The Investigation Committee of Russia withdrew the resolution to refuse to initiate a five-year-old criminal case, binding the investigators from the Republic of Mariy-El to conduct additional checking upon the claim of Dmitry Efremov from Yoshkar Ola reporting of the beating by the policemen in 2008. It is interesting that the same “refusal” was acknowledged as legal by the General Prosecutors’’ Office of Russia.
Let us remind you the background of this case. On 10 January 2008 Dmitry Efremov applied to the office of Interregional NGO “The Committee Against Tortures” in the Republic of Mariy-El for legal assistance and reported the following. On 2 January 2008 around eleven o’clock in the evening he was coming back from his sister. Two policemen approached him and asked his documents. Dmitry replied that he did not have them at the moment. The argument with the policemen turned into the beating of Efremov: he was knocked down to the ground, then they started to beat him with their hands, legs and rubber truncheons. Later a police vehicle appeared at the site and four policemen came out of it, took him to the car and drove to Zarechny police department of the Department of the Interior in Yoshkar Ola.
As Dmitry remembers, in the police department he was taken to the room and asked to write an explanatory statement. Efremov refused to do so. He was taken to the medical examination where they registered that the arrested person had a slight degree of drunkenness. After that he was taken back to Zarechny police department and only after that he was released and could go home.
However, Dmitry together with a relative went to the injury care center where doctors registered that he had numerous injuries. According to the act of the forensic medical examination, they registered that Efremov had bruises on his face, on his upper and lower limbs, left buttock, and a rupture of mucous coat of his lower lip. The registered injuries were caused by no less than nine traumatic exposures by blunt objects and they could not be the result of falling from his own body height.
On 4 January 2008 Dmitry applied to Yoshkar Ola Investigation department of the Investigation Division of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Mariy-El reporting of the crime and asked to conduct checking of the described events and initiate a criminal case in regard to the policemen. In response to his application Efremov received fourteen refusals to initiate a criminal case which were later appealed against by the human rights defenders and were acknowledged illegal.
The last “refusal” was issued on 17 October 2011. Four years passed and after Dmitry Efremov exhausted all domestic remedies, on 11 September 2013 the lawyers of interregional NGO “The Committee Against Tortures” representing his interests submitted a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights.
In October 2014 this complaint was communicated: Strasburg judges asked Russian authorities several questions, in particular, they asked if Efremov was beaten by the policemen and if the investigation of this incident was efficient at the national level.
Despite the complaint submitted to the European Court, the human rights defenders filed an appeal against the last “refusal” issued by the investigator to the General Prosecutor’s Office and Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation. The General Prosecutor’s Office did not acknowledge the arguments of the lawyers of the Committee convincing enough to cancel this resolution, however, the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation found the arguments of the human rights defenders sufficient to resume checking upon the complaint of Dmitry Efremov.
“We would like to believe that during the additional checking the investigator conducts an objective evaluation of all the circumstances of the events happened to Dmitry more than eight years ago, equally taking into account his version and the version of the law-enforcement officers“, – awyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Dmitry Yalikov, representing the interests of Dmitry Efremov, comments.