A citizen from Orenburg won the case with regard to his complaint against police torture at the European Court of Human Rights


17 July 2018

Today, on 17 July 2018, the European Court of Human Rights passed a ruling with regard to the complaint of Aleksandr Voroshilov from Orenburg. The Strasbourg judges established that eighteen-year old Aleksandr was subjected to police torture in 2009 and has not yet lost the status of a victim since the guilty police officers got conditional sentence and the compensation for moral damage amounted to only eighty thousand rubles. With regard to this, the ECHR awarded 15 000 Euro to Voroshilov.  

We would like to remind you that in August 2009 Alexander Voroshilov was detained by police officers Evgeny Kuznetsov and Oleg Moiseyev and taken to the police department where he was beaten and choked in order to get the confessionary statements.

“I was put on my knees and told that I had to say where the drugs in the parcel came from. I explained to the policemen that I had been asked to take the parcel from the bus driver and I had not been aware that there were drugs in the parcel, – that is how Voroshilov described the events in the police department to the lawyers of the Committee Against Torture where he applied for legal assistance. – The police officers started to kick and hit me all over my body, legs and head. They choked me using a plastic bag. I was handcuffed behind my back all the time. I fainted several times as a result of the tortures.”

In December 2011, the Promyshlenny district court of Orenburg found Kuznetsov and Moiseyev guilty of abuse of office and sentenced each of them to conditional sentence of three years for each. The court of appeal upheld this ruling. 

The case with regard to Voroshilov was dismissed due to absence of the element of crime.

Later on, the Orenburg regional court partially satisfied the claim for moral compensation of the injuries inflicted to Voroshilov by the crime committed by the police officers; he was awarded only eighty thousand rubles instead of the claimed two million rubles.

As the awarded compensation did not correspond either to the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, or to the principles of justice; and the people who had tortured Alexander were not punished adequately, in 2012, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. 

Today, the ECHR passed a ruling with regard to this complaint. The Strasbourg judges unanimously established that:  

– Aleksandr Voroshilov did not lose his status of a victim,

– Article 3 of the Convention (“prohibition of torture”) was violated with regard to him in the material aspect due to applying torture,  

– Article 3 of the Convention (“prohibition of torture”) was violated with regard to him in the procedural aspect due to inefficient investigation.  

Taking this into account, Aleksandr Voroshilov was awarded a compensation of moral damage in the amount of 15 000 euro.  

“In today’s ruling the Court established that the treatment of our applicant amounts to torture and pointed out that the punishment of the guilty parties was explicitly inadequate to the gravity of human rights violation and it cannot have a proper   deterrent effect to prevent torture in future, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Olga Sadovskaya comments on the ruling of the ECHR. – Taking into account a soft punishment of the culprits as well as small compensation awarded to Aleksandr by the domestic court, the European Court thinks that the applicant is still a victim of violation of his rights under the article on torture prohibition. With regard to this, the Court fully satisfied our demands of fair compensation”.

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