The applicants are a religious organisation, the Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, which is based in St Petersburg, and three Russian nationals who are Jehovah’s Witnesses: Yekaterina Avilkina, who was born in 2006 and lives in Nalchik, Nina Dubinina, who was born in 1959 and lives in Murmansk, and Valentina Zhukova, who was born in 1956 and lives in the Leningrad region. The case concerns alleged harassment of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Relying on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination), they complain about disclosure of their medical files to the Russian prosecution authorities following their refusal to have blood transfusions during their stay in public hospitals. In connection with an inquiry into the lawfulness of the applicant organisation’s activities, the prosecuting authorities had instructed all St Petersburg hospitals to report refusals of blood transfusions by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
ECHR Press release 156 (2013) 28/05/2013