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Journalist Ilya Azar files claim against Russian authorities with ECHR

Source: Kommersant

Journalist and Moscow City Duma deputy Ilya Azar has filed a claim with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over the 15 days administrative arrest he was sentenced to in May for holding a single-person demonstration.

According to Kommersant, Azar’s claim argues that the Russian authorities violated several provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to liberty and the security of person; the right to a fair trial; respect for privacy and family life; and freedom of expression.

In addition, Azar maintains that Russian law violates Article 14, which outlines protection from discrimination, said his lawyer Leonid Solovyov, from the legal aid group “Apologia Protesta.” 

According to Kommersant, Azar is referring to discrimination on the basis of gender. The journalist filed a complaint against the authorities for depriving him of “the opportunity to participate in raising a child” — his two-year-old daughter — during his arrest. He noted that by law in Russia, “administrative arrest is not imposed on women with children under the age of 14, but it is imposed on men with the same children.” In the complaint, he added that “there is no reasonable justification for this divide.”

Commenting on Kommersant’s article, Ilya Azar wrote on his Telegram channel that he is “most concerned about the violation of the rights to liberty and security of person, to a fair trial, and to freedom of expression.” He said that journalists and Apologia Protesta have “emphasized” his claims about gender discrimination, which looks “somewhat strange.” At the same time, Azar admitted that if a provision were added to the Russian Administrative Code prohibiting the arrest of men with children under the age of 14 “then there will be fewer arrests and this is good.” 

In November, opposition politician Vladimir Milov filed a discrimination complaint with Russia’s Constitutional Court, demanding that the Administrative Code be amended to exclude “all parents of children under the age of 14” from administrative arrest. The court rejected Milov’s complaint on November 12.

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