View Adopted: 2020.03.13
The author is a national of the Russian Federation who claims that the State Party violated his daughter's rights under article 7, and his rights under article 17 and 19(2) of the Covenant.
On 1 March 2009, during a shoot-out between criminal groups, the author’s daughter was accidentally shot in the chest. As a result of this injury, she died in the hospital later the same day. The author submits that it took 10 minutes for the medical staff to admit his wounded daughter to the hospital, while according to domestic regulation, they were supposed to act immediately in a case as grave as hers. He claims that the delay in treatment was one of the causes of her death.
The author also argues that the shooting incident was a direct result of the inability by local authorities to control the criminal groups active in the city.
On 1 March 2009, a criminal investigation was launched in relation to the death of the daughter. On three occasions the investigation was suspended because of the impossibility of identifying a suspect but later resumed. The author also submits that he was not able to review the investigative records conducted as his ordinary place of residence was 3,000 kilometres away from the office of the investigative department, which made it impossible for him to study the case materials and make copies of the documents.
The author claims a violation of his daughter's rights under article 6 of the Covenant, as the State Party had the means and opportunity to protect his daughter but failed to do so. He argued this is further exacerbated by the medical personnel's failure to react promptly enough when his daughter was brought to the hospital. He also submits that the State Party has failed in carrying out an effective investigation into the death of his daughter.
The Committee noted that the positive obligation of a State party to prevent deprivation of life by an individual, beyond adopting necessary criminal law provisions, can only be expected in “reasonably foreseeable threats and life-threatening situations that can result in loss of life”. In regards to the present case, the Committee noted that the author does not claim that the authorities has in their possession specific information about a planned shooting, which accidentally caused the death of the author’s daughter; nor had the author shown that the level of lawlessness and violence in a city reached such high levels as to put all inhabitants at real risk to their lives. On this basis, the Committee found the authors claims under article 6 unsubstantiated and inadmissible.
In relation to the authors claim that the city hospital staff violated article 6 by not acting with due urgency in admitting his daughter to the hospital, the Committee observed that the author has not presented sufficient details on this part of the claim. Thus, this part of the claim was found insufficiently substantiated and inadmissible.
Turning to the author’s claim that the State party failed in conducting an effective investigation into the death of the daughter, the Committee observed that the information before it does not allow it to conclude that the investigation was exceptionally protracted or lacked transparency, independence or impartiality. On this basis, the Committee declared that this part of the communication was insufficiently substantiated and inadmissible.
In relation to the author’s claim under article 19(2) of the Covenant, the Committee observed that the author did not provide reasons as to why he could not appoint a representative to view the geographically distant investigative files. Thus, the Committee noted that the right of access was not denied the author, but subject to what appear to be reasonable limitations. On this basis, the Committee considered this, final, part of the authors claim likewise insufficiently substantiated for the purposes of admissibility.