Important Victory for Civil Rights Defenders Partner ‘Promo Lex’

Promo Lex 2

An important victory for Civil Rights Defenders long term partner, Promo-Lex. (Photo courtesy of Promo-Lex)

Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case Mozer -v- Moldova and Russia who found both countries liable regarding their lack of duty of care to the applicant Boris Mozer. Represented by a team of legal experts from Moldovan civil society organisation, Promo Lex, and long-term partner of Civil Rights Defenders it represents a significant victory for both organisations who have worked side by side for decades in the region against human rights violations.

“Civil Rights Defenders congratulate Promo Lex for this important victory. As the human rights situation continues to deteriorate in Transnistria it is important recognition of the persistent work combatting human rights violations that our partners do with our support. In Transnistria the shrinking space for civil society leaves little opportunity for all but the most determined of human rights defenders to advocate and support on behalf of the mounting injustices which plague the region. This victory sends an important message especially to the Russian authorities who regularly act with impunity” says Joanna Kurosz, Programme Director for Eastern Europe at Civil Rights Defenders

On the 24 November 2008 the applicant (Boris Mozer) a Moldovan citizen complained to the Court that he had been kidnapped by the Transnistrian militia and detained for one and a half years in deplorable conditions in Transnistria and Hlinaia prisons.

Mozer was subsequently released after a summary conviction in July 2010 and his case was brought to the ECtHR on representation from Promo – Lex.

The ECtHR unanimously agreed that the applicant was under the protective jurisdiction of both countries, Russia and Moldova. In a vote of 16 to one the Court found against Russia for violating the right to freedom and safety as a result of the lengthy incarceration, having provided no legal basis for this.

The Court also found that many of the applicants basic freedoms were also violated; such as the persistent refusal to grant the applicant health care and the very detention itself were in fact a violation of his right not to be tortured.

Mozer’s right to privacy, family life and his right to freedom of religion were also contravened. Russia was subsequently ordered by the Court to pay both material and non-material damages amounting to EUR 25,000 General Damages and a further EUR 4,000 Special Damages in relation to legal costs.

This is a very important ruling due to the fact that although no evidence was submitted proving that Mozer was arrested by the Russian authorities, the Court nevertheless decided that enough evidence was present to prove that Russia essentially had effective control over the breakaway region of Transnistria for the period up to his release in July 2010.

The Court also made reference to Moldova’s lack of prompt intervention, especially against the Prosecutor’s and Ombudsman Office in resolving the problem but did note that the authorities had attempted to a succession of unsuccessful pleas for his release.

For an overview of the human rights situation in Moldova please click here to view the specific country report for Moldova compiled by Civil Rights Defenders. Our reports are regularly updated.

For further information about the case please click here

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