On the decision of the European Court of Human Rights concerning the complaint brought by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, Markus Löning, today (31 May) said the following:
“The decision of the European Court of Human Rights sends a strong message to the Russian Federation.
The court has determined that the treatment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky during his imprisonment and his being displayed in a cage during his trial violated European Conventions on Human Rights. This is also the case for the conditions of his arrest and the length of his detention pending trial.
I call on Russia to draw the necessary conclusions from the court’s decision.
Releasing Khodorkovsky and Lebedev early would be an important signal.”
Last week the court of appeal in Moscow confirmed the guilty verdict against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev and reduced the sentence by one year to 13 years. Both men are once again facing the prospect of serving their sentences under extremely difficult conditions in Siberia. Unexpectedly, it was announced today that a court in Moscow is reviewing an application for early release after more than half of the sentence has been served.
Khodorkovsky had turned to the European Human Rights Court with his complaint against being transferred to Chita in Siberia during his detention pending trial. Another point of the complaint was the fact that he and Platon Lebedev had to follow the trial in a cage.