A citizen of Orenburg who complained about torture in the penal colony was sentenced to one year prison term for deliberately misleading accusation


13 March 2015

Today the Dzerzhinsky District Court of Orenburg announced the sentence for Pavel Seliverstov who applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance in 2012 reporting a violent battery in penal colony No.4. Judge Sergey Yeliseyev found Seliverstov guilty of committing crime under part 2 Article 306 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code  («Deliberately misleading accusation оf crime combined with incriminating the person in committing extremely grievous crime»), and sentenced him to one year prison term. However, due to expiry of the period of limitation for this article Pavel was released from penalty. Human rights defenders representing Seliverstov’s interests are going to appeal against this decision.

(Photo: judge Sergey Yeliseyev, Timur Rakhmatulin and Pavel Seliverstov)

«Actually, examination the merits of this criminal case took only two days. Pavel Seliverstov insisted on his innocence, however, the court did not let him protect himself, having dismissed our twelve motions. Yesterday court session included all): familiarization of defense lawyers with case materials, case hearing on Seliverstov’s charges, and proceedings, and even the last word of the defendant. Except the verdict that was not announced. The court proposed to Pavel to dismiss the case due to the expiration of the statute of limitations, however, our applicant refused. He wanted to prove in court that the crime report that he submitted to the prosecutor’s office was not a false accusation, but an appeal to the state for its support, so that he is protected from lawlessness of the Federal Service for Execution of Punishment officers», – reported the head of Orenburg office of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» Timur Rakhmatulin representing the interests of Pavel Seliverstov.

It is notable that the officers of penal colony No.4 who were named in the case as complainants, never showed up at the courtroom, despite the fact that the defense team had a lot of questions for them, but, unfortunately, the court did not. In the premises of the detention center where according to Pavel’s words he was beaten up, there were video surveillance cameras installed, and one of the witnesses who was on duty on that day in the detention center, had an event data video recorder attached to his ammunition. What prevented the penal colony officers from saving the video records of that ill-fated day? What prevented the investigators of the Investigative Committee to timely request   them from the Federal Service for Execution of Punishment for the Orenburg region? In the end, only words remained which turned out to be enough for conviction.

«Pavel suffered conviction only because he dared to complain about using lethally dangerous violence against him by the Federal Service for Execution of Punishment officers, – Tumur Rakhmatulin goes on. – Now, evidently, when there is a crime committed by criminals in uniform against any citizen from the Orenburg region the victim will have good reason to think twice before resorting to law-enforcement agency officers’ help. Any such application from citizens may be interpreted by investigators as false accusation».

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