European Court of Human Rights
15 June 2006

Facts

The applicant, Mr. Kornakovs, was detained on remand in prison pending trial. The applicant himself and several of his family members sent requests for leave to visit the applicant in prison to the judge examining his case. During two years such request was granted only once to the applicant’s mother and brother. All other requests for visits were denied by the judge simply by stamping the request with a stamp “Denied” and without providing any reasons. 

Complaint

Mr. Kornakovs alleged that the prohibition to meet his family violated his right to private and family life. 

Court's ruling

The Court emphasized that the national authorities should assist prisoners in maintaining contact with their close family. The Court observed that by the time of his mother’s first request to visit him, Mr Kornakovs had already spent more than three years in detention on remand. The Court considered that only exceptional circumstances could justify an absolute prohibition on family visits after such a long period of isolation. The judge had not, however, given any reasons for his decision to reject these repeated requests. Therefore the Court found a violation of Mr. Kornakov’s right to private and family life.

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