RUSSIA: Salvation Army Takes Its Case to Strasbourg.

by Felix Corley, Keston News Service, 13 September 2001

At the same time as pursuing its case against the liquidation of its Moscow branch through the Russian Constitutional Court, the Salvation Army has also taken its case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (under whose jurisdiction Russia comes as a member of the Council of Europe).

The lawyer at the court who is in charge of the case, Alexei Datskevich, confirmed that the case was registered at the court on 17 August (case number 72881/01). ‘No decisions have yet been taken by the court on this case,’ he told Keston from Strasbourg on 12 September. ‘The first report will be drawn up for examination by the court and only after that will a decision be taken on whether the case is admissible.’

Datskevich reported that the court had refused the applicant’s request for priority to be given. ‘The request was made under Article 41 of the court’s rules as the applicant maintained that the Salvation Army would not be able to function and as a result its charitable operations in Russia would suffer. This request was declined as the president of the chamber ruled that it was not the type of application to which priority is normally given.’

Asked whether the 12 September court ruling in Moscow ordering liquidation (see separate KNS article) - which the Strasbourg court has not yet received - would make any difference to the application, Datskevich said it would probably not. ‘The new decision appears to be only a technical consequence of the original decision to refuse re-registration.’ (END)