Salakhov and Islyamova v. Ukraine

European Court of Human Rights
14 March 2013


The first applicant, Mr. Salakhov, was the son of the second applicant, Ms. Islyamova. Mr. Salakhov was detained on suspicion of theft. He had been HIV positive before his detention. A specialist diagnosed the first applicant with pneumonia and candidosis and concluded that the HIV infection was at the fourth clinical stage, but that there was no urgent need for hospitalization. After this COurt’s order he was transferred to the hospital, but was under constant guard and handcuffed to his bed. After he was convicted to a fine he was preventively held in detention for another two weeks. Mr. Salakhov died a couple of weeks after his release.


Ms. Islyamova complained that the doctors unjustifiably delayed the hospitalization and specialized treatment of her son, and this irreversibly undermined his prospects of recovery. She alleged a violation of Article 3 of the Convention.

Court's ruling

The Court emphasized that Article 3 of the Convention imposes an obligation on the state to ensure, given the practical demands of imprisonment, that the health and well-being of a prisoner are adequately secured by, among other things, providing him with the required medical assistance.

In the case at hand the court noted that an ample medical file proving constant medical supervision and adequate medical care may have refutes an applicant’s view regarding the medical care at his disposal. However, the Government’s failure to provide pertinent medical documents cast doubts as regards the availability of adequate medical supervision of and assistance to the applicant in detention. Although Mr. Salakhov was treated in civil hospital, he still remained in detention and thus under the full control of the authorities, which were obliged to account for his health and to provide him with adequate medical care. The Court found that least on two occasions the doctors underestimated the seriousness of Mr. Salakhov’s condition and denied him the urgent hospitalization he required. There was accordingly a violation of Article 3 of the Convention.

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Last updated 17/11/2023