Yesterday, on 5 March 2015, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance, which previously satisfied the demands of Anna Mikhailova on compensation for moral damage in relation to unlawful actions of police officers, who detained her in 2009 in presence of her nine-year-old daughter, using physical violence in 2009. The court awarded the applicant 100 000 rubles to be paid by the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. The criminal case against the law-enforcement agents is not over yet, after over five years.
(Anna Mikhailova, source of photo: novayagazeta-nn.ru)
You may remember that on 4 May 2009 Ms. Anna Mikhailova from Oktyabrsky applied to the Bashkirian representation of the Committee Against Torture stating that on 19 April 2009 she had been forcefully detained by the police in one of the city streets. Furthermore, the police left Ms. Mikhailova’s nine year old daughter alone in the street in a district she did not know. Naturally, Anna burst into hysteria because she was worried about the child left unattended, and the police declaring her to be drunk took her to a detoxification centre. Being in the detoxification centre, Anna asked the police to release her in order to find the child, but the police again used violence and broke the woman’s clavicle. Instead of providing Ms. Mikhailova medical aid the police placed her in a cell with no light where she felt worse because she suffered from claustrophobia and was afraid of closed and dark rooms.
On 22 May 2009 the Oktyabrsky Interdistrict Investigation Department of the Investigation Administration of the Investigation Committee under the RF Prosecutor’s office in Bashkiria opened a criminal case under art. 286 of the RF Criminal Code against officers of the Oktyabrsky medical detoxification centre under the Department of the Interior upon the fact of Anna Mikhailova’s battery. For the time being the proceedings in the case are underway.
According to Anna, the police put pressure on her and her nine-year old daughter Elizaveta. On 22 may 2009, i.e. on the day when the criminal case was started, two policemen from the Minors Inspection visited the girl in school. They withdrew her from a class when all children were writing tests and questioned her about the events of 19 April 2009 in the absence of a legal representative (only in presence of a teacher). In addition, they explained to the girl that people are taken to a detoxification centre when they need help. The police inquired how often the mother drank alcohol and paid visits to her friends. And when the police did not like the girl’s answers they claimed that she was lying to them.
Lawyers of the Bashkirian representation of the Committee Angainst Torture, in their turn, conducted their own public investigation. Based on its results the human rights defenders have arrived at the conclusion that the actions of the detoxification centre staff amounted to cruel and degrading treatment violating the applicant’s rights under Article 3 of the European Convention. The human rights defenders lodged a claim under article 39 of the Law «On police» with the Oktyabrsky City Court about police abuse exercised by the Oktyabrsky Department of the Interior staff.
On 15 January 2010 the Oktyabrsky City Court sustained the claims, declaring the actions of the police officers who detained the woman in the presence of her nine-year-old daughter, using physical violence, unlawful. On 4 March 2010 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan upheld this decision.
In this respect the lawyers of the Committee Against Torture claimed in court compensation for moral damage, inflicted through the unlawful actions of the police officers. On 29 September 2014 the Leninskiy District Court of Ufa partly sustained this claim, having awarded 100 000 rubles of compensation to be paid to the applicant.
Not satisfied with this decision the representatives of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation filed an appeal. Yesterday the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan dismissed it and upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance – the state will have to pay 100 thousand rubles to Anna Mikhailova as a compensation for moral damage inflicted by unlawful actions of the Interior Ministry officers.