Prisoners, prayer, Islam and Article 9 ECHR: Korostelev

In Korostelev v Russia 29290/10 [2020] ECHR 314, the applicant, a practising Muslim, complained that his rights under Article 9 ECHR had been violated in prison when he had been reprimanded for praying during the prison’s obligatory night-time sleeping period. (He also submitted that he had been reprimanded in March 2018 for an act of worship performed during the daytime.)


Mr Korostelev had been sentenced to life imprisonment in June 2009. In July 2012 and May 2013 prison guards observed him saying prayers in the early hours and ordered him to return to his sleeping place. When he refused, they reported him to the prison governor for failing to observe the prison’s daily schedule, which stated that prisoners had to sleep at night between 10 pm and 6 am. The governor formally reprimanded him for breaches of the Pre-trial Detention Act. His subsequent appeals against the reprimands were dismissed. Continue reading