Legal Case of the Week: Evgeny Frumkin

posted 11 Jan 2016, 06:36 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 11 Jan 2016, 06:39 ]
On 5 January 2016 the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the case of Frumkin v Russia that Russian authorities violated the rights of Evgeny Frumkin, an activist jailed for 15 days for 'failing to obey police orders' following his participation in an anti-government protest in Moscow on 6/5/2012. 

As RFE/RL reports, 'Evgeny Frumkin was detained by police on May 6, 2012, on the eve of Putin’s inauguration for his third term, along with hundreds of others who had participated in a protest at Moscow’s central Bolotnaya Square. Thousands joined the demonstration, which ended with protesters clashing with police. It was one of a series of protests in 2011-12 that were the largest since Putin first came to the presidency in 2000.'

The European Court of Human Rights found:  

'violations of Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association) of the European Convention on Human Rights both on account of the authorities’ failure to ensure the peaceful conduct of the assembly and on account of Mr Frumkin’s arrest, pre-trial detention and administrative sentence; 

a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security); 

and a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (d)

The Court found in particular that the authorities had not complied with the minimum requirements in their duty to communicate with the leaders of the rally, which had been an essential part of their obligation to ensure the peaceful conduct of the assembly, to prevent disorder and to secure the safety of all citizens involved. Mr Frumkin’s arrest, detention and administrative conviction had been grossly disproportionate to the aims pursued; those measures must have had the effect of discouraging him and others from participating in protest rallies or more generally from engaging actively in opposition politics.' 

The Court held that Russia was to pay Mr Frumkin 25,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 7,000 in respect of costs and expenses. The court also ordered Russia to pay a total of 32,000 euros ($34,400) in compensation and to cover court expenses.

RFE/RL also reports that in a televised interview, Evgeny Frumkin said: “In my view, [this verdict] acknowledges once again the most important fact that there is no justice in Russia. It is because [defendants] are not being given a chance to defend themselves in court and there is no objective and independent court as such.”

Source: 'European Court Rules Russia Violated Rights Of Bolotnaya Activist,' RFE/RL, 5 January 2016