14 years after tortures were applied against a resident of the Nizhny Novgorod region, the Investigative Committee resumed a check with regard to two FSB officers.


01 August 2022


The new check was caused by the ruling of the ECHR passed in 2021. The European Court established that the man was subjected to illegal physical violence by the police officers, but no effective investigation was carried out with regard to his complaint. The court ruling establishes that the applicant’s evidence was obtained as a result of brutal treatment. The ECHR ruling forced the Supreme Court of Russia to resume the proceedings in the criminal case. The Supreme Court declared all the previous rulings of the Investigative Committee to be illegal and obliged to remedy the violations. The check will be conducted by the Military Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee for the Nizhny Novgorod garrison, because it is this body that conducts investigations of the FSB officers.

Aleksandr Milovanov from Sarov town of the Nizhny Novgorod region was apprehended by local drug enforcement officers in 2008. According to him, they attempted to find narcotic substances on him, but did not, and then they attempted to plant some sachets in his pocket. Aleksandr started to resist that, after which he received a blow in the chest and in the groin by the officer. According to him, the battery continued in the Sarov Department of the Federal Drug Control Service, after Milovanov refused to sign a confession. During his stay at the department, Aleksandr was subjected to tortures with electric shocker, and beating with a belt and a baseball bat. He said he signed all the papers after threats of applying an electrical drill to his head. Milovanov was registered with numerous bruises and hematomas. Subsequently, Aleksandr was convicted for crimes related to illegal drugs trafficking and was sentenced to twelve years’ prison term in a maximum security penal colony.  

The investigators nine times dismissed the claims to open a criminal case based on a torture complaint. The materials of the check were repeatedly transferred from one department to another: from the Investigative Department for the Closed Administrative-Territorial Unit of the town of Sarov – to the Military Investigative Directorate under the Prosecutor’s Office for the Nizhny Novgorod garrison, and back. During the check, one of the drug enforcement officers acknowledged the fact of applying tortures to Milovanov, but the investigator on his own decided this confession to be factitious and never opened a case. 

Lawyer with the CAT: Aleksandr is one of the last victims who managed to achieve a compensation from Russia based on the ruling of the European Court and a renewal of the check with regard to his torture complaint. Now, 14 years later, Mlovanov will have to recall all the horrors that happened to him in 2008. None of the officers will be held responsible, and both the investigative authorities which passed illegal rulings and the court that upheld these rulings are guilty of that. Nevertheless, even so many years passed, we shall be insisting that the justice prevails and a criminal case against the culprits is opened. 

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