EGMR: Forthcoming Grand Chamber judgment concerning Moldovan national’s arrest and detention in Transdniestria

von Dr. Georg Neureither

The European Court of Human Rights will be delivering a Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Mozer v. the Republic of Moldova and Russia (application no. 11138/10) at a public hearing on 23 February 2016 at 4.30 p.m. in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg. The case concerns in particular the issues of jurisdiction of Moldovan and Russian governments in relation to a number of alleged violations of the applicant’s rights by the “Moldovan Republic of Transdniestria” (“MRT”), an entity not recognised under international law as a State, as well as the lawfulness of detention orders issued by the courts of that entity.

Principal facts and complaints

The applicant, Boris Mozer, is a Moldovan national who was born in 1978. He is currently an asylum seeker in Switzerland. In November 2008 Mr Mozer was arrested by the authorities of the self-proclaimed “Moldovan Republic of Transdniestria” (the “MRT”) on suspicion of defrauding the company for which he was working and he was placed in custody. He submits that he was detained in unhealthy conditions, in particular because of high humidity, lack of access to natural light and to ventilation, overcrowding and heavy smoking in his cell. Having had a bronchial asthma condition since childhood, Mr Mozer suffered several suffocation fits in detention.

In May 2009 doctors found that Mr Mozer would have to be transferred to the respiratory department of a hospital, but that this would be impossible to arrange due to a lack of personnel to guard him during his stay there. His mother subsequently asked the “MRT Ministry of Interior” for her son’s transfer to a specialised hospital, as bronchial asthma was one of the reasons listed by this Ministry as a reason for a transfer to hospital. However, the request was refused on the ground that only convicted prisoners could be transferred to a hospital for that reason ...

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