldovan delegation at the previous meeting. The question of the execution of this judgment will be examined in more detail during a meeting between the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Directorate General of Human Rights (DG II), at the end of February 2007.

    341. Finally, by recalling the content of the information document CM/Inf/DH(2006)52 revised (concerning the measures taken by the member states in order to facilitate the execution of this judgment), he regretted that consensus could not be reached on the declassification of this document. The declassification would in fact have permitted to make action taken by the member states, including the Respondent States, in the execution of this judgment more visible.

    342. At the 987th meeting (DH) (13-14 February 2007), the Director General of Human Rights recalled how pressing the execution of this judgment was and that the time was short. He recalled the various contacts which took place at the end of November 2006 between the Moldavian authorities, the Russian authorities and the Transdniestrian “authorities” (see the summary of the 982nd meeting (DH) (5-6 December 2006), which the Secretariat had already noted that they constituted opportunities to make progress in this case. He called upon the respondent states to provide information on the follow-up they had given to these contacts. Referring more particularly to the contacts with the Transdniestrian “authorities”, which had expressed “hope that the intensification of the Russian-Moldovan dialogue will help to unblock the negotiation process, to create pre-requisites for solving a wide range of practical issues8, the Director General asked for details on whether the Ilascu case was considered as on of these “technical problems”.

    343. At the 989th meeting (14 March 2007), the Director of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights made a statement (see below, “other action following Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)26”).

    344. Referring to the meeting mentioned by the Permanent Representative of Moldova, which took place on 20 February 2007 between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr. Lavrov, and the so-called Transnistrian “president”; Mr. Smirnov, the Director General of Human Rights noted that it would be useful to know whether the question of the execution of the Ilaşcu judgment had been broached at this meeting.

    345. At the 992nd meeting (3-4 April 2007) (DH), the Director General of Human Rights referred to the meeting which took place on 21 March between a Russian diplomat and the Secretary of the Security Council of the Moldovan Republic and during which, according to the information provided by the Russian Federation at the previous examination of this case by the Deputies, the possibility that a message might be addressed by the Moldovan authorities to the Transdniestrian “authorities” had been mentioned. The Director General asked whether this message had been sent and, if so, on the possibility that the Russian authorities might associate themselves with it, in line with the spirit of co-operation and good will they had referred to. In this respect, see the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Moldova at the same meeting.

    346. The Director General insisted on the pressing necessity to execute this judgment before the release of the applicants; if this were not the case, an indelible precedent would be created, which could possibly be cited in other cases in the future.

    347. At the 995th meeting (16 may 2007), the Director General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs reiterated the Secretariat’s call, in line with the one made – once again – in the European Union’s statement at the same meeting.

    348. At the 996th meeting (23 May 2007), the Director General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs, referring to the indications that the applicants should, finally, be released shortly (see the information provided by the Moldovan and Romanian Delegations at the same meeting), declared that all the consequences should, in due time, be drawn from this situation, with respect to the judgment of the Court. Furthermore, he protested against any affirmation which could put into question the legitimacy of a judgment of the Court; he recalled that the Court’s judgments are binding on respondent states under Article 46§1.

    349. At the 997th meeting (5-6 June 2007), the Director General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs made a statement, included in the Records of the meeting. He stated that the Secretariat welcomed the release of the applicants Ivantoc and Popa, even though this has clearly come much too late. He added that the question now was what conclusions should be drawn from this release. In this connection, he recalled a few points and made some comments.

    350. So far, all efforts have focused on the release of two people unlawfully detained. The violations were continuing and, to quote the Court, an "immediate" stop had to be put to them.

    351. Given that is has not been the case, the Director General also recalled that, according to the practice followed by the Committee of Ministers in applying Article 46, paragraph 2, the consequences of violations must be erased as far as possible.

    352. He drew the conclusion that in the circumstances it would not be appropriate to take the view that this very belated release of the applicants settles everything, and to put an end at this stage to the supervision of the execution of the judgment.

    353. He also drew the Deputies’ attention to the fact that the applicants have lodged another application with the European Court of Human Rights concerning the prolongation of their unlawful detention

    354. He stressed, however that, whilst it seemed undesirable that the Committee should cease supervising execution in this case, it should also not do anything that might prejudge the stand the Court might take on this new application. Hence, the Director General suggested that Committee of Ministers might adopt a new interim resolution affirming the need to draw conclusions from the delay in releasing the applicants and, at this stage, suspend examination of the case until such time as the Court has ruled on the new application.

    355. He added that the idea behind this proposal was that, should the Court be able to rule on the admissibility of the new application, it could possibly itself decide on the question of the erasure of the consequences of the arbitrary detention from the judgment of the Court of 8 July 2004. If, on the other hand, the Court did not deal with this case on the merits, then it would be up to the Committee of Ministers to draw the necessary conclusions.

    356. The Deputies approved this proposal and instructed the Secretariat to prepare a draft interim resolution, at the latest for their 1002nd meeting (11 July 2007).

    357. Finally, following a statement in this respect, the Director General underlined that for the Secretariat it was not justified to say, at his stage, that the judgment had not been executed, because the examination of the case is ongoing and individual measures can still be taken to erase the consequences of the violations at issue. He also supported the wish of the European Union that the states do not consider this case as a precedent.

    - Other action following Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)26

    358. In view of the lack of progress in execution, a proposal was made to examine the case within the Joint Committee. This was done at the Joint Committee meeting on 29 June 2006. The respondent states recalled their positions. The Committee of Ministers’ Deputies underlined the importance for the Convention system of obtaining the execution of this judgment. The President of the Parliamentary Assembly gave an assurance as to the Assembly’s efforts to reach a solution.

    359. At the 982nd (DH) meeting (5-6 December 2006), the Deputies decided to instruct the Secretary General to communicate Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)26, adopted on 10 May 2006, to the Secretary General of the UN and the Secretary General of the OSCE, asking them to draw the attention of the competent organs of their respective Organisations to this text. By letters of 11 December 2006, the Secretary General carried out the Deputies’ request.

    360. At the 985th meeting (31 January 2007), the Permanent Representative of Moldova proposed that an exchange of views could be organised between the Committee of Ministers and the Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Hammarberg, whose assistance could, in his view, be valuable. Consequently, at the 989th meeting (14 March 2007), the Director of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights made a statement to the Deputies. He confirmed that the Commissioner was ready to assist the Committee of Ministers in the search for a solution to a case which, because of its persisting non-execution, raises a general problem relating to the effectiveness and credibility of the mechanism of the Convention.
    He recalls that, as already mentioned in the Commissioner’s observations on the interim report of the Group of Wise Persons, the Commissioner agrees in principle to be implied in the procedure of execution, by providing information and offering his good offices to the Committee of Ministers, in line with his Statement of 19 May 2006, which grants a framework for an institutionalised relation between both organs.

    361. He also added that the Commissioner considers, generally speaking, that his interventions in the framework of the execution of a Court’s judgment shall mostly concern general or collective aspects of the judgment, or those raising a matter of principle. Exceptionally, the Commissioner could also intervene to contribute to the execution of individual measures required by a judgment when this intervention is likely to bring added value to action taken by other Council of Europe organs and in particular the Committee of Ministers, in charge of supervising the execution of the Court’s judgments. He added in this context that the Commissioner considers fundamental for the success of his possible steps in the field of execution that the latter take place in a flexible and, above all, discrete dialog with the authorities concerned. He concluded that the Commissioner was currently evaluating the means by which he could contribute to the execution of the Court’s judgment in this case and that he would duly provide the Deputies with the relevant information.

    362. As mentioned by the Permanent Representative of Moldova at the 995th meeting (16 May 2007), the Commissioner for Human Rights, during his visit in Moldova (8-9 May 2007), sent a very clear signal to the Transdniestrian “authorities”, so that they release the applicants, but without a very constructive result.

    * * * * *

    Appendix 1

    Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)42
    concerning the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights
    of 8 July 2004 (Grand Chamber)
    in the case of Ilaşcu and others against Moldova and the Russian Federation


    (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 22 April 2005
    at the 924th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

    The Committee of Ministers, having regard to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (“the Court”) of 8 July 2004 in the Ilaşcu and others against Moldova and Russia case transmitted to the Committee for supervision of execution in accordance with Article 46 § 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention”);
    Recalling that the case originated in an application (No. 48787/99) against Moldova and Russia, lodged by Mr Ilie Ilaşcu, Mr Alexandru Lesco, Mr Andrei Ivanţoc and Mr Tudor Petrov-Popa, and that the Court declared admissible the complaints relating to the facts arising out of their arrest, conviction and detention in the territory of the “Moldavian Republic of Transdniestria” (the “MRT”);
    Whereas in its judgment the Court held, inter alia:

      - that the applicants come within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Moldova within the meaning of Article 1 of the Convention as regards its positive obligations;

      - that the applicants come within the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation within the meaning of Article 1 of the Convention;

      - that the respondent States are to pay the applicants, within three months, the sums specified in the judgment by way of just satisfaction;

      - that the respondent States are to take all necessary measures to put an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and secure their immediate release;

    Welcoming the fact that the governments of both of the respondent States have paid the applicants, within the time-limit specified, the sums provided for in the judgment;
    Noting with satisfaction the publication of the judgment in the Official Gazette (Monitorul Oficial) of Moldova on 21 September 2004 and the publication of a summary of the judgment in the Bulletin of the European Court of Human Rights (Russian edition) in December 2004;
    Emphasising the Court’s finding that “any continuation of the unlawful and arbitrary detention of the…applicants would necessarily entail a serious prolongation of the violation of Article 5 found by the Court and a breach of the respondent States’ obligation under Article 46 § 1 of the Convention to abide by the Court’s judgment”;
    Recalling that the obligation of respondent States to abide by the Court’s judgments is unconditional;
    Noting the fact that two of the applicants, Mr Ivanţoc and Mr Petrov-Popa, are still imprisoned in the territory of the “MRT”, which is an integral part of the territory of the Republic of Moldova;
    Stressing that it is evident that the continuation of the unlawful and arbitrary detention of the applicants for more than 9 months after the Court’s judgment fails to satisfy the Court’s demand for their immediate release;
    Having examined the case at most of its meetings since 9 September 2004;
    Noting that the steps taken to date have not been sufficient to secure the release of Mr Ivanţoc and Mr Petrov-Popa;
    URGENTLY INVITES the Russian authorities to comply fully with the judgment;
    INVITES the Moldovan authorities to continue their efforts towards securing the release of the two applicants who are still imprisoned;
    DECIDES to resume its examination of this case at each of its meetings until the applicants’ release.

    * * * * *

    Appendix 2

    Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)84
    concerning the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights
    of 8 July 2004 (Grand Chamber)
    in the case of Ilaşcu and others against Moldova and the Russian Federation


    (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 13 July 2005
    at the 935th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

    The Committee of Ministers,

    Having regard to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 8 July 2004 in the case of Ilaşcu and others against Moldova and the Russia Federation, in which the Court held that the two respondent states are to take all necessary measures to put an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and secure their immediate release;

    Recalling that the Court stated, inter alia, that “any continuation of the unlawful and arbitrary detention of the…applicants would necessarily entail a serious prolongation of the violation of Article 5 found by the Court and a breach of the respondent states’ obligation under Article 46 § 1 of the Convention to abide by the Court’s judgment”;

    Recalling further Interim Resolution ResDH(2005)42, adopted on 22 April 2005, by which the Committee invited the Moldovan authorities to continue their efforts towards securing the release of the two applicants who are still imprisoned and urgently invited the Russian authorities to comply fully with the judgment;

    Having examined the case at each of its meetings since this Resolution was adopted;

    Noting with interest that, since then, the Moldovan authorities have regularly provided information regarding the steps they have taken to secure the release of the applicants who are still imprisoned;

    Deploring that, since the adoption of this Resolution, the Russian authorities have again called into question the validity of the judgment and have insisted that, by paying the just satisfaction awarded, they consider that they have fully executed the judgment; deploring further that they have provided no new information regarding any efforts they may have initiated to secure the release of the applicants who are still imprisoned;

    Recalling that the obligation to abide by the judgments of the Court is unconditional;

    Noting that, more than one year after the Court’s judgment was delivered, two of the applicants, Mr Ivanţoc and Mr Petrov-Popa, are still imprisoned and that their state of health has considerably worsened;

    Stressing that it is evident that such an excessive prolongation of their unlawful and arbitrary detention fails entirely to satisfy the requirements of the Court’s judgment;

    Encourages the Moldovan authorities to continue their efforts towards putting an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and securing their immediate release;

    Insists that the Russian authorities take all the necessary steps to put an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and secure their immediate release;

Decides to resume its examination of this case at each of its meetings until the applicants have been released.

    * * * * *

    Appendix 3

    Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)11
    concerning the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights
    of 8 July 2004 (Grand Chamber)
    in the case of Ilaşcu and others against Moldova and the Russian Federation

    (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 1 March 2006,
    at the 957th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

    The Committee of Ministers,

    Having regard to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 8 July 2004 in the case of Ilaşcu and others against Moldova and the Russian Federation, in which the Court held that the two respondent states are to take all necessary measures to put an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and to secure their immediate release;

    Stressing that, in this judgment, the Court stated that “any continuation of the unlawful and arbitrary detention of the […] applicants would necessarily entail […] a breach of the respondent states’ obligation under Article 46 § 1 of the Convention to abide by the Court's judgment”;

    Stressing anew that the obligation to abide by the judgments of the Court is unconditional;

    Recalling its Interim Resolutions ResDH(2005)42 of 22 April 2005 and ResDH(2005)84 of 13 July 2005;

    Deeply deploring the fact that, more than one and a half years after the Court’s judgment was delivered, two applicants are still imprisoned and stressing that the excessive prolongation of the unlawful and arbitrary detention of Mr Ivanţoc and Mr Petrov-Popa fails entirely to satisfy the requirements of the Court’s judgment and the obligation under Article 46, paragraph 1, of the Convention;

    Noting however that the Moldovan authorities have regularly informed the Committee of the steps they have taken to secure the applicants’ release;

    Noting that the Russian authorities have recently declared themselves in favour of the search for a solution in the present case,

    ENCOURAGES the Moldovan authorities to continue their efforts towards putting an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and securing their immediate release;

    STRONGLY URGES the Russian authorities to pursue actively all effective avenues capable of putting an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and of securing their immediate release;

    INSISTS that the results required by the Court’s judgment be attained without any further delay.

    * * * * *

    Appendix 4

    Interim Resolution ResDH(2006)26
    concerning the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights
    of 8 July 2004 (Grand Chamber)
    in the case of Ilaşcu and others against Moldova and the Russian Federation

    (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 10 May 2006
    at the 964th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

    The Committee of Ministers,

    Having regard to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 8 July 2004 in the case of Ilaşcu and others against Moldova and the Russian Federation, in which the Court held that the two respondent states are to take all necessary measures to put an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and to secure their immediate release;

    Stressing that, in this judgment, the Court stated that “any continuation of the unlawful and arbitrary detention of the […] applicants would necessarily entail […] a breach of the respondent states’ obligation under Article 46 § 1 of the Convention to abide by the Court's judgment”;

    Reiterating that the obligation to abide by the judgments of the Court is unconditional and is a requirement for membership of the Council of Europe;

    Deeply deploring the fact that two applicants, Mr Ivanţoc and Mr Petrov-Popa, are still imprisoned, and stressing that the excessive prolongation of their unlawful and arbitrary detention fails entirely to satisfy the requirements of the Court’s judgment and the obligation under Article 46, paragraph 1, of the Convention;

    Noting that the authorities of the Republic of Moldova have regularly informed the Committee of the steps they have taken to secure the applicants’ release;

    Regretting profoundly that the authorities of the Russian Federation have not actively pursued all effective avenues to comply with the Court’s judgment, despite the Committee’s successive demands9 to this effect,

    Encourages the authorities of the Republic of Moldova to continue their efforts towards putting an end to the arbitrary detention of the applicants still imprisoned and securing their immediate release;

    Declares the Committee’s resolve to ensure, with all means available to the Organisation, the compliance by the Russian Federation with its obligations under this judgment;

    Calls upon the authorities of the member states to take such action as they deem appropriate to this end.

1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set out in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.

2 At the 985th meeting (31 January 2007), the Committee of Ministers was informed of the change to this applicant’s surname. The Secretariat points out that the name Petrov-Popa remains unchanged in Committee documents issued until January 2007, the name-change being taken into account as from February 2007.

3 Indeed, the Court held that where a contracting state is prevented from exercising its authority over the whole of its territory by a constraining de facto situation such as obtains when a separatist regime is set up, it does not thereby cease to have jurisdiction within the meaning of Article 1 of the Convention over that part of its territory which is outside its effective control, but the scope of that jurisdiction is reduced (§ 333).

4 The Committee has previously examined this case at its 894th, 895th, 896th, 897th, 899th, 900th, 902nd, 904th, 907th, 906th, 909th, 911th, 912th, 913th, 914th, 916th, 917th, 919th, 920th, 921st, 922nd, 924th, 925th, 926th, 927th, 928th, 929th, 930th, 933rd, 935th, 936th, 937th, 938th, 939th, 940th, 941s, 943rd, 944th, 945th, 947th, 948th, 949th , 950th, 951st, 952nd, 953rd, 954th, 955th, 956th, 957th, 958th, 959th, 960th, 961st , 962nd, 963rd, 964th, 965th, 966th, 967th, 969th, 970th, 971st, 972nd, 973rd, 974th , 975th, 976th, 978th, 979th, 980th, 981st, 982nd, 985th, 986th, 987th, 988th, 989th, 990th, 992nd, 993rd, 994th, 995th and 996th meetings.

5 “…Declares the Committee’s resolve to ensure, with all means available to the Organisation, the compliance by the Russian Federation with its obligations under this judgment;

    Calls upon the authorities of the member states to take such action as they deem appropriate to this end.”

6 The Secretariat would like to make clear that the applicant’s name has been left unchanged in this document in all those references that are made to him until January 2007.

7 Reproduced in annex 4.

8 Information provided by the Russian authorities.

9 Interim Resolutions ResDH(2005)42 of 22 April 2005, ResDH(2005)84 of 13 July 2005 and ResDH(2006)11 of 1 March 2006.


 Top

 

  Related Documents
 
   Meetings
 
   Other documents
 
   External links