"Íàøè ìåðòâûå íàñ íå îñòàâÿò â áåäå.
Íàøè ïàâøèå - êàê ÷àñîâûå"
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
F - 67075 Strasbourg-Cedex
From: the Applicants’ Attorney-in Fact
Elizaveta Pavlovna Napara
17 February 2015
In respect of the Applicants’ having received the Government’s response to the Court’s inquiry concerning the pressure exerted on the Applicants by law enforcement agencies we hereby inform the Court as follows:
1. First, it is essential to give clarification concerning the Government’s conclusion that only Applicant A.Davydov found it necessary to notify the Court of the pressure exerted on him on the part of the Russian Federation.
In its response to the Court the Government states that the summons were sent to all applicants. However, none of the Applicants received them. At the same time, representatives of law enforcement agencies only engaged into telephone conversations with A.Davydov.
It shall be mentioned, first of all, that it is A.Davydov’s name on the page header of the Application (Davydov and others v.Russia).
It shall be noted as well that the Government apparently did not manage to contact other activists. A good example is the situation with the Second Applicant, O.O.Andronova.
On 18 September 2014 suffering from intense pain O.O.Andronova was taken to hospital by ambulance in St.Petersburg, provisional diagnosis being “tumour in the abdomen”.
Yet for several days no medical help was administered to her in hospital. Even the results of the magnetic resonance imaging were not provided for four (4) days, which formally did not allow the medical staff to make diagnosis.
In hospital O.O.Andronova was placed in conditions which were inappropriate for her disease, which resulted in development of ketoacidosis and pneumonia. O.O.Andronova’s spouse was told by a staff member that “she will die in two weeks anyway, thus her treatment is inexpedient”. This “diagnosis” O.O.Andronova’s spouse perceived as a threat. Especially taking into consideration that the results of imaging were not provided.
Besides, O.O.Andronova, in the capacity of deputy assistant to B.L.Vishnevsky, a member of the St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly, carried anti-bribery investigation concerning annual loss of 25% quota (out of 4000) in city funding allocated for high-technology medical care to children in the city. Over two years her investigation and a number of inquiries initiated by her resulted in establishment of violations of the Russian legislation in the sphere of healthcare in actions of officials, and the number of “disappearing” quotas for child treatment dropped to 11% in 2014. However, these achievements were accompanied by numerous threats to O.O.Andronova that she would not be provided medical help in Russian hospitals.
The hospital she was taken to on 18 September 2014 and where provision of medical services “was recognized inexpedient”, in the words of a staff member, is headed by S.F.Bagnenko, V.V.Putin’s authorized delegate during the election.
In conditions of long-time failure to provide healthcare in situation of extreme emergency for life indications on September 22, 2014 O.O.Andronova was transported to Germany, where she has been receiving treatment. German doctors managed to cure ketoacidosis and pneumonia she contracted in the St.Petersburg hospital, carried out operations and are now conducting chemotherapy. The chance of positive outcome is now 50%.
Thus, it was simply impossible and senseless for either Churov or law enforcement agencies to try exert pressure on O.O.Andronova at a clinic in Germany.
Anyway, the pressure exerted on any Applicant within the framework of Application ¹, be it a single or several Applicants, seems to the Applicants a fact to be evaluated by the Court independently.
It shall be said here that a number of Applicants – Yakushenko, Payalin, etc. – withdrew their applications prior to the stage of communication. Yet at the beginning of April 2014 N.L.Payalin was an active co-Applicant, he came to have a talk with O.O.Andronova and gave her a new power-of-attorney in the name of E.P.Napara to represent his interests in respect of this Application at the ECHR. However, within a month after N.L.Payalin had voiced his intention to participate in the municipal election announced he changed his opinion dramatically. Payalin’s refusal to participate was sent to the Applicants as part of the Government’s documentation.
Considering that all Applicants at the moment of preparation and filing the application voiced clear intention to support it, and considering that the grounds of the application did not change, we can assume that it was the pressure exerted by the Government on a number of the Applicants that was the reason of their withdrawal. At the same time the fact that only A.V.Davydov found it necessary to notify the Court of the pressure exerted on him shall be considered rather as a confirmation of the fact that the abovementioned applicant was firm in his original position and not as a symptom of hysteric moods.
2. Concerning the Government’s statement that A.V.Davydov’s rights were not violated.
The Government states that A.V.Davydov was a witness in the criminal case initiated after Churov's application.
Art.188 of the Russian Code of Criminal Procedure in this part states that:
“1. A witness, complaint shall be summoned for questioning, the subpoena stating who and in what capacity is summoned, the summoning person, the address, date and time of appearance, and legal consequences of failure to appear without valid excuse.
2. The summon shall be given to the person summoned for questioning against acknowledgement or is transmitted via means of communication. In case of temporary absence of a person summoned the subpoena shall be given to an adult member of his family of administration at his place of work, or under the instruction of an investigator to other persons and organizations, which shall pass the subpoena to the person summoned.”
Neither A.V.Davydov, nor his father were notified of the fact that he is a witness and shall be questioned in the respective capacity either by means of subpoena or telephone communication. In A.V.Davydov’s conversation with representatives of law enforcement agencies he was told that he was to attend some unofficial talks, the aim of which remained unclear.
Thus, even if it is granted that A.V.Davydov was in fact summoned as a witness within the framework of a criminal case initiated, the notification procedure was unreasonably violated. It is evident that "invitation for a talk with some unclear subject" to investigation bodies gives a rather negative impression, hence may be considered as exertion of pressure.
It shall be further noted that A.V.Davydov asked advocate Sh.S.-S. Akhaev to accompany him to the interrogation. Advocate Akhaev contacted the numbers left by representatives of law enforcement agencies and coordinated the time of questioning. He was said to come to questioning with Davydov at 4.00 p.m.
The Government states that he did not appear for questioning.
Art.188 of the Russian Code of Criminal Procedure in this part states that:
«3. The person summoned shall appear at the time scheduled or notify the investigator in advance of the reasons of absence. In case of absence without valid excuse the appearance of the person summoned can be compelled or other measures of procedural compulsion can be taken in accordance with art.111 hereof."
Considering that no measures of procedural compulsion were taken to A.V.Davydov, it shall be noted that on Monday morning of October 27, 2014 the Applicants’ representative E.P.Napara managed to notify the Court by fax of the Russian authorities exerting pressure on A.V.Davydov. Therefore, when advocate Sh.S.-S. Akhaev called at 3.30 p.m. to the representatives of law enforcement agencies to inquire about their being at the workplaces the answer was "you may not come". The reasons of such dramatic change in the position of law enforcement agencies were not made clear by the abovementioned representatives.
In this context the Applicants find it unlikely that the abovementioned circumstances are a mere coincidence. It is much more likely that an attempt to exert pressure on one of the Applicants took place in fact and was registered and the Court was informed thereof by virtue of strong and unshakeable position of the former.
In other words, the Applicants suppose that the aim of the Russian Government's actions was to exert pressure on the Applicant to make him withdraw from the Application, as a number of other persons had done already.
Above letter has been sent to the Court by Fax at 17 February 2015.