15 thousand roubles for two years of the investigators’ red tape


04 December 2019

Yesterday, 3 December 2019, the panel of judges of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court chaired by Irina Sysalova upheld the ruling on awarding fifteen thousand rubles to Aleksey Shlyapugin as a compensation for moral damage for ineffective check of his torture complaint: for two years the investigator never initiated criminal proceedings, having issued five illegal refusals.

As we have previously reported, Aleksey Shlyapugin from Pervoye Maya settlement of the Balakhninsky District of the Nizhny Novgorod region applied to human rights defenders for legal assistance. In his explanation to human rights defenders Aleksey reported that on 26 June 2017 about midday he came at his garage, where his fellow was, who was using this room for computer equipment repair. According to Shlyapugin, he was about to unload his tools in the garage and to go out to run errands, however, at this moment four men in civilian clothes attacked him.

– They brought me down on the floor in the garage shouting: “Lie down! Where are the drugs?” When they were bringing me down, one of the men hit and kicked me several times with hands against the body and my feet. There were no less than 20 blows, as I remember, and the battery lasted about two minutes, – Aleksey remembers.

According to Aleksey, after the battery ended, the police officers demanded that he confessed of manufacturing and sales of drugs, searched the garage and the car belonging to Shlyapugin, after that they delivered him to the Balakhninsky Police Department.

According to Shlyapugin, at the police department the police officers demanded that he confessed of manufacturing and selling drugs, but he refused to do it. After that he was given some documents to sign, out of which Shlyapugin filled only the report on administrative violation, where he put down a comment that he did not agree to it. Aleksey felt bad due to pain around ribs and asked the police officers to call the doctor; however, no-one reacted to his pleas. Then Shlyapugin was sent to a one-man cell, where he was kept till the morning.

On the next day, the justice of the peace convicted Aleksey to five days of arrest for his refusal to undergo medical examination. As Aleksey points out, the police officers started to insist on medical examination at the very time when the search was being conducted in his car and garage. Feeling concern that if he went for examination, the search would be conducted without his participation, Shlyapugin refused to undergo it until the investigative activity is not complete, and asked to do it later. However, the court sided with the police officers, and the citizen of the Pervoye Maya settlement was placed in the detention room in the Pravdinsk microdistrict.

After Aleksey left the detention room, he applied for medical assistance at the first-aid station of the Sormovsky District of Nizhny Novgorod. The doctors diagnosed him with the following bodily injuries: bruises, contusions on the body and thighs. Considering that the pain in the ribs area lingered, on 5 July Aleksey turned for medical assistance to the first-aid station of the Leninsky District of Nizhny Novgorod, where the doctors registered the fracture of the eighth rib from the left.

On 10 July, Aleksey submitted a crime report to the Balakhninsky Interdistrict Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Nizhny Novgorod region, where he described all the circumstances of what happened to him. On 9 August, investigator of this department Evgeniya Murzayeva issued first refusal to initiate criminal proceedings.

In total, during the pre-investigative check, investigator Murzayeva issued six refusals, five of which were subsequently quashed as illegal. The latest refusal to initiate criminal proceedings is being appealed against by human rights defenders.

Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to court in the interests of Shlyapugin with a lawsuit on compensation of moral damage, inflicted by illegal actions of the Investigative Committee officers, who failed to perform effective work with regard to his torture complaint for two years. The lawsuit was also supported by the conclusion of a psychologist, who, in the course of the survey, diagnosed Aleksey with a depression, neurosis and other malfunctions in connection with a prolonged psycho-traumatic situation. Taking into account the practice of the European Court of Human Rights the claims under the lawsuit amounted to three hundred thousand rubles.

On 12 September of this year, judge of the Sovetsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod Olga Tonenkova partially satisfied the claims under the lawsuit, having awarded fifteen thousand rubles to Aleksey Shlyapugin.

Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture appealed against this court ruling in the part of the amount of the awarded compensation.

Yesterday, however, the panel of judges of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court chaired by Irina Sysalova upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance on collecting fifteen thousand rubles from the Investigative Committee for the benefit of Aleksey Shlyapugin.

“Certainly, the awarded sum for ineffective investigation does not correspond to the practice of the European Court, however, even such an evaluation of the moral damage for the red tape by national courts is more of a rare exception rather than a rule”, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Yuliya Osipova comments. 

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