MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) demands that Russia immediately release opposition figure Alexey Navalny based on Rule 39 of the Rules of Court on interim measures, the blogger’s attorney Olga Mikhailova told TASS Wednesday.
"The ECHR handed down a ruling on my application, filed back on January 20. It relates to the illegal, as we see it, arrest of Navalny. The Strasbourg Court ruled that Navalny must be released based on Rule 39 of the ECHR Rules of Court. According to the current norms, in compliance with all international agreements, Russia must release Navalny immediately," Mikhailova stated.
According to the lawyer, rulings on Rule 39 are adhered to by all countries without exception, and they cannot be appealed.
Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Justice told TASS that Moscow will not be able to release Navalny, convicted on fraud charges in the Yves Rocher case, based on the interim measures at the ECHR’s demand, arguing that this would constitute blatant interference in the operation of a sovereign state’s judicial system, "a certain step over the red line."
The Justice Ministry explained that, due to the principle of subsidiarity, the ECHR cannot replace a national court or amend its ruling, adding that all member states of the Council of Europe recognize this. Besides, the interim measures are not mentioned at all in the Convention on Human Rights and states comply with them on their own goodwill. It also said that the release of a convict from a penitentiary facility directly contradicts the legal nature of the interim measures, aimed at a proper review of cases in the ECHR.
Earlier, Mikhailova disclosed that Navalny’s defense contacted the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers over non-compliance with the ECHR’s ruling on the Yves Rocher case. According to the attorney, the appeal will be reviewed in March. Navalny’s defense will ask the Committee to employ Article 46 of the Convention on Human Rights against Russia. This clause outlines measures against states that fail to comply with the ECHR rulings.