Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Case of Avilkina and Others v. Russia

47.  Turning to the circumstances of the present case, the Court observes that the applicants were not suspects or accused in any criminal investigation. The prosecutor merely conducted an inquiry into the activities of the applicants’ religious organisation in response to complaints received by his office. The medical facilities where the applicants underwent treatment did not report any instances of alleged criminal behaviour to the prosecutor’s office. In particular, it was open to the medical professionals providing treatment to the second applicant, who was two years old at the time, to apply or to ask the prosecutor to apply for judicial authorisation for a blood transfusion if they believed her to be in a life-threatening situation. Likewise, there is nothing in the materials before the Court to suggest that the doctors who reported the fourth applicant’s case to the District Prosecutor opined that her refusal of a blood transfusion was not an expression of her true will but rather the product of pressure exerted on her by other adherents of her religious beliefs (see, mutatis mutandis, Jehovah’s Witnesses of Moscow, cited above, §§ 137-38). In such circumstances, the Court does not discern any pressing social need for requesting the disclosure of the confidential medical information concerning the applicants. It therefore considers that the means employed by the prosecutor in conducting the inquiry need not have been so oppressive for the applicants.

* Κυριακάτικη Ελευθεροτυπία, Κυριακή 23 Ιουνίου 2013, "ΔΙΚΑΣΤΗΡΙΟ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΙΝΩΝ ΔΙΚΑΙΩΜΑΤΩΝ".

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