The European Court of Human Rights obliged Russia to ensure the rights of prisoners of war from “Azovstal”

Anhelina Sheremet

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) gave Russia urgent instructions to immediately ensure the rights of Ukrainian prisoners of war, including medical assistance.

The Ministry of Justice reported this on August 24.

The court in the case " Oliynychenko v. Russia and Ukraine" gave the Russian Federation urgent instructions to immediately ensure the rights enshrined in the Geneva Convention, in particular to medical assistance. These rights cover any requests on behalf of Ukrainian prisoners of war where sufficient evidence is provided of a serious and imminent risk of irreparable harm to their physical integrity and right to life.

The ECHR emphasized that the instructions given by the Russian Federation regarding Ukrainian prisoners of war continue to apply, and indicated that they are also applied in the international case "Ukraine v. Russia".

In addition, the court urgently informed the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe about its decision.

"The decision of the ECHR is a confirmation that the court is attentive to all cases related to armed aggression, regardless of whether it is an interstate or an individual case. Temporary measures in the interstate case of Ukraine against Russia now also cover the rights of prisoners of war," stated the Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine Iryna Mudra.

  • On August 23, Ukraine submitted a number of urgent demands to the European Court of Human Rights regarding the defenders of "Azovstal", among them the prohibition of a "tribunal" of military personnel and torture. Ukraine requested the application of "Rule 39" — a protective measure that obliges the state to take immediate action to preserve the life and health of the applicant.
  • The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, emphasized that the defenders of Mariupol are combatants, legal participants in hostilities, therefore, in case of capture, they receive the status of prisoners of war, which requires proper treatment based on the Geneva Convention. Ukraine also demands that urgent measures be taken to prevent the use of Ukrainian defense lawyers in any kind of so-called "tribunals" and other show trials staged by the Russian invaders.