Today, on 6 June 2018, judge of the Orenburg Regional Court Olga Khakimova passed a judgment to collect two hundred thousand rubles from the Ministry of Finance of Russia for the benefit of Anton Ferapontov, who complained of police torture almost ten years ago. The court awarded two hundred rubles as a compensation for violating a reasonable timeline for criminal proceedings in the case, the proceedings of which lasted for over nine years.
(Anton Ferapontov after his stay at the District Police Department)
As we have previously reported, on 27 August 2008 Vyacheslav Sadovskiy, Maksim Nimatov and Anton Ferapontov applied to the Orenburg office of the Committee Against Torture. They reported to human rights defenders that on 25 August 2008 they were detained by the police, taken to the Dzerzhinskiy District Department of Internal Affairs where they were battered and brutally tortured. For the whole night police officers were trying to obtain confession statements from them related to a number of different crimes: from the robbery of the beer stand to murder of the police officer. According to the applicants, in addition to «standard» battery the police put gas masks on their heads and blew cigarette smoke into the tube, hung them by the hands and legs tied behind their backs, everything was accompanied by battery with truncheons.
The victims state that the tortures lasted till the morning of August 26. The detainees were deprived of sleep and if they started falling asleep they were hit on the head.
The victims’ parents and other relatives, having accidentally learned that their sons are detained by the police, kept the watch near the building of the Dzerzhinsky District Police Department. It is worth pointing out the fact that for a long time the police tried to convince them that their sons were not in the building of the District Police Department. In the evening the police allowed the lawyers to see the young men. Despite the fact that the police officers threatened them with harsher treatment in case they change their testimony, the young men in the presence of the lawyers reported that they were forced to incriminate themselves under torture and to sign some procedural documents required for the authorities’ representatives.
The police officers illegally detained the young men for over 24 hours without making any charges. After the young men were released they first went to the first-aid station, and then to hospital, where the doctors registered all numerous bodily injuries: all the three were diagnosed with hematomas, bruises, joints dislocations, one of them was diagnosed with cerebral concussion, Vyacheslav Sadovsky had a broken rib, and Anton Ferapontov had a broken nose.
On the next day all the three young men and their parents applied to the investigative authorities with a crime report. The victims also applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal help.
The verdict, which was passed with regard to police officers Albert Akmanov and Vasily Zubikhin, became a disappointing result of years-long struggle for restoration of violated rights of the three young men. The defendants were declared guilty only of illegal apprehension of the young men and their detention at the District Department of the Interior. The judge sentenced Akmanov and Zubikhin to eleven months of prison term each to be served in the colony-settlement, however, due to the expiry of the period for bringing to criminal responsibility, the court released them from punishment.
Human rights defenders are now appealing against this ruling at the court of cassation.
Since total period of proceedings based on Anton Ferapontov’s complaint about the crime committed against him, amounted to 9 years and 3 months, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, representing his interests, applied to the Orenburg Regional Court with a lawsuit demanding a compensation from the Ministry of Finance of Russia for violating the reasonable timing of criminal proceedings.
Today, judge of the Orenburg Regional Court Olga Khakimova, having listened to the parties, partially satisfied the claims under the lawsuit, having awarded Anton Ferapontov two hundred thousand rubles of compensation out of the claimed eight hundred.
“I would like to remind that the investigative officers issued twenty two refusals to initiate criminal case based on Ferapontov’s complaint. Each of these rulings was subsequently quashed as illegal. The decision to open a criminal case itself was taken by the investigator in fact only after we submitted a complaint on behalf of Anton Ferapontov to the European Court of Human Rights, having exhausted all domestic remedies after trying to restore justice in vain for six years, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Denis Iskhakov comments. – However, even after the case was submitted to court, the administration of justice took another two long years. During this time the case was twice in the court of the first instance and twice – in the court of appeal. The result of this entire saga is that the police officers who committed crimes, escaped from punishment, and the persons guilty of torture were not identified at all”.