Russian authorities repeatedly undermined public protests against alleged corruption, ineffective governance and the repression of civil liberties
In the case of Lashmankin and Others v. Russia* the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: violations of Articles 11 (freedom of assembly), 13 (right to an effective remedy) in conjunction with 11, 5 (right to liberty) and 6 (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights. 23 applicants from different parts of Russia alleged that local authorities had imposed severe restrictions on peaceful assemblies planned by them, without anyproper justification. The Court found that the authorities had placed such severe limitations on the applicants’ plans for public events, they had violated the applicants’ right to freedom of assembly. The restrictions included requirements for the location, time or manner of conduct that undermined the very purpose of the event (for example, by specifying that it had to be held out of the town centre, where nobody would see it).
These restrictions – along with a wide range of other measures taken against the applicants - had been disproportionate and unjustified. Furthermore, they had been based on legal provisions which had not protected against an arbitrary and discriminatory use of the authorities’ power. There had also been no legal procedure available that would have allowed the applicants to properly challenge the authorities’ decisions.
In respect of pecuniary damage, the Court held that Russia was to pay Mr Tarasov 450 euros (EUR). In respect of non-pecuniary damage, the Court held that Russia was to pay three applicants EUR 10,000, 14 applicants EUR 7,500, and five applicants EUR 5,000. In respect of costs and expenses, the Court held that Russia was to pay nine of the applicants a total of EUR 11,600. Read the judgment here
*(application no. 57818/09, 51169/10, 4618/11, 19700/11, 31040/11, 47609/11, 55306/11, 59410/11, 7189/12, 16128/12, 16134/12, 20273/12, 51540/12, 64243/12, and 37038/13)