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Urgent interim measures about Russian military operations in Ukraine

Registrar of the Court (01.03.2022) – https://bit.ly/3sv2ATe – Today, the European Court of Human Rights has decided to indicate to the Government of Russia to refrain from military attacks against civilians and civilian objects, including residential premises, emergency vehicles and other specially protected civilian objects such as schools and hospitals, and to ensure immediately the safety of the medical establishments, personnel and emergency vehicles within the territory under attack or siege by Russian troops.

Under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, the Court may indicate interim measures to any State Party to the European Convention on Human Rights. Interim measures are urgent measures which, according to the Court’s well-established practice, apply only where there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm1.

On 28 February 2022 the European Court of Human Rights received a request from the Ukrainian Government to indicate urgent interim measures to the Government of the Russian Federation, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court2, in relation to “massive human rights violations being committed by the Russian troops in the course of the military aggression against the sovereign territory of Ukraine”.

The request was registered under application number 11055/22, Ukraine v. Russia (X), and has been examined by the President of the Court.

The Court recalls the interim measure indicated on 13 March 2014 which remains in force in the context of the case Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia (nos. 8019/16, 43800/14 and 28525/20) concerning the events in eastern Ukraine calling upon the Governments of both the Russian Federation and Ukraine to comply with their engagements under the Convention.

The Court has regard to the current military action which commenced on 24 February 2022 in various parts of Ukraine and considers that it gives rise to a real and continuing risk of serious violations of the Convention rights of the civilian population, in particular under Articles 2 (right to life), 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) and 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

With a view to preventing such violations and pursuant to Rule 39 of the Rules of Court (see Georgia v Russia (II) (no. 38263/08), interim measure, 12 August 2008, Ukraine v Russia (no. 20958/14), interim measure, 13 March 2014, Armenia v Azerbaijan (no. 42521/20), interim measure, 29 September 2020, and Armenia v Turkey (no. 43517/20), interim measure, 6 October 2020), the Court decides, in the interests of the parties and the proper conduct of the proceedings before it, to indicate to the Government of Russia to refrain from military attacks against civilians and civilian objects, including residential premises, emergency vehicles and other specially protected civilian objects such as schools and hospitals, and to ensure immediately the safety of the medical establishments, personnel and emergency vehicles within the territory under attack or siege by Russian troops.

The Government of the Russian Federation are requested to inform the Court as soon as possible of the measures taken to ensure that the Convention is fully complied with.

The Court has also decided to give immediate notice of the above interim measures to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in accordance with Rule 39 § 2 of the Rules of Court.

1 Link to the factsheet on interim measures.

2 Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.

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