Russian media passing off rejected ECHR petition as 'case opened' against Ukraine

Russian media passing off rejected ECHR petition as 'case opened' against Ukraine

The ECHR did not even inform the Ukrainian government that there was such a complaint

Kremlin-run media outlets are spreading information on the websites and social media platform X that the European Court of Human Rights allegedly "opened a case against Ukraine due to the torture of a Russian soldier."

To "prove" that the case was opened, Russian propagandists provided two screenshots with "documents." One of them is an application to the ECHR entitled "Reznikov v. Ukraine" and a screenshot of the receipt stating that the application was accepted.

This is a fake and manipulation. The application was indeed submitted to the ECHR but was rejected by the court, the ECHR told Ukrinform correspondents.

According to the ECHR's press service, on May 17, 2024, the Court received a petition for the application of interim measures (Rule 39 of the Rules of Court) on behalf of Mr. Reznikov. On May 22, 2024, the petition was rejected.

That is, there was a request to take certain measures against the country, rather than an open case.

"There is a procedure for the usual filing of an application and the one on interim measures (Rule 39 of the Rules of Court). It is used if the applicant fears for his or her own life and they suffered some damage. Then the applicant can apply to the ECHR so that they make a decision and instruct a certain country state to take measures against human rights violations," Margarita Sokorenko, Agent for the European Court of Human Rights, told Ukrinform.

The fact that the ECHR rejected the petition indicates that the complaint was unfounded.

"The judge independently decided not to give instructions under Rule 39. That is, submitting a request to Ukraine, he decided to reject the applicant's request for interim measures. And in general, the question arises as to what exactly was filed there, because this usually happens when the application is completely unfounded and the court did not even inform the Government of Ukraine that such a complaint was filed," Sokorenko said.

It is worth noting that after making a Rule 39 application, the applicant still has one month to file a full application in accordance with all the requirements and procedures of the ECHR.

“Those applying under Rule 39 must then file a full application in accordance with all the requirements and procedures of the ECHR. That is, filing an application under interim measures is not yet a full-fledged case. We have had a number of cases where applicants submitted applications under Rule 39 and then failed to file full applications. Even if a full-fledged application, mentioned in the Russian media, is submitted, it will first be considered for acceptability, and if it is, it will be sent to Ukraine only with time," Sokorenko said.

Denis Reznikov is a collaborator from the temporarily occupied Donetsk region of Ukraine. He picked up a machine gun in February 2022 and participated in the war on Russia's side. He was captured during hostilities. He was exchanged during a prisoner swap on January 31, 2024.

Russian POWs are held in Ukraine in accordance with all norms of the Geneva Convention. In the photo provided by the Russian Defense Ministry, Reznikov shows no signs of torture or starvation.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the attitude of Russians towards Ukrainian prisoners of war. The terrorist attack on the penal colony in Olenivka, which occurred on the night of July 28-29, 2022, has not yet been investigated. At least 53 Ukrainian POWs were killed and more than 130 injured there.

Mykhailo Dianov almost lost his hand in captivity.

National Guard soldier Roman Horylyk spent more than two years in Russian captivity.

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine said in its report that Ukrainian prisoners of war held in the occupied territories or in Russia are subjected to severe and systematic torture. They are subjected to both physical and sexual torture.

Andriy Olenin, Iryna Drabok

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