Yunusova and Yunusov v. Azerbaijan (Application no. 68817/14)

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


96. In the present case the procedure under Article 178 of the CCrP, of which the applicants were warned in the summonses served on them, provides that bringing a person by force with a view to conducting an investigative measure with his or her participation must be carried out in accordance with a reasoned decision of an investigating body or a court. However, it does not appear that there was a decision taken in this context ordering the applicants’ escort for questioning. The Government has not argued otherwise. In these circumstances, the applicants’ deprivation of liberty cannot be deemed as “lawful” within the meaning of Article 5 § 1. 

141. (…) the Court notes that the evidence available in the case-file shows that that a male officer intruded into the toilet while the first applicant was using its facilities (see paragraph 133). The actions of the officer in question were justified by his superior by security considerations, specifically in order to allegedly prevent the first applicant from harming herself. However, it does not appear from the facts of the case that there was an emergency situation requiring the officer in question to take any imminent action in order to protect the applicant. Nor is there anything to suggest that the first applicant presented a risk of self-harm. The Government did not put forward any explanation in this context or provide evidence regarding the incident, such as testimony from the neighbour whose toilet the first applicant was using.  

142. In these circumstances, the Court considers that the deliberate and unjustified intrusion of a male officer on the first applicant while using the toilet and in a state of undress cannot be regarded as “necessary in a democratic society”. 

143. There has therefore been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.

156. Thus, having regard to the restrictive definition of the exceptions provided by Article 8 § 2, the Court finds that the Government failed to demonstrate that the interference complained of pursued the legitimate aims of prevention of the crime of high treason and protection of national security within the meaning of this Article (compareAliyev, cited above, § 186). The Government has not put forward and the Court does not see any other justification for the interference at issue. 

157. Accordingly, the Court finds that, in the particular circumstances of the present case, the search and seizure at the applicants’ home and the Association’s offices as well as the inspection of the applicants’ luggage and handbags at the airport and seizure of various objects and documents, including the applicants’ passports, did not pursue any of the legitimate aims enumerated in paragraph 2 of Article 8. 

159. There has therefore been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention. 


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