Interim Resolution CM/ResDH(2010)35

Execution of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights

in 31 cases against the Russian Federation mainly concerning conditions of detention in remand prisons

(See Appendix I for the list of cases in the Kalashnikov group)

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on … 2010
at the 1078th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which provides that the Committee supervises the execution of final judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” and “the Court”),

Having regard to the judgments in which the Court has found violations of Article 3 of the Convention in respect of the conditions under which the applicants were detained in remand prisons (SIZOs) which amounted to degrading treatment due, in particular, to the severe lack of personal space or to the combination of the space factor with other deficiencies of the physical detention conditions such as the impossibility of using the toilet in private, lack of ventilation, lack of access to natural light and fresh air, inadequate heating arrangements, and non-compliance with basic sanitary requirements;

Recalling further that in a number of judgments the Court found violations of Article 5 due to the unlawful detention of the applicants, its excessive length in the absence of relevant and sufficient grounds for prolonged detention and the lack of effective judicial review of the lawfulness of detention;

Recalling finally that the Court also found violations of Article 13 of the Convention due to the lack of an effective domestic remedy in respect of conditions of detention on remand;

Recalling that the existence of structural problems and the pressing need for comprehensive general measures were stressed by the Committee and acknowledged by the Russian authorities since the adoption by the Court of the judgment in the case of Kalashnikov against Russia in 2002;

Recalling furthermore that in its Interim Resolution ResDH(2003)123 adopted on 4 June 2003 in the Kalashnikov case, the Committee noted the progress in the adoption of general measures required by the Court’s judgments and called upon the authorities to continue and enhance various reforms under way;

Having examined the information provided by the Russian authorities concerning the progress made in the implementation of the judgments mentioned above since the adoption of the first Interim Resolution (this information appears in the Appendix II to this resolution);

As regards material conditions of detention:

Noting with great interest that since the Kalashnikov judgment, the Federal Programme aimed at building new remand prisons and renovating a great number of existing ones, in particular to improve material conditions of detention, has been implemented and that a similar programme with the declared cost of 1 327 million euro was adopted for 2007-2016;

Noting further that according to the information provided by the Russian authorities, the implementation of these programmes resulted in the improvement of material conditions of detention and in particular the average increase of personal space to 4,85 m² per detainee;

Noting however that there are still remand prisons where the number of remand prisoners exceeds the design capacity of the facilities, and the requirement of Russian legislation concerning personal space is not complied with;

Noting in this respect additional targeted measures to improve the material conditions of detention in remand prisons posing problems;

Noting in particular the role of prosecutors in ensuring compliance of the conditions of detention with the requirements of domestic law;

Recalling that in any event the creation of new places of detention cannot in itself provide a lasting solution to the problem of prison overcrowding, and that this measure should be closely supported by others aimed at reducing the overall number of remand prisoners;

Noting with satisfaction in this respect the Russian authorities’ position that there should be an integrated approach to finding solutions to the problem of overcrowding in remand prisons, including in particular changes to the legal framework, practices and attitudes;

As regards the number of remand prisoners:

Recalling the constant position of the Committee of Ministers that, in view both of presumption of innocence and the presumption in favour of liberty, remand in custody shall be the exception rather than the norm and only a measure of last resort, and that to avoid inappropriate use of remand in custody the widest possible range of alternative, less restrictive measures shall be made available;

Noting the repeated statements by the President of the Russian Federation and high-ranked officials, including the Prosecutor General and the Minister of Justice, that thousands of persons detained on remand – up to 30 % of those currently detained – should not have been deprived of their liberty, being suspected or accused of offences of low or medium gravity;

Welcoming the unambiguous commitment, renewed at the highest political level, to change this unacceptable situation and to adopt urgent legislative and other measures to that effect;

Taking note in this context of legislative initiatives to ensure effective use of alternative preventive measures provided by the Code of Criminal Procedure;

Noting further the rulings of the Supreme Court, namely the Ruling of 29 October 2009 reiterating that remand in custody should be a measure of last resort and providing guidelines on the application of alternative preventive measures,

Noting that the statistical data provided demonstrates a slight but constant decrease in the overall number of remand prisoners;

Further noting that the statistics nonetheless demonstrate wider yet still limited recourse to alternative preventive measures by the Russian courts, prosecutors and investigators;

Considering that efforts should be pursued effectively to induce judges, prosecutors and investigators to use detention on remand as a genuinely exceptional measure;

Recalling in this respect its Recommendations Rec(2006)13 on the use of remand in custody, the conditions in which it takes place and the provision of safeguards against abuse, R(99)22 concerning prison overcrowding and prison population inflation, and Rec(2006)2 on the European Prison Rules;

As regards remedies in respect of conditions of detention on remand:

Recalling the Court’s consistent position that available remedies are considered effective if they could have prevented violations from occurring or continuing, or could have afforded the applicant appropriate redress;

Noting that the statistics and several cases presented to the Committee demonstrate a developing practice before domestic courts on compensation for non-pecuniary damage sustained in relation to poor conditions of detention in remand prisons;

Noting further that in view of the problems at issue, any compensatory remedy should as far as possible be supplemented by other remedies capable of preventing violations of Article 3 of the Convention;

Noting in this respect information on the avenues provided by Russian legislation to address the violations of Article 3 at issue;

Noting in particular the provisions of Chapter 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure and the Ruling of the Supreme Court of Russia of 10 February 2009 providing the possibility to challenge before courts acts or inaction of remand prison administrations concerning improper detention conditions;

Considering however that the effectiveness of this remedy in particular with regard to overcrowding, has not yet been demonstrated;

    ENCOURAGES the Russian authorities to pursue the ongoing reforms with a view to aligning the conditions of detention in remand prisons with the requirements of the Convention, taking also into account the relevant standards and recommendations of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,

    EXPRESS CONCERN that notwithstanding the measures adopted, a number of remand prisons in Russia still do not afford the personal space guaranteed by domestic legislation, and remain overpopulated;

    STRONGLY ENCOURAGES the Russian authorities to give priority to reforms aiming at reducing the number of persons detained on remand and to other measures combating the overcrowding of remand facilities by

      · ensuring that judges, prosecutors and investigators consider and use detention on remand as a solution of last resort and make wider use of alternative preventive measures;

      · ensuring the availability at the national level of effective preventive and compensatory remedies allowing adequate and sufficient redress for any violation of Article 3 resulting from poor conditions of detention on remand;

    INVITES the authorities to keep the Committee of Ministers informed of progress in the implementation of general measures to comply with their obligations under the Convention, notably by providing statistics regarding the number of remand prisoners and information on the conditions of their detention;

    DECIDES to resume the examination of these cases at the latest at the first DH meeting in 2011.

Appendix I to Interim Resolution CM/ResDH(2010)35

Detention facilities and periods of the applicants’ detention

Application

Period(s) of detention

Facility

47095/99 Kalashnikov

29/06/1995 to 20/10/1999, from 9/12/1999 to 26/06/2000

IZ/47-1 in Magadan

1750/03 Andreyevskiy

31/05/2002 to 28/03/2005

IZ-77/1 in Moscow

22107/03 Antropov

16/02/2001/ to 5/03/2003

IZ-25/2 in Ussuriysk

67253/01 Babushkin

11/02/2000 to 17/07/2000

SIZO 32/1 (later renamed SIZO 52/1) in Nizhny Novgorod

37810/03 Bagel

21/02/2000 to 23/05/2003

IZ-17/1 in Barnaul

28617/03 Belashev

19/04/2002 to 11/04/2003

IZ-77/3 in Moscow

106/02 Benediktov

19/12/1999 to 28/11/2000; November 2000 to November 2001

IZ-77/2 (first period), IZ-77/3 in Moscow

68337/01 Buzychkin

5/06/1998 to 16/03/1999; 17/03/1999 to 28/05/1999

IZ-32/1 in Nizhny Novgorod (first period); IZ-48/3 in Moscow

39420/03 Bychkov

5/06/2000 to 30/05/2002; 30/05/2002 to 28/10/2002; 28/10/2002 to 14/08/2003; 14/08/2003 to 9/09/2003

IZ-77/2 (first and third periods) IZ-77/3 in Moscow

66802/01 Dorokhov

2/10/1998 to 4/02/2000

IZ-48/1 in Moscow

205/02 Frolov Andrey

21/01/1999 to 16/02/2003

IZ-47/1 in St. Petersburg

22/03 Grigoryevskikh

27/08/2001 to 12/07/2002

IZ-36/2 in Borisoglebsk

30983/02 Grishin

12/05/2001 to 16/04/2002

IZ-24/1in Krasnoyarsk

36941/02 Gubkin

15/06/1998 to 25/04/2005

IZ-61/1 in Rostov-on-Don

24650/02 Guliyev

4/02/2000 to 25/01/2002

IZ-7/2 in Sosnogorsk

34000/02 Ivanov Igor

29/12/2000 to 28/01/2002; 28/01/2002 to 28/06/2002

IZ-77/1 in Moscow (first period); IZ-77/3 in Moscow

67086/01 Korobov and others

First and second applicants: 4/02/1998 to 14/07/1998; 14/12/1999 to 23/05/2000; 3/04/2001 to 5/04/2001; third applicant: 4/02/1998 to 13/07/1998; 28/12/1999 to 23/05/2000

IZ-37/1 in Ivanovo

62208/00 Labzov

16/05/2000 to 1/08/2000

IZ-21/2 in Tsivilsk

25664/05 Lind

16/12/2004 to 8/12/2005

IZ-77/2 in Moscow

6270/06 Lyubimenko

Since 25/07/2003 (proceedings were still pending when the Court delivered its judgment on 19/03/2009)

IZ-34/1 in Volgograd

15217/07 Makarov Aleksandr

6/12/2006 to 20/04/2009

Tomsk Town temporary detention facility

6954/02 Maltabar and Maltabar

16/12/2000 to 24/07/2001 (first applicant); 16/12/2000 to 31/07/2001 (second applicant)

IZ-69/1 in Tver

14850/03 Matyush

8/03/1999 to 21/04/2003

IZ-55/1 in Omsk

63378/00 Mayzit

26/07/2000 to 7/03/2001; 16/05/2001 to 18/07/2001

IZ-39/1 in Kaliningrad

22625/02 Mironov

27/05/2002 to 5/10/2002

IZ-50/9 Moscow region

Application

Period(s) of detention

Facility

11982/02 Novinskiy

11/06/2001 to 16/06/2001; 16/06/2001 to 12/11/2001; 13/11/2001 to 5/12/2001

IZ-63/1 in Samara (first and third periods); IZ-77/3 in Moscow

66460/01 Novoselov

27/10/1998 to 28/04/1999

IZ-18/3 (renamed IZ-23/3 on 13 June 2001) in Novorossiysk

1606/02 Popov and Vorobyov

24/01/2000 to 20/02/2001

IZ-25/1 in Vladivostok

15591/03 Seleznev

25/03/2001 to 25/02/2002; 30/05/2002 to 8/01/2003

IZ-47/1 in St. Petersburg

23691/06 Shteyn (Stein)

25/04/2005 to 30/07/2008

IZ-70/1 in Tomsk

42239/02 Starokadomskiy

May 1998 to 23/12/2005

IZ-77/1 in Moscow

3130/03 Sudarkov

22/05/2000 to 23/04/2002; 23/04/2002 to 6/09/2002;

IZ-77/2 (first period); IZ-77/3 in Moscow

63955/00 Sukhovoy

8/01/2000 to 2/08/2000

IZ-33/1 in Ivanovo

36898/03 Trepashkin

14 days (split into 3 periods) in November 2003

IZ-50/2 in Volokolamsk

Appendix II to Interim Resolution CM/ResDH(2010)35

Information provided by the Government of the Russian Federation during the examination of the Kalashnikov group of cases by the Committee of Ministers

I. General measures taken to improve material conditions of detention on remand

1. The Federal Programme for reforming the Ministry of Justice’s penitentiary system for 2002-2006

The Programme, adopted by the Government’s decision of 29 August 2001, was aimed at the building of new remand prisons (SIZOs) as well as the renovation and reconstruction of existing facilities with the view to increasing the number of places available. As a result of its implementation, the number of places in Russian SIZOs increased by 13 100.

2. The Federal Target Programme “Development of the penitentiary system for 2007-2016”

a) Rationale and objectives

The Programme, adopted by a decision of the Russian Government of 5 September 2006, is aimed at “aligning the conditions of pre-trial detention with the requirements of the Russian legislation with the view to complying with the international standards of detention of remand prisoners”.

At the time of the programme’s adoption, the requirement of the Russian legislation to provide remand prisoners with 4 sq. m of personal space was observed in only 40 regions of the Russian Federation. In 18 regions remand prisoners were provided with less than 3 sq. m of personal space. It was suggested that, by 1 January 2007, 100 remand prisons out of 209 (47,8%) would afford to remand prisoners personal space required by the domestic legislation.

The programme provides for the reconstruction and renovation of existing pre-trial detention facilities and the construction of 26 new detention facilities providing remand prisoners with 7 sq. meters of personal space. The declared cost of the programme is 54 588,2 million rubles (approximately 1 327 million euros).

By the end of each year of the programme’s implementation the number of remand prisons (as a percentage of the total number of remand prisons) complying with the requirements of the domestic legislation should increase as indicated below:

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

53,1

58,4

64,4

71,1

78,4

85,8

92,2

94,7

97

100

b) Implementation of the Programme

In 2007, the Government allotted 2 100 million rubles (51,5 million euros) for the building of new remand prisons and the reconstruction and renovation of existing ones. Due to the programme, 914 new places complying with the requirements of domestic legislation have been created. In a number of facilities the gas supply, heating and canalisation systems have been renovated. As a result, the number of remand prisons offering conditions of detention compatible with domestic standards reached 53,7%.

In 2008, the Government allotted 2 200 million rubles (54 million euros) to the Programme which allowed the creation of 1308 new places in remand prisons. In particular, a new building of the remand prison IZ-77/4 for 1200 places was constructed in Moscow, ahead the scheduled date. As a result, the number of remand prisons offering conditions of detention compatible with domestic standards reached 54%.

In 2009, the financing of the Programme was reduced by 30%. It is planned to reduce the financing of the Programme in 2010 by 45%.

c) Current situation

The total capacity of remand prisons has increased from 144901 places on 1 January 2007 up to 151161 places on 1 January 2010 (see below).

Year

Overall remand prison capacity in Russia

Total number of remand prisoners in Russia

2007

144901

144550

2008

148866

144306

2009

150485

133215

2010

151161

124611

The average personal space afforded to a remand prisoner in Russia has increased from 4,1 sq. m in 2007 to 4,85 sq. m in 2010.

According to the statistics, in several regions the total number of remand prisoners exceeds the capacity of the remand prisons and the average personal space afforded to remand prisoners is still below 4 sq. m, contrary to the domestic legislation.

The remand prisons are being renovated using the modern construction materials and technologies. Double-glazed windows, artificial ventilation systems and new sanitary equipments are being installed. The walls are being painted in light colours. In all remand prisons the metallic shutters have been removed from cell windows in order to ensure access to natural light and fresh air.

3. Mid-term programme “Remand Prison – 2006”

On 1 December 2004 the Federal Service for the Execution of Sentences adopted a mid-term programme “Remand Prison – 2006”, with a declared cost of 1565,3 million rubles (384,7 million euros). The programme was aimed at improving the material conditions of detention and decreasing the number of remand prisoners.

In his decree of 31 January 2005 concerning the implementation of the programme, the Director of the Federal Service for the Execution of Sentences identified the regions and remand prisons where the overcrowding problem was acute.

In 12 (out of 77) regions, where 51 remand prisons were situated, the average personal space afforded to a remand prisoner varied between 3,1 and 3,5 sq. m and the design capacity of the facilities was exceeded by up to 30% (overcrowding rate). These were Rostov, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Kurgan, Sverdlov, Tver, Khabarovsk, St-Petersburg and Moscow regions, Republics of Tatarstan and Kabardino-Balkaria, City of Moscow.

In 7 regions, where 11 remand prisons were situated, the average personal space varied between 2,6 and 3 sq. m and the overcrowding rate was between 31 and 50% ( Saratov, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Yaroslavl and Nizhniy Novgorod regions, Republics of Chuvashyia and Tyva).

In 2 regions, where 3 remand prisons functioned, the average personal space was less than 2,5 sq. m and the overcrowding rate was more than 50% (Vladimir and Chita regions).

In his decree, the Director of Federal Service for the Execution of Sentences identified the 36 most problematic remand prisons and ordered specific measures such as reconstruction and renovation of the existing facilities and construction of new ones.

To implement the programme, several new remand prisons have been constructed. In addition to the construction of new remand prisons, the reconstruction and renovation of existing facilities allowed, only in the Moscow Region, an increase in the number of places by 156 in remand prison 10, 154 in remand prison 2, 72 in remand prison 7 and 174 in remand prison 12.

The authorities provided updated information on the situation in the remand prisons referred to as the most problematic in the decree of 31/01/2005 (see below) and indicated that in order to solve the overcrowding problem in the facilities where it still persists, a number of new remand prisons are being constructed. Thus, 2 new facilities are being constructed in the Moscow Region with a total capacity of 1040 places, a new remand prison with 551 places is being constructed in the Khabarovsk Region. New facilities are also being constructed in the Novosibirk and Zabaykal Regions, Republics of Tatarstan and Chuvashya.

Remand prison

Prison population rate

(in percentage as compared to the facility’s design capacity), as identified in the decree of 31/01/2005

Current population rate

Personal space (in sq. m) per detainee

IZ-65/1 (Rostov-on-Don)

145,3

69,3

5,8

IZ-77/1 (Moscow)

132,9

78,6

5,1

IZ-77/2 (Moscow)

128,1

97,3

4,1

IZ-77/3 (Moscow)

148,9

96,2

4,2

IZ-77/5 (Moscow)

133,8

76,6

5,2

IZ-38/1 (Irkutsk)

169,5

96,1

4,2

IZ-54/1 (Novosibirsk)

144,1

138,5

2,9

IZ-45/1 (Kurgan)

128,6

86,3

4,6

IZ-16/1 (Kazan)

140,5

109,1

3,7

IZ-16/3 (Bugulma)

140,7

65,1

6,1

IZ-66/1 (Yekaterinburg)

144,6

144,2

2,8

IZ-66/3 (Nizhniy Tagil)

123,8

147,2

2,7

IZ-27/1 (Khabarovsk)

146,9

105,3

3,8

IZ-69/1 (Tver)

136,8

67,8

5,9

IZ-47/1 (St-Petersburg)

152,4

98,0

4,1

IZ-47/4 (St-Petersburg)

131,9

96,9

4,1

IZ-47/6 (Gorelovo)

126,2

100,4

4,0

IZ-64/1 (Saratov)

135,3

58,9

6,8

IZ-39/1 (Kaliningrad)

158,3

76,4

5,2

IZ-40/1 (Kaluga)

144,4

90,3

4,4

IZ-76/1 (Yaroslavl)

147,0

59,0

6,8

IZ-21/1 (Cheboksary)

186,3

117,5

3,4

IZ-52/1 (Nizhniy Novgorod)

149,1

99,6

4,0

IZ-17/1 (Kyzyl)

150,0

100,3

4,0

IZ-33/1 (Vladimir)

199,0

88,6

4,5

IZ-75/1 (Chita)

237,6

110,6

3,6

IZ-50/1 (Noginsk)

142,8

110,6

3,6

IZ-50/2 (Volokolamsk)

136,0

88,0

4,5

IZ-50/3 (Serpukhov)

71,9

84,5

4,7

IZ-50/4 (Mozhaysk)

148,9

95,9

4,2

IZ-50/5 (Kashira)

184,0

154,0

2,6

IZ-50/6 (Kolomna)

129,1

106,2

3,8

IZ-50/7 (Yegoryevsk)

137,8

101,9

3,9

IZ-50/8 (Sergiyev Posad)

170,8

110,2

3,6

IZ-50/9 renamed 70/7 (Moscow, Kapotnya)

44,9

78,1

5,1

IZ-7/1 (Nalchik)

127,6

69,3

5,8

II. General measures taken to reduce the number of remand prisoners

According to the statistics provided, the total number of remand prisoners detained in SIZOs on 1 January 2010 was 124 611. On 1 January 2007 there were 144 550 remand prisoners.

According to the authorities, there is a decrease in a number of persons admitted into remand prisons. Thus, there were 386 900, 384 900 and 378 800 admissions in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively. During the first six month of 2009, there were 181 800 admissions.

1. Legislative amendments

The authorities informed the Committee that draft laws are being elaborated to ensure the effective application of the alternative measures provided by the Code of Criminal Procedure such as bail and house arrest.

2. Measures taken by the Supreme Court of Russia

a) Ruling of the Presidium of the Supreme Court of Russia of 27 September 2006 “On the results of the examining the judicial practice concerning detention on remand”

The Supreme Court, having summarised the judicial practice in the area, identified a number of shortcomings and announced a number of measures to remedy them. The main shortcomings were the following:

- courts’ very formal approach in ordering detention, as they limit themselves to mentioning the grounds provided for by Article 97 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) without specifying facts justifying that such grounds are satisfied;

- detention of persons prosecuted for offences of minor and average importance in the absence of exceptional circumstances required by CCP;

- courts’ failure to take into account the defendant’s personal circumstances, contrary to the provisions of CCP;

- failure of cassation and nadzor courts to fully address the defendants’ arguments given in their application for release.

The Supreme Court stressed the need for not accepting requests for detention which are not supported by detailed materials on the personal situation of the defendant. It also stressed the need for the presidents of regional courts to carry out regular monitoring of the judicial practice on detention on remand and to discuss the results of the monitoring with judges at least every three months. The Supreme Court organised conferences on detention on remand in the courts where the shortcomings of judicial practice have been identified.

b) Ruling of the Presidium of the Supreme Court N° 22 of 29 October 2009 “On the application of preventive measures such as remand, bail and house arrest”.

The Supreme Court stressed that

- detention on remand can only be ordered when other preventive measures cannot be applied;

- while considering the grounds for detention on remand indicated in the CCP, judges should assure that these grounds are real and well-founded, that is supported by truthful information; judges should also take due account of the personal circumstances of defendants;

- the absence of a formal registration of a defendant on the Russian territory cannot be blankly considered as the absence of a permanent place of residence;

- provisions of the CCP establishing maximum periods of detention pending investigation and pending trial should be observed; all courts’ decisions concerning the prolongation of detention on remand should clearly indicate the period for which the detention is extended and the end date of the detention order.

The Supreme Court further provided lower courts with explanations on the application of the CCP provisions concerning release on bail and house arrest.

The Supreme Court recommended that the lower courts monitor and regularly summarise the judicial practice concerning detention on remand.

3. Measures taken by the Public Prosecutor Office

In 2009, public prosecutors refused to support in court 5 697 investigators’ applications for detention on remand or prolongation. This represents 1,6% of all applications.

4. Use of alternative measures

According to the statistics provided by the Supreme Court, in 2007 Russian courts received 244 846 applications for detention on remand of which 222 201 have been granted. In 2008 there were 230 269 applications and 207 465 remand orders. In 2009, 208 416 applications for detention on remand were submitted and 187 793 granted.

During the second half of the year 2008, bail was used in 407 cases. During the first half of 2009, there were 599 cases of release on bail.

It appears that in 2007 the investigators of the Investigating Committee requested the use of house arrest in 9 cases and of bail in 36 cases. In 2008, they submitted 28 applications for house arrest and 74 application for release on bail. In 2009, there were 74 applications for house arrest and 91 applications for release on bail.

III. Avenues to address the violations of Article 3

1. Court actions

a) Compensatory actions

The authorities have provided some examples from domestic judicial practice to show that, by virtue of Article 1069 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, it is possible for remand detainees to obtain compensation for damage sustained in relation to poor detention conditions. According to the statistics provided by the Supreme Court, between January 2006 and June 2009, 943 claims for damages were submitted to domestic courts. The courts granted 233 claims, refused 325 claims and suspended 376 actions for non-compliance with the requirements of the Code of Civil Procedure.

b) Complaints

The authorities indicated that Chapter 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides a procedure for challenging State authorities' acts or inaction in courts. If a court finds that the complaint is well-founded, it orders the State authority concerned to remedy the breach or unlawfulness found. In its Ruling of 10 February 2009, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation confirmed that it was open to remand prisoners to “challenge acts of remand prisons’ administration […], concerning improper detention conditions (for example, failure to provide due medical care) or decisions concerning disciplinary sanctions” on the basis of the provisions of Chapter 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The Detention of Suspects Act (Federal Law no. 103-FZ of 15 July 1995) provides for the possibility to for remand prisoners to complain, including to a court, about violations of their rights.

2. Complaints to prison administrations

The Detention of Suspects Act also provides for the remand prisoners’ right to request an appointment with the remand prisons’ directors.

3. Actions of public prosecutors

In accordance with the Prosecution Authority Act (Federal Law no. 2202-1 of 17 January 1992), public prosecutors carried out 4 290 inspections of SIZOs in 2008 and 4 646 inspections in 2009. During these inspections 1 330 and 2 491 cases of inadequate detention conditions were identified in 2008 and 2009 respectively. As a result, on 1 998 and 1 335 occasions prosecutors ordered the administrations of remand prisons to comply with the domestic legislation within one month (predstavlenye prokurora). In 2008 and 2009 prosecutors brought respectively 52 and 168 court actions against the administrations of remand prisons to oblige them to comply with domestic legislation. Copies of the court decisions concerning actions brought by public prosecutors have been provided.

The Prosecutor General’s Office also carries out regular inspections of remand prisons. When the problem of poor detention conditions in a remand prison appears to be of a systemic character and to require investment, the Prosecutor General submits an order to comply with the requirements of domestic legislation to the Minister of Justice of Russia and the Director of the Federal Service for Execution of Sentences. During 2007-2009, 23 such orders were submitted. In 2009, public prosecutors received 43 748 complaints from detainees. No information is available on the number of complaints concerning poor detention conditions in remand prisons.

IV. Publication and dissemination

All judgments of the group have been published, mainly in the Konsultant database, and disseminated to the Supreme and the Constitutional Courts of the Russian Federation, the Prosecutor General, the Federal Service for execution of sentences and the President’s Representatives in federal districts.

The judgments were disseminated to the lower courts by the Supreme Court, to the Heads of territorial departments by the Prosecutor General and to all territorial departments of the Federal Service for execution of sentences.

V. Conclusions

The government believes that the measures set out above demonstrate its determination and the sustained efforts made to improve the conditions of detention in remand prisons. The government will continue to take further measures to that effect and will keep the Committee of Ministers informed of the new developments.



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