15 Sep. 2021 14:45
A Russian woman was successful in her lawsuit against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights. The court concluded that the woman’s rights had been violated by failing to protect her from cyberbullying by her ex-boyfriend.
In a case against Russia, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) awarded the Russian citizen Valeria Wolodina 7,500 euros. The court concluded that the Russian authorities had failed to protect the woman against cyberbullying, as well as virtual attacks and online persecution by her ex-boyfriend. This although the authorities would have been obliged to take appropriate measures. In addition, Russia is to reimburse court expenses amounting to the equivalent of around 5,400 euros.
Volodina was persecuted and humiliated by her ex-boyfriend, a citizen from Azerbaijan. The man posted Volodina’s personal information and intimate photos on the Internet. The woman was then exposed to threats on social media. The victim turned to the police, but the authorities refused to take appropriate action against the man’s actions. Proceedings into invasion of the woman’s privacy were initiated but were soon suspended.
According to the ECHR, this violated Volodina’s human rights. The police should have taken action against the woman’s ex-boyfriend’s activities. The court also pointed out that, according to UNESCO, there are links between physical violence against women and their persecution on the Internet.
In 2019, the ECHR awarded Volodina 20,000 euros in a different procedure. At the time, the court found that the Russian authorities had allowed inhuman treatment and discrimination against the woman. The police had long refused to initiate proceedings against the woman’s boyfriend, even though she had complained of systematic threats and violence.
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