The case concerns a complaint about the construction of a cemetery.
The applicant, Sergiy Dzemyuk, is a Ukrainian national who was born in 1961 and lives in the village of Tatariv, which forms part of Yaremche, a resort town in the mountainous region of Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine.
In February 2000 Tatariv Village Council decided to construct a new cemetery on a plot of land located near Mr Dzemyuk’s house and garden. The cemetery was opened for use in August 2000. Mr Dzemyuk brought proceedings against the council and, ultimately, in December 2003 the Verkhovyna Court allowed his claims, finding that the plot used to build the cemetery was unsuitable. Notably, the construction was in breach of environmental health laws and regulations in view of its proximity to residential buildings and the risk of contamination of the water supply. The court further ordered Tatariv Council to close the cemetery and pay Mr Dzemyuk compensation. This judgment was upheld by the Supreme Court in October 2006 but remains unenforced to date, council members having refused on several occasions to comply with it.
Relying in particular on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life and the home), Mr Dzemyuk alleges that the construction of the cemetery near his house has led to the contamination of his water supply – both for drinking and gardening purposes – leaving his home virtually uninhabitable and his land unusable. He also complains about the disturbance from the burial ceremonies. He further complains about the authorities’ failure to enforce the final and binding judgment declaring the cemetery illegal, submitting that nothing has been done to close the cemetery, discontinue the burials or, despite his requests, offer him a detailed and specific proposal for his resettlement. Lastly, relying on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time), he also complains about the unfairness and excessive length of his dispute with Tatariv Council.
Press release ECHR 240 (2014) 28/08/2014