Teslenko and Others v. Russia (Applications nos. 49588/12 and 3 others – see appended list)

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgement.


83. The two applicants were deprived of their liberty for short periods for an offence punishable by a fine of up to RUB 1,500 (approximately EUR 15‑20 at the relevant time). The authorities should have borne in mind that the measure had been applied in the context of a minor offence and could interfere with the exercise of a fundamental right or freedom, such as freedom of expression (see paragraph 99 below). It was incumbent on the domestic authorities to ascertain that the deprivation of liberty was “reasonably considered necessary” in the circumstances of each case. Article 5 § 1 of the Convention requires that for deprivation of liberty to be considered free from arbitrariness, it does not suffice that this measure be taken and executed in conformity with national law; it must also be necessary in the circumstances (see Nešťák v. Slovakia, no. 65559/01, § 74, 27 February 2007; Ladent v. Poland, no. 11036/03, § 55, 18 March 2008; and, in a similar context, Butkevich v. Russia, no. 5865/07, § 64, 13 February 2018).

84.  The Court concludes that the first and fourth applicants’ deprivation of liberty was not “lawful” as regards compliance with the requirements of Russian law and Article 5 § 1 of the Convention mentioned above.

85. There has accordingly been a violation of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention in respect of the first and fourth applicants.


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