Lithuania seeks to intervene in ECHR case on mass human rights violations committed by Russia  


2022 09 13


On 12 August, the Republic of Lithuania submitted an application to intervene as a third party in the case Ukraine v. Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). This case is before the ECHR on the basis of Ukraine's application of 23 June 2022 concerning gross and systematic violations of provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by Russia’s military actions.

The Ukrainian application states that Russia is carrying out targeted, indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians and their property throughout Ukraine in violation of the rules established in the international law. It also notes that the attacks are carried out by Russian military forces and separatist or other irregular paramilitary forces under their control. It is noted that tens of thousands of civilians have been wounded, killed, detained or are missing as a result of these attacks, besides, hundreds of thousands of people have had their property or homes destroyed, millions of people have been internally displaced or forced to flee Ukraine, and the businesses and assets of thousands of companies have been destroyed. 

The Minister of Justice, Ewelina Dobrowolska, stresses that this case is aimed at protecting the rights of the victims. A future decision in the case could serve as a basis for securing legal redress for victims of the Russian military aggression. 

"Lithuania must continue to show leadership in the pursuit of justice for Ukraine and promptly support Ukraine's positions at all the international courts. Russia's actions must be qualified as unprecedented mass violations of human rights. Every case of loss of life, harm inflicted on human health, damage or loss of property, or any other kind of damage must be assessed and evaluated," says Ms Dobrowolska.

Ukraine demands to end Russia's military aggression towards Ukraine and to recognize Russia's actions as a massive violation of human rights; in addition, Ukraine demands full compensation for the damage to be paid to the victims. 

This case raises issues under Articles 2 (right to life), 3 (prohibition of torture), 4(2) (prohibition of forced labour), 5 (right to liberty and security), 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion), as well as violation of Articles 10 (freedom of expression), 11 (freedom of assembly and association), 13 (right to an effective remedy), 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and Articles 1 and 2 of Protocol No 1 to the Convention (protection of property and the right to education), as well as Articles 2 and 3 (freedom of movement and prohibition of expulsion of citizens) of Protocol No 4 to the Convention. 

Any State which is Party to the Convention may request the ECHR to allow it to submit written observations in individual or inter-State cases against other States Parties to the Convention for the purposes of the due administration of justice.