24 August 2020 by

 Alexei Navalny, in an isolation pod, being lifted out of an air ambulance in Berlin. {Photograph}: Michael Kappeler/AP. Supply: The Guardian

On Saturday morning, Russian opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny was flown, in a coma, from a hospital in Siberia to Berlin for medical remedy. On Friday, the European Court docket of Human Rights had granted interim measures beneath Rule 39 of the Guidelines of Court docket, requiring Russia to grant entry to the affected person with a view to assess his health for transport. The Court docket additionally ordered the Russian authorities to tell the Court docket of the medical remedy Mr Navalny is receiving by midday on Saturday (22 August), and to submit a replica of Mr Navalny’s medical file by 2 p.m. on Monday 24 August.

Mr Navalny fell ailing on a airplane flight final Thursday, with suspected signs of poisoning. The airplane made an emergency touchdown and Mr Navalny was taken to be handled at a hospital in Omsk, Siberia, the place medical doctors mentioned on Friday that he was too ailing to be transported elsewhere. Permission for Mr Navalny’s switch to Berlin got here after elevated worldwide stress (from France and Germany particularly), an enchantment to President Putin by Mr Navalny’s spouse and supporters, and an utility to the European Court docket. Mr Navalny’s household requested the European Court docket for permission to move him to the Charité hospital in Berlin for remedy, as in any other case he confronted a danger to his life or well being, in violation of Article 2 (proper to life) of the European Conference on Human Rights.

{Photograph}: Pavel Golovkin/AP. Supply: The Guardian

The Court docket makes use of its powers beneath Rule 39 solely the place there’s an imminent danger of irreparable hurt. Most frequently this would be the case in circumstances involving Article 2 (proper to life) and Article 3 (prohibition in opposition to torture or inhuman or degrading remedy). It’s most recurrently invoked in extradition or deportation proceedings, to stop an individual being returned to their residence nation the place doing so may result in them being tortured or killed. Mr Navalny’s case is considerably extra uncommon: the Court docket has taken steps to help Mr Navalny in leaving his personal nation to keep away from a possible risk to his life.

It’s not the primary time that the Court docket has granted interim measures in relation to medical selections: in 2014 within the case of Lambert and Others v France (utility no. 46043/14), the Court docket granted a keep of an order of the French court docket, which in any other case would have led to the applicant having his life assist withdrawn. That case was lined on this weblog here, following the Grand Chamber’s decision in 2015 that Article 2 wouldn’t, in truth, be breached by the withdrawal of life assist.

As for Mr Navalny, he presently stays in a state of unconsciousness. On the time of writing, the European Court docket’s web site comprises solely the press launch concerning the interim measures ordered: no textual content of the choice itself, or of Mr Navalny’s utility, is on the market at current. Though among the Court docket’s necessities have now been met and certainly exceeded, Russia continues to be required to submit Mr Navalny’s medical file to the Court docket. The Court docket’s ongoing involvement will possible depend upon the content material of that file and the result of Mr Navalny’s remedy in Berlin.

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