Citizen from Moscow, who was hurt during the apprehension by Counter-Extremism officers, applied to the European Court


28 March 2019

Today, on 28 March 2019, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the European Court of Human Rights with a complaint in the interests of Pavel Baronon, who accuses the Counter-Extremism Center officers of having beaten him up during apprehension. For three years of pre-investigative check of Baronin’s complaint, the Investigative Committee officers issued fourteen refusals to initiate criminal proceedings, using as a basis the theory of the police officers that the detained got his bodily injuries when he was rolling on the ground and hitting against the roots of the trees, and also as a result of the physical force which was applied legally.

As we have previously reported, in July 2016, Pavel Baronin applied to human rights defenders for legal support. According to him, in the evening on 14 May 2015. Pavel was strolling with his friends in the Kuzminki park. There they bumped into a citizen of Uzbekistan, with whom they had a conflict. As a result, Pavel and his friends beat him up, and having taken 400 roubles from him, went in the depth of the park. Approximately in half an hour Pavel saw about fifteen men running in his direction. In fear, he tried to run away, but fell. Then, according to Pavel, these people started to beat him up with arms and feet. As it became known later, the men turned out to be the officers with the Chief Directorate for Counter-Extremism at the Ministry of the Interior of Russia.

«It hurt a lot and I was scared, I was afraid they would kill me. I felt totally devastated. Since I actively tried to cover my head with my hands, eventually they tied my hands behind my back with some wire. My hands were tied very tight, and because of that they immediately started to get swollen, and one of the attackers said with a laugh that «in an hour these might as well be cut off». After that they just left me lying on the cold ground. When I moved a little, a hit followed right away», – Pavel described.

After the meeting with the police officers Pavel had to stay in hospital for two weeks. He was diagnosed with numerous hematomas, bruises of the face, upper shoulder girdle, soft tissues of the head, cerebral concussion, post-traumatic hardness of hearing at the left ear.

Pavel publicly told that the police officers applied physical violence against him during the court hearing two days after the apprehension, when house arrest was selected for him as a measure of restraint. Later, Pavel’s lawyer applied to the Committee with a crime report. During the pre-investigative check the investigators issued fourteen rulings refusing to initiate criminal proceedings, which were subsequently quashed as illegal and ungrounded by the superiors of the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor’s Office. At the present time, another check is being conducted with regard to Baronin’s complaint.  

“Despite the fact that the check is going on for over three years and the investigator had more than enough time to establish the circumstances relevant for the case, he, however, limited himself to the theory of the police officers – allegedly, Pavel got his bodily injuries when physical force was applied legally when he was rolling on the ground and hitting against the roots of the trees”, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Petr Khromov points out.

During the pre-investigative check the investigators did not properly assessed all the bodily injuries registered on Baronin at the medical documents, did not identified and questioned the doctors of the emergency ambulance team who rendered medical aid to him. Over and over again the investigators indicated in refusals to initiate criminal case that violence was applied legally against Pavel Baronin, at the same time they did not assess the necessity and adequacy of the physical force applied during apprehension.

“During the check a lot of violations were committed, for example, the untimeliness of a number of activities, when the examination of the incident scene was performed in winter and due to snowbanks not even the notorious roots were seen, – Petr Khromov continues. – The investigators also did not take into account the evidence provided by other convicts. I hope that the European Court will provide a legal evaluation of the circumstances of the apprehension itself, as well as to what extent the check of this incident performed by the Russian investigative bodies, was effective”.

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