Yesterday, the European Court of Human Rights condemned Russia for its lack of effort in identifying the perpetrators of the murder of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, known for her investigation on Human Rights violation in Chechenia (in 2006) as well as for inflicting inhumane treatment to the three members of the Punk Riot punk group, whose freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial were also violated.

The Court was firstly seized by Anna Politkovskaya’s mother, sister and children, the Court found – by five votes against the two votes- that « the investigation yielded a tangible result, as five men have been convicted of murder « , but » in a homicide of this type, it cannot be considered that the investigation was appropriate if no effort is made to identify the perpetrator of the murder « .

According to the Court, the Russian State has failed to fulfill its obligation relating to the duration and effectiveness of the investigation. Therefore, Russia was sentenced to pay 20,000 euros for « moral damage » to the journalist’s family.

In the case of the three members of the Pussy Riot group arrested and sentenced in 2012 after their anti-Putin song, the Court stated that the young women were transported « in overcrowded prison vehicles » and had to endure « the humiliation of being placed in the sight of all in a glass box, surrounded by an important security cordon, and guarded by a dog » and in the « view of the public and including national and international media”. 

The two-year sentence imposed on them was found as « not necessary in a democratic society ». Russia was sentenced to pay € 16,000 for moral damage to two of the applicants and EUR 5,000 in the third.

 However, the condemnation is not definitive and Russia can still appeal.

 

Ludivine Plenchette

 

For further information: 

https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2018/07/17/meurtre-d-anna-politkovskaia-la-cedh-condamne-la-russie-pour-manquements-dans-l-enquete_5332670_3210.html

https://agenceurope.eu/fr/bulletin/article/12064/21

http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2018/07/17/01003-20180717ARTFIG00132-meurtre-de-la-journaliste-anna-politkovskaia-la-russie-condamnee-par-la-cedh.php

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1113153/russie-condamne-cour-europe-droits-humains-cedh-politkovskaia-pussy-riot