A penal colony head decides to sue a journalist and the Committee Against Torture.


30 June 2011

In Orsk, Orenburg region, proceedings have begun under the suit lodged by the head of penal colony no.3 under the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service Administration for Orenburg region to protect his business reputation.

Judge of the Sovietsky district court of Orsk Elena Yarygina has commenced proceedings under the suit of the Novotroitsk penal colony head against Orskaya Khronika (newspaper) and journalist Alexander Karandeyev lodged to protect business reputation. The first hearing is scheduled for July 6, 2011. Head of the Orenburg office of the CAT Vyacheslav Dyundin is also involved as a respondent party – information source.

The point is that the article at issue was written by A.Karandeyev to cover the outcome of E.Y. Svintakov’s suit. Head of the Orenburg office of the ICAT supported the claimant and won the case, there is a corresponding judgment in force. The court found that the injuries entailing disability had been inflicted to Svintakov on the territory of penal colony IK-3 and awarded him 50 000 rubles as compensation of moral damage. V.Dyundin provided that information to many journalists, including A. Karandeyev.

Notwithstanding the judgment, domestic service colonel Viktor Viryaskin asks the court to rule that the article discredits the business reputation of IK-3 and disprove the information published in the newspaper on March 11, 2011, including the statement that “the Orenburg regional court had sustained the claim of Orsk resident Evgeny Svintakov abused by the colony personnel”. The colonel believes, in particular, that (quote): “the author of the article suggests to the listeners that human rights abuses are a routine practice in the facility and its staff are unprincipled and indifferent people”.

At present E.Svintakov’s application is pending trial in the ECtHR. The Interregional Committee Against Torture will try to use the coming litigation to collect additional proofs to support this application.

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