10 November 2017, Friday

Saida Khalikova was sentenced by the Moscow district military court in 2015 to five years in a general-regime prison colony. She has been in detention since December 2014. During the investigation, she and her mother Raziyat Isambekova came under pressure from Investigative Committee officials. 

Saida has suffered from a blood disorder for many years now. Lawyers from Justice Initiative sent a request to prison colony 28 and enabled her to undergo an out-patient medical examination. 

On November 9 2017, Justice Initiative sent to the ECHR an application in which Khalikova and her mother Raziyat Isambekova complain of inadequate medical assistance at prison colony 28 in Volgograd Region.

“Saida Khalikova and her mother, Raziyat Isambekova, also complained of violation of Article 8 of the [European] Convention because of the remoteness of her place of detention and the Federal Correction Service’s refusal to transfer her to a prison closer to her home”, said lawyer Rustam Matsev, who works with Justice Initiative. “Her mother lives in Dagestan, where there is also a women’s prison facility. There are women’s prison facilities in Stavropol Territory and Kabardino-Balkaria too, but Saida was sent to Volgograd Region. The remoteness of her daughter’s place of detention makes it difficult for the mother to exercise her right to visit. She cannot afford to buy the expensive tickets and visit the prison. She is disabled and her income does not exceed the survival minimum”, he said.    

Matsev said that Khalikova’s complaint to the ECHR raises the issue of changing the practice of deciding where people are sent to serve their sentences in Russia. “Prisoners are often sent to serve their sentences in prison facilities located far from where their close relatives live. The prisoners are transported in ‘conveyor style’ because the legislation gives the Federal Corrections Service sole power to make such decisions”, he said. 

Justice Initiative also sees a situation of discrimination against women prisoners in Khalikova’s complaint. “Under the law, women and children cannot count on being sent to a prison facility in the region where they lived before their trial. This rule applies to men alone. This is because not all regions have women’s prison facilities, and so women generally end up serving their sentences far from home”, Matsev said.   

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