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CASE OF Z.A. AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (Applications nos. 61411/15, 61420/15, 61427/15 and 3028/16) (Grand Chamber)

The Court found in particular that Article 5 was applicable to the applicants’ case as their presence in the transit zone had not been voluntary; they had been left to their own devices for the entire period of their stay, which had lasted between five and 19 months depending on the applicant; there had been no realistic prospect of them being able to leave the zone; and the authorities had not adhered to the domestic legislation on the reception of asylum-seekers. Given the absence of a legal basis for their being confined to the transit zone, a situation made worse by them being impeded in accessing the asylum system, the Court concluded that there had been a violation of the applicants’ rights protected by Article 5 § 1. The conditions the applicants had lived in had also been appalling: they had had to sleep in the transit zone, a busy and constantly lit area, with no access to washing or cooking facilities. There had thus also been a breach of Article 3 as their treatment had been degrading.

21 November 2019 | Judicial Body: Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights | Document type: Case Law | Legal Instrument: 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) | Topic(s): Airports - Arbitrary arrest and detention - Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment - Prison or detention conditions - Right to liberty and security - Transit | Countries: Iraq - Palestine, State of - Russian Federation - Somalia - Syrian Arab Republic

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