A citizen from Sochi complained to the European Court about police torture

Событие | Пресс центр

26 September 2018

Today, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in the interests of Georgiy Sveshnikov from Sochi, who accuses the police officers of torture when they tried to force confession of theft from him. According to human rights defenders, the article of the European Convention, prohibiting torture and guaranteeing effective investigation, was violated with regard to him.


(Georgiy Sveshnikov)

In May 2017, Georgiy Sveshnikov, a pupil of 11th form of Sochi school No.18, applied to the Krasnodar branch of the Committee Against Torture. He reported that on 28 April of the same year two criminal investigation officers collected him from school saying they needed to question him in a capacity of a witness and delivered him to the police station of Khosty settlement. There, according to Sveshnikov, these police officers were hitting the back of his head, his back and abdomen, forcing him to confess of theft

– I did not sign anything at the Khostinsky Police Station, and the same officers brought me to the police station of Loo settlement. There, one of the police superiors told me: “If you don’t confess – I will stick a truncheon in your ass!”, – Georgiy Sveshnikov remembers.

According to Sveshnikov, he was beaten up again, his face, head, back and abdomen were hit. At some moment Georgiy had an epileptic seizure and he lost consciousness. Medics, who arrived after call from the police officers, rendered Sveshnikov first aid.

According to Sveshnikov, after they left, he agreed to write to the police officers’ dictation a “confession”, stating that he was involved in a theft, keeping a lookout, and subsequently he confirmed this testimony with the investigator.
 
Later on, the criminal case with regard to Sveshnikov was dismissed due to reconciliation of the parties – he accepted his guilt, apologized to the victim and compensated the damage fully.

Georgiy was released from the police department with travel restrictions, and on the next day he applied to the Sochi City Hospital No.4, where he was diagnosed with “contusions of face and soft tissues of lumbar region”.

On 30 April, Georgiy lost consciousness again, and he was hospitalized to the neurological department of the City Hospital, where he was treated up to the 5th of May. After release from hospital, Sveshnikov applied with a crime report to the Investigative Committee, as well as to human rights defenders for legal assistance.

During pre-investigative check based on Sveshnikov’s police torture complaint, the investigators issued three rulings refusing to initiate criminal proceedings, two of which were subsequently quashed as premature and illegal. However, the last “refusal” was declared legal by the Prosecutor’s Office, and then by the courts of two instances.

Due to impossibility to restore Sveshnikov’s violated rights at the national level, today the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the European Court of Human Rights on his behalf.
 
“In this case at the initial stage of checking the investigator already committed violations of criteria of promptness, thoroughness and timeliness of the investigation, developed by the European Court, which led to the violation of the European Convention, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Ekaterina Vanslova comments. – Thus, refusing to initiate criminal proceedings, the investigator agreed to the version of the police officers that Sveshnikov got his bodily injuries as a result of his epileptic seizure. At the same time, the investigator did not even question the doctor who examined the applicant, and the assigned medical forensic examination was conducted untimely and did not provide answers to the questions which are important for establishing the objective picture of what really happened”.