Information Note on the Courtís case-law No. 183
Lyalyakin v. Russia - 31305/09
Judgment 12.3.2015 [Section I] See:  ECHR 293
Nineteen-year old soldier forced to line up at parade ground in military briefs: violation
Facts - The applicant, who at the material time was a nineteen-year conscript in the Russian Army, was twice caught trying to escape. Allegedly in order to prevent him making further attempts to escape on the journey back to base, he was forced to undress. After his return, he was brought before the battalion commander and made to stand in front of the battalion wearing only his military briefs.
Law - Article 3 (material aspect): The Court reiterated that States have a duty to ensure that a person performs military service in conditions which are compatible with respect for his human dignity, that the procedures and methods of military training do not subject him to distress or suffering of an intensity exceeding the unavoidable level of hardship inherent in military discipline and that, given the practical demands of such service, his health and well-being are adequately secured.
The applicant had remained in his military briefs on two occasions, the first after his unsuccessful attempt to escape and the second a day later, during the lining up of the battalion. The Court accepted that the level of distress suffered by the applicant was less than it would have been had he been stripped naked, that the episode had taken place in summer, was short and had ended with a reprimand. Nevertheless, the respondent Government had not explained why, in particular, the applicant had been required to stand in front of the battalion wearing only his military briefs after he had already been brought under control. While it did not overlook the specific military context of the case and the need to maintain military discipline, the fact remained that the need to use the impugned measure had not been convincingly demonstrated. In these circumstances, the undressing and exposure of the applicant during the lining up of the battalion had the effect of humiliating him. The fact that he was aged nineteen at the time had aggravated the treatment, which constituted degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 3.
Conclusion: violation (unanimously).
The Court also held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of the procedural aspect of Article 3 for failure to hold an effective investigation into the applicantís allegations of ill-treatment.
Article 41: EUR 15,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage.
© Council of Europe/European Court of Human Rights
This summary by the Registry does not bind the Court.
Click here for the Case-Law Information Notes