A complaint in the interests of Temirlan Eskerkhanov is submitted to the European Court


17 June 2016

Lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture, representing the interests of Temirlan Eskerkhanov, submitted a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights. Human rights defenders think that a number of articles of the European Convention have been violated with regard to Eskerkhanov – the right to an effective investigation and the right to an effective remedy.

(Temirlan Eskerkhanov, photo: AFP)

As we have previously reported, Tamerlan Eskerkhanov and Zaur Dadayev, involved in the case of Boris Nemtsov assassination, have officially applied to the Moscow office of the interregional nongovernmental organization «The Committee Against Torture» for legal assistance in connection with illegal violence which they were subjected to. In particular, Eskerkhanov informed human rights defenders that people in black uniform who took him from the temporary detention center to the Basmanny District Court of Moscow tortured and humiliated him: photographed him naked, set his beard and face on fire, hit him against the back of his neck, lower back and kidneys area.

However, having initiated a public investigation, human rights defenders immediately faced with difficulties and actual reluctance of the official investigative authorities to conduct the check based on Eskerkhanov’s statement about tortures by law-enforcement officers.

Lawyer of INGO «The Committee for Prevention of Torture» Sergey Babinets shares his view on the results of the Investigative Committee’s work: «The check of Eskerkhanov’s statement was performed by senior investigator on major cases of the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the RF Colonel of Justice Aleksey Stadnikov. He had opportunity to perform effective investigation but, for reasons that we do not understand, he conducted his job responsibilities formally and limited his checking activities to a narrow range. 

In the framework of pre-trial investigation Eskerkhanov told the investigative authorities all the necessary information indicating the alleged persons who applied violence against him, identifying possible eyewitnesses of the crime, as well as the incident scene. However, the investigator simply ignored Eskerkhanov’s words about the ill-treatment by the Basmanny District Court security guards and questioned only a few persons who took part in Eskerkhanov’s apprehension.  The investigator failed to order a forensic medical examination of Eskerkhanov, to examine the incident scene, to seize the records from the video surveillance cameras installed in court, to identify or question the security guards, to identify or question the FSB officers who were apprehending Eskerkhanov. There are quite a lot of things that he failed to do. As a result, having failed to perform virtually all the checking activities, Mr Stadnikov refused to initiate criminal proceedings».

«In this case we failed to collect and confirm solid evidence of tortures applied to Eserkhanov, we simply did not have such opportunity, since our lawyer was limited in his access to the applicant and the case materials, – emphasizes the lawyer of the International Legal Protection Department of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Ekaterina Vanslova. – However, in the practice of the European Court during the assessment of the evidence in the case the Court is guided by sufficiently solid, direct and concordant pieces of evidence as well as by unrebutted presumptions of fact. With regards to this one should take into account the parties’ behavoir during the period of collecting evidence. Since the investigation of Eskerkhanov’s complaint was completely inefficient, this fact will obviously be taken into account by the Court within the evidentiary requirements».

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