Ukraine refutes fake Russian statement about ECHR

Ukraine refutes fake Russian statement about ECHR

Ukraine has refuted a statement by the Russian Justice Ministry regarding the alleged refusal by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to grant the request of the Ukrainian authorities for new interim measures in the case on the detention of Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait, Ukraine's deputy justice minister and commissioner for the ECHR Ivan Lishchyna has reported on his Facebook page.

"First, there is no case in the ECHR regarding the 'detention of ships.' The ships do not have the rights that would be protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. The rights are enjoyed by the sailors who were illegally captured by the Russian authorities. The Ukrainian Justice Ministry submitted an inter-state application to the ECHR against the Russian Federation regarding the violation of their rights. Secondly, on December 4, 2018, the Court, on the application of the Ukrainian Justice Ministry, made a decision on the use of interim measures under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, by which the court ordered the Russian government to ensure that 'appropriate medical treatment be administered to those captive Ukrainian naval personnel who required it, including in particular any who might have been wounded'," Lishchyna said.

He also recalled that the Russian Justice Ministry filed applications to the ECHR on December 10 and December 19, 2018 with the request to annul this decision but the ECHR repeatedly rejected such applications and confirmed the effect of measures under Rule 39.

In addition, according to the official, on February 15, 2019, the Ukrainian Justice Ministry submitted an additional application to the ECHR under Rule 39. In this application, the ministry provided the Court with additional information on the medical condition of the three wounded sailors (in particular, documents received from the Health Ministry) and drew the Court's attention to the fact that their transfer to the Lefortovo detention center throws into doubt the possibility of providing them with medical assistance at this institution. Ukraine's government requested that the Court instruct the Russian government to transfer the seamen to specialized medical facilities for further treatment and offered the services of respective Ukrainian health facilities that were ready to provide such services for free.

According to Lishchyna, the ECHR, in response to this additional application, noted that on February 19, 2019, a head of unit at the Court decided that the petition complies with the petition of Ukraine dated November 28, 2019 and is accordingly covered by instructions on interim measures under Rule 39 provided by the ECHR on December 4, 2018. In other words, the Court does not need to additionally indicate to the Russian authorities the need to provide appropriate medical care to the wounded seamen, in particular in specialized medical institutions. The Russian government has to do it itself, on the basis of the Court's decision of December 4, 2018 to impose interim measures under Rule 39.

The Ukrainian government continues to monitor the medical condition of the seamen and will continue to inform the Court about the dynamics of the situation, especially given that the Russian government obviously neglects its obligation to provide relevant information to the Court, Lishchyna said.

Earlier on Friday, February 22, the press service of the Russian Justice Ministry reported that the ECHR had refused to grant Ukraine's claim on the provision of medical assistance to Ukrainian sailors detained in the Kerch Strait.

Three of the 24 Ukrainian prisoners of war illegally held in Moscow's detention centers need immediate medical assistance due to the wounds they sustained during Russia's armed aggression in the Kerch Strait.

On December 4, 2018, at the request of Ukraine as part of a new inter-state application "Ukraine against Russia," the ECHR has already introduced urgent measures demanding that the Russian side ensure the rights of captive Ukrainian sailors, including by granting them proper medical care.

On November 25, 2018, Russia in neutral waters in the Kerch Strait carried out military aggression against Ukraine by attacking two armored boats and one vessel of the Ukrainian Navy, which were moving from Odesa to Mariupol. As a result of aggression, 24 Ukrainian servicemen were captured, and three of them were wounded.

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