The European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that Russia violated the rights of opposition leader Alexei Navalny by placing him under house arrest in 2014.
Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, spent 10 months under house arrest in 2014 while Russian authorities investigated him for embezzlement charges.
The court found that Navalny’s confinement violated three articles of the European Convention of Human Rights: Article 5 (right to liberty and security), Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 18 (limitation of use of restriction on rights). Noting that Navalny’s house arrest was out of proportion to his alleged crimes, the court concluded that Russian authorities sought to limit Navalny’s public activities.
Navalny responded to the ruling in an Instagram post: “Victory. The European Court has just recognized that the house arrest under which I spent the year in 2014 was illegal. … I am confident that this decision will have important consequences for those in Russia who are subject to such lawlessness all the time.”
Navalny had another recent victory in front of the court in November 2018 when the court ruled that Russia violated Navalny’s human rights by arresting him in 2012 and 2014 at public gatherings.
It is unclear what impact the court’s decision will have in Russia, as Russia has recently signaled its intent to leave the Council of Europe, which would bar Russians from appealing cases to the European Court of Human Rights.