Pregnant woman ill-treated in Kharkiv remand prison – ECHR ruling

Дата: 30 March 2016
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Ukrainian citizen Viktoriya Korneykova and her son Denis won a case against Ukraine over ill-treatment (Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights).

The court announced the verdict on March 24.

As stated in the testimony, January 16, 2012, Korneykova, who was in the fifth month of pregnancy, was detained by the Kharkiv police on suspicion of robbery. January 26, the court ordered her pre-trial detention as a preventive measure pending trial and on the same date she was placed in the Kharkiv remand prison.

May 22, she was taken to the Kharkiv maternity hospital. According to the applicant, three female security officers guarded her in the hospital. Korneykova alleged she had been continuously shackled to her hospital bed or to a gynaecological examination chair, the only exception being during the delivery when the shackles had been removed. The government argued that Korneykova had been never handcuffed or shackled in the maternity hospital and the female security officers sometimes had left the room.

After the delivery, she and her son were transferred to the jail cell, which was located in a semi-basement. It was cold and damp. There was no hot water. She was not provided with any baby hygiene products nor did she receive nutrition suitable to her needs. Korneykova was able to have outdoor walks of about ten minutes per day, but not every day. One of the inmates she shared with was HIV positive.

The applicant was held in a metal cage during the court hearings.

The court ruled that there had been the violation of Article 3 of the Convention, which prohibits torture and ill-treatment, during the stay in the maternity hospital and the remand prison.

Ukraine has three months to pay the applicant Korneykova EUR 12,000 euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 3,000 in respect of costs and expenses. The court also awards Korneykova’s son EUR 7,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage.

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