Legal Case of the Week: Yaroslav Belousov

posted 8 Oct 2016, 07:54 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 8 Oct 2016, 08:05 ]
On 4 October 2016, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Russian Federation must pay 12,500 euros in compensation to Bolotnaya Square case defendant Yaroslav Belousov on account of torture, unlawful detention, unfair trial, and violation of the right to freedom of assembly. As Meduza reports, in his application to the European court, Yaroslav Belousov claimed that his detention, which took place one month after the 6 May clashes on Bolotnaya Square, had been unreasonable and his conditions in pre-trial detention inhumane. According to the prosecution, Yaroslav Belousov had thrown stones and pieces of asphalt at police and took part in breaking up a police blockade. Yaroslav Belousov, a student at Moscow State University, claimed that no mass disorder had taken place, and only isolated clashes between protestors and police had taken place. He claimed that an object he threw had not struck anybody.

Yaroslav Belousov spent over 20 months in pre-trial detention and was sentenced in February 2014 to 30 months in prison, a sentence subsequently reduced to 27 monthys. He was released in September 2014. Meduza quotes human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov, who heads the Agora International human rights group, as saying that the sentence imposed by the Russian domestic courts should immediately be rescinded once the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights enters into force. 

As the report on the case published by the European Court of Human Rights sets out, 'The case originated in two applications (nos. 2653/13 and 60980/14) against the Russian Federation lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Russian national, Mr Yaroslav Gennadiyevich Belousov (“the applicant”), on 20 December 2012 and 2 September 2014 respectively.' Yaroslav Belousov was represented by the lawyer D.V. Agranovskiy. The Russian Government were represented by G. Matyushkin, Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Court of Human Rights. Yaroslav Belousov in his complaint 'claimed that his pre-trial detention was not based on relevant and sufficient reasons and complained that various aspects of his detention had amounted to a degrading treatment. He also complained that he did not receive a fair hearing in the criminal proceedings and alleged a violation of his right to freedom of expression and his right to freedom of peaceful assembly.' The applications had been communicated to the Russian Government on 10 September 2013 and 13 October 2014. The applications were granted priority under Rule 41 of the Rules of Court.

In its judgment, the Court ruled unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention in respect of the conditions of transfer to and from the court-house; a violation of Article 3 of the Convention on account of confinement in a glass cabin in hearing room no. 338 of the Moscow City Court; a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention; a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (b) and (c) of the Convention; a violation of Article 11 of the Convention.

The Court ruled that the Russian Federation 'is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 12,500 (twelve thousand five hundred euros) plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non‑pecuniary damage, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement.'

'Bolotnaya Square case defendant wins 12,500 euros from Russia,' Meduza, 4 October 2016
'CASE OF YAROSLAV BELOUSOV v. RUSSIA,' European Court of Human Rights, 4 October 2016
'ECHR awards €12,500 in compensation to Moscow riots activist Belousov,' RAPSI, 4 October 2016
'Ярослав Геннадьевич Белоусов,' Болотное дело