by Yelena BOROVSKAYA
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 14 May 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Sverre Erik Jebens,
George Nicolaou, judges,
and Søren Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 27 December 2007,
Having regard to the decision to grant priority to the above application under Rule 41 of the Rules of Court,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Ms Yelena Vasilyevna Borovskaya, is a Russian national who was born in 1978 and lives in Moscow. She was represented before the Court by Mr B. Tarasov, a lawyer practising in Moscow. The Russian Government (“the Government”) were represented by Ms V. Milinchuk, former Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights, and subsequently by their Representative, Mr G. Matyushkin.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
The applicant was a member of a public association, the National Bolshevik Party. On 15 November 2005 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation ordered its dissolution. On 19 January 2006 the Federal Registration Service of the Ministry of Justice refused an application for registration of a political party by the same name. Party members challenged the refusal before the Taganskiy District Court of Moscow.
On 13 April 2006 fifteen party members, including the applicant, came to the Taganskiy District Court for a hearing concerning the refusal to register the National Bolshevik Party. The applicant alleged that near the court building they had been attacked by a group of forty people and had had to defend themselves. According to the Government, the party members, including the applicant, had assaulted passers-by with gas guns and rubber truncheons.
On 11 July 2006 the applicant was arrested.
On 12 July 2006 she was charged with participation in mass disorders, involving the use of gas guns, assault and battery, an offence under Article 213 § 2 of the Criminal Code. Her case was joined with the cases of six other members of the National Bolshevik Party who had been charged in connection with the same events.
On 13 July 2006 the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow remanded the applicant in custody. Her detention was extended several times by the same court, and subsequently by the Taganskiy District Courts of Moscow.
On 24 March 2008 the Taganskiy District Court convicted the defendants as charged and sentenced the applicant to two years’ imprisonment starting from 11 July 2006.
On 11 July 2008 the applicant completed her sentence and was released.
On 5 May 2008 the application was communicated to the respondent Government.
On 9 September 2008 the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application were received and the applicant was invited to submit her written observations in reply by 13 November 2008.
On 10 October 2008 the English version of the Government’s observations was forwarded to the applicant. The time-limit for the submission of the applicant’s observations remained unaffected.
As the applicant’s observations on the admissibility and merits had not been received by the indicated time-limit, on 15 December 2008 the applicant was advised by registered mail that the failure to submit her observations might result in the strike-out of the application. The applicant’s representative received the letter on 17 January 2009. To date the applicant has not replied.
The Court recalls Article 37 of the Convention which, in the relevant part, reads as follows:
“1. The Court may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that
(a) the applicant does not intend to pursue his application;
However, the Court shall continue the examination of the application if respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto so requires...”
The applicant was advised that she was to submit written observations on the admissibility and merits of the case. She was subsequently reminded thereof. She was also informed about the consequence of her failure to submit the observations. The applicant has not replied to date. The Court infers therefrom that she does not intend to pursue her application. Furthermore, it considers that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols does not require it to continue the examination of the case.
In these circumstances the Court considers the case should be struck out of the list in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis