Rights of Russian opposition politician Kasparov violated – ECHR
MOSCOW, October 11 (RAPSI) - The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Tuesday that the rights of Russian opposition politician Garri Kasparov, who failed to take part in the opposition rally in Samara in 2007, have been violated.
Kasparov filed the complaint in 2007 claiming that he had been arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport along with other persons who planned to travel to Samara to participate in the Dissenters' March.
Law enforcement authorities said that the opposition politician had been arrested on suspicion of breaching procedure for confirming flight tickets. The applicant regarded his apprehension as preventing him from participation in the rally and consequently as violation of his rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association.
According to the application, a police officer seized Kasparov’s passport and ticket when he presented the documents for identity check. Then he was taken to a police office and questioned for 5 hours.
Kasparov has filed a complaint against the actions of police with the Golovinsky District Court of Moscow. However, he was denied initiation of a criminal case; and his lawsuit was dismissed.
The Russian Government claimed that the Department of the Interior’s Sheremetyevo airport branch received information on forged tickets being sold for the 18 May Moscow-Samara flight. According to the defendant, police seized Kasparov’s ticket for the flight but there was no record of his passport also being seized. Thus, there were no violations by police officers because they acted on current-awareness information about alleged fraud and the Interior Ministry’s data.
ECHR held that Article 5 (Right to liberty and security of person) and Article 11 (Freedom of assembly and association) of the European Convention on Human Rights (Convention) had been violated in Kasparov’s case.