Published: 24 Apr 2016 | By Rosie Beacock
Novikova and others v Russia
Case Nos. 25501/07, 57569/11, 80153/12, 5790/13 и 35015/13
Judgment date: 26 April 2016
The applicants were five Russian nationals, Marina Novikova, Aleksandr Kirpichev, Valeriy Romakhin, Yuriy Matsnev and Viktor Savchenko, who had planned solo static demonstrations (‘solo pickets’). Under Arts. 7(1) and (3) of Russian Federal Law No. FZ-54 of 19 June 2004, such demonstrations do not require prior notice to be given to a competent public authority. The applicants’ protests concerned matters of public interest, were non-violent and not disruptive to traffic. All of the demonstrations were swiftly terminated by the police before the applicants could express their views. Ms Novikova, Mr Kirpichev and Mr Romakhin were arrested for allegedly protesting with others and holding a public event and fined (1,000, 20,000 and 20,000 Russian roubles [RUB] respectively) for the administrative offence of taking part in a demonstration without prior notice being provided to public authorities. Mr Matsnev was also arrested and released without charge after two hours. He was later awarded 6,000RUB for wrongful arrest, which he considered an inadequate remedy. Mr Savchenko was detained for using foul language, but the case was dropped on procedural grounds.
They argued that the responses of various Russian authorities to their solo pickets were disproportionate, and constituted violations of the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association (Arts. 10 and 11 ECHR).