The ECHR found a violation of the requirements of Article 3 of the Convention.

Заголовок: The ECHR found a violation of the requirements of Article 3 of the Convention. Сведения: 2024-07-01 03:40:35

The ECHR decision of June 22, 2021 in the case "Khachaturov v. Armenia" (complaint No. 59687/17).

In 2017, the applicant was assisted in preparing the complaint. Subsequently, the complaint was communicated to Armenia.

In the case, the decision to extradite the applicant to another State is being appealed, who, due to a serious state of health, could not be transported anywhere even with medical supervision: extradition without a proper assessment of the risks of transporting the person would entail a violation of the Convention. The case involved a violation of the requirements of article 3 of the Convention.




The applicant, a citizen of the Russian Federation of Armenian origin, was to be extradited by the Armenian authorities to the Russian Federation, where a criminal case was being considered against him on charges of attempted bribery. The applicant unsuccessfully appealed the extradition order, which entered into force on 30 November 2017. On the same day, the European Court granted the applicant's request for the application of interim measures in accordance with rule 39 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Court and, after examining the comments of the parties on this issue, on February 6, 2018, decided to extend the application of these measures. Referring to articles 2 and 3 of the Convention, the applicant claimed that his state of health did not allow him to be transported both by land and by air.




Regarding compliance with article 3 of the Convention. The key issue in the present case was whether the transportation of the applicant, who was seriously ill, for the purpose of his extradition could lead to a real risk of being treated contrary to article 3 of the Convention. Indeed, the transportation of a person whose health condition is particularly severe may in itself pose such a risk. However, the assessment of the impact of transportation requires in each case a separate analysis of the health status of the person being transported, as well as special medical risks associated with transportation, confirmed by special medical evidence, taking into account the circumstances of a particular transportation. This assessment should be carried out taking into account the state of health of the person at a specific time, taking into account that special risks confirmed for a certain period may - depending on whether they are temporary or permanent - disappear over time due to changes in the state of health of the person being transported.

In view of the above, the European Court notes the following in relation to the present case.

As for the applicant's actual state of health and medical risks. The applicant provided detailed medical data obtained from various doctors, including a leading neurologist in Armenia, which testified to severe disorders of the cardiovascular and nervous systems and the associated risks in the case of the applicant's transportation. In particular, the applicant suffered from the effects of a stroke, and it was assumed that another stroke or heart attack could occur if the applicant was transported by land or air. These diagnoses and the risks associated with transportation were subsequently confirmed by the chief physician of the neurological department of the hospital in Yerevan. After the applicant's subsequent hospitalization and other diagnoses, the applicant's unsuitability for transportation for the purpose of extradition was additionally confirmed. No evidence has been presented that would cast doubt on the reliability of this information. The Armenian authorities, although they expressed doubts about the applicant's state of health and possible risks, inter alia, did not independently assess the applicant's state of health, did not challenge the reliability of the submitted medical certificates or the reliability of the medical specialists who issued the specified documents. Consequently, the European Court considered it established that the applicant suffered from severe disorders of the cardiovascular and nervous systems with concomitant diseases described in the submitted documents.

As for the medical risks that the applicant's transportation could entail. There is no indication that the Prosecutor General of Armenia had any medical documents on the applicant's state of health when he made the decision to extradite him, although at that time the applicant had already been transferred to the Central Hospital for Convicts due to the deterioration of his health. Despite this, the applicant submitted relevant medical evidence to the Court of Appeal, but his arguments regarding the risks associated with transportation were rejected by the court with reference to the assurances of the authorities of the Russian Federation regarding the availability of medical supervision during and after the applicant's transportation, and not with reference to a thorough study of the applicant's health and the alleged risks related to its transportation. It should be noted that the said court refused to satisfy the applicant's request for the appointment of a forensic medical examination of his state of health. Indeed, the Armenian authorities acknowledged that the domestic courts had left the Prosecutor General's decision on the applicant's extradition unchanged, without having an impartial and unbiased medical opinion on the potential risks associated with the applicant's transportation, taking into account only that he would be provided with constant medical supervision. Thus, despite the objective medical evidence provided by the applicant about the particularly serious state of his health and the possible significant and irreversible consequences that his transportation could lead to, the Armenian courts were unable to properly assess the risks of these consequences.

As for the factual information about the applicant's state of health and the risks of deterioration of this condition, provided later by the parties, which was not available at the time of the final decision on the applicant's extradition. These data confirmed that the applicant was unable to reschedule the move. Among other things, a panel of specialist doctors convened by the Ministry of Health of Armenia expressed the opinion that the high risks associated with transporting the applicant by land or air were due to the applicant's chronic diseases and their potentially unpredictable exacerbations, and the presence of an accompanying doctor could not eliminate these risks, since in the event of a sharp deterioration of the condition The applicant would have required emergency medical care in a specialized medical facility. In view of the above, the European Court noted that the position of the Armenian authorities regarding the execution of the extradition order of the applicant, given the existence of the aforementioned conclusion of the board of medical specialists, remained unclear, especially as to whether the conclusions of the European Court would be relevant to the decision of the Armenian authorities to extradite the applicant.

The European Court also noted that the Armenian authorities did not confirm their claims about the existence of "established practice", according to which an extradition order is subject to execution only upon receipt of an opinion from the Central Hospital for Convicts that the person concerned can be moved from country to country or that the extradition order enters into force only after as an accompanying doctor from the receiving State, he will examine the person to be transported and confirm his suitability for the trip. Moreover, with regard to the Armenian authorities' reference to the assurances of the Russian Federation authorities, given that these assurances appeared to be limited solely to the provision of medical support during the applicant's transportation, they alone could not be sufficient grounds for the European Court to conclude that the expected conditions of the applicant's transportation eliminated the existing risks of a sharp deterioration the applicant's state of health, if his extradition from Armenia will be carried out when his state of health corresponds to the latest information, submitted to the European Court of Justice.

In several previously considered cases on the enforcement of an extradition order in respect of persons who may have faced health risks during transportation, the European Court stressed the importance of having appropriate domestic legislation and a procedure according to which the execution of the order will depend on an assessment of the health status of the person being transported. However, it has not been demonstrated in the present case that the aforementioned guarantees or procedural rules existed in Armenia. The European Court is not convinced that the assessment of the applicant's state of health by the authorities of the Russian Federation immediately before extradition, even if it is carried out, taking into account any indication of the degree of such assessment, would contribute to a proper consideration of the risks to which the applicant could be exposed, and in the absence of any legal regulation of this issue and its impact on the mandatory nature of the extradition order that has entered into force.

Consequently, taking into account the situation at the time of the completion of the parties' exchange of their observations on the case, there was sufficient evidence to conclude that, taking into account the applicant's particularly serious state of health, his relocation, even in the presence of an accompanying doctor, would lead to a real risk of treatment contrary to article 3 of the Convention. In formulating this conclusion, the European Court took into account the special context of extradition and the importance of not undermining the foundations of this procedure. In particular, the existence of third-party rights in the case required that, when considering whether there was a specific and individual risk of ill-treatment that would exempt States from the obligation to extradite the person concerned, the requested State should rely on a solid factual basis to justify the conclusion that the required risk threshold had been reached.

The European Court ruled that, in the light of the data on the applicant's state of health, there would be a violation of Article 3 of the Convention if he was extradited to the Russian Federation without an assessment by the Armenian authorities of the risks he would face during transportation.




The case will violate the requirements of article 3 of the Convention in the event of the applicant's extradition without assessing the risks to his health (adopted unanimously).


The European Court also found that there was no need to examine the complaint of a violation of Article 2 of the Convention.




In the application of article 41 of the Convention. The European Court decided that the finding of a violation of the Convention in itself is sufficient just compensation for any moral damage caused.

The interim measures specified in accordance with rule 39 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Court of Justice shall remain in force until the entry into force of this Decision, unless the European Court decides otherwise on the matter.



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