ECHR ruling in Magnitskiy case
On 27 August 2019 the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Russia in the case of lawyer Sergey Magnitskiy. The court stated that multiple rights of Magnitskiy were violated and that the poor medical treatment he received led to his death.
Sergey Magnitskiy was a Russian tax lawyer who alleged various government officials of being involved in a big corruption scandal. The Russian authorities arrested Magnitskiy in November 2008 and kept him in pretrial detention for over a year until his death as the result of acute pancreatitis and other serious medical problems for which he was not treated. His death received much international attention and led to the United States and other countries to pass “Magnitsky Acts”, which target Russians accused of human rights violations.
In its decision the court stated that the conditions of his detention amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment. It furthermore stated that Magnitsky’s right to life was violated by the failing of the authorities to hold an effective investigation into the alleged medical negligence and ill treatment by prison guards. The posthumous trial and conviction by a Russian court of Magnitskiy are considered a violation of his right to fair trial.
The detention of Magnitskiy itself was not considered arbitrary by the court as the authorities had reasonable grounds to suspect Magnitsky of being involved in tax evasion. This however did not justify the length and repeated extensions of his detention.
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