Does the victim lose his status after his torturers get conditional sentence and the victim is paid a measly compensation


11 November 2016

European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) asked Russia several questions concerning the complaint of Alexander Voroshilov from Orenburg who had been tortured by the police officers in 2009. The European Court asked if the claimant had been tortured, if he had lost the status of the victim due to the fact that the policemen got the conditional sentence and if the moral compensation in the amount of eighty thousand rubles awarded to the claimant corresponded to the  requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In August 2009 Alexander Voroshilov was detained by police officers Evgeny Kuznetsov and Oleg Moiseyev and taken to the police department where he was beaten and choked in order to get the confessionary statements.

“I was put on my knees and told that I had to say where the drugs in the parcel came from. I explained to the policemen that I had been asked to take the parcel from the bus driver and I had not been aware that there were drugs in the parcel, – that is how Voroshilov described the events in the police department to the lawyers of the Committee Against Torture where he applied for legal assistance. – The police officers started to kick and hit me all over my body, legs and head. They choked me using a plastic bag. I was handcuffed behind my back all the time. I fainted several times as a result of the tortures.”

In December 2011 the Promyshlenny district court of Orenburg found Kuznetsov and Moiseyev guilty in abuse of office and sentenced each of them to conditional sentence of three years for each. The case with regard to Voroshilov was dismissed.

Later on, the Orenburg regional court partially satisfied the claim for moral compensation of the injuries inflicted to Voroshilov by the crime committed by the police officers; he was awarded only eighty thousand rubles instead of two million rubles that were claimed.

“As the compensation awarded to Alexander Voroshilov does not correspond either to the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, or to the principles of justice; and the people who had tortured Alexander were not punished adequately, we, representing the interests of Mr Voroshilov, filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights, – lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Tortures Timur Rakhmatulin stated. – Now this complaint is communicated to the authorities of our country, and they have to reply to the questions put by the ECHR.”

– In the situation when a person was tortured by state representatives, the purpose of making the guilty persons accountable for the crime and paying a fair compensation is to restore the rights of the claimant, not to smirk at him or humiliate him, – head of the international legal defense of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Olga Sadovskaya points out. – The fact that the policemen actually escaped the accountability for the crime destroys the faith of the claimant into the efficiency of the state system, and this measly compensation is humiliating and does not even cover the costs for medical treatment, saying nothing of the compensation of the moral damage.

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