Former convict adjudged 60 thousand rubles for failure to render medical assistance at the Nizhny Novgorod Penal Colony No.14

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19 February 2020
Aleksandr Pronin during serving the sentence at Penal Colony No.14

Judge of the Sovetsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod Svetlana Tolmacheva partially satisfied the claims under the lawsuit of former convict Aleksandr Pronin, having obliged the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia to pay him sixty thousand roubles as a compensation for moral damage out of the claimed one million and seven hundred thousand roubles. The claims under the lawsuit in the part of damage compensation were dismissed. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, representing the interests of the victim at court, will appeal against this ruling.

On 25 December 2018, Aleksandr Pronin applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. According to him, during serving his sentence at Penal Colony No.14 (Nizhny Novgorod region, Sukhovobezvodnoye settlement), he was repeatedly beaten up by other convicts who were acting at the instructions of former head of this colony Vasily Voloshin. In total, Aleksandr Pronin reported three episodes when physical force was illegally applied against him. But the case which became the most severe for his health happened on 5 February 2015, when a supply manager and a person on duty hung him on an improvised strappado, having twisted his arms out of the joints.

According to Pronin, in all the three cases medics in the colony refused to treat him and record his injuries. According to him, up to his release in 2019, he was constantly facing either with refusal to provide him with a medical treatment or with medical support of inadequate quality.

With regard to this, when he was still at the penal colony, Aleksandr Pronin submitted a lawsuit on a compensation of moral and physical damage against the medical sanitary unit of the Nizhny Novgorod region (FGHI Occupational Health Facility No.52 of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia) and against the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia. Subsequently, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture represented his interests in court.

In the course of the examination of this lawsuit by the court, medical forensic expert examination was assigned. In their extensive conclusion the experts registered over forty episodes of failure to provide treatment to Pronin: including absence of timely treatment of dislocations of shoulder-joints, violation of timelines of planned hospitalization, which resulted in steady forming of shoulder-joints’ habitual dislocation.

These and other violations confirmed the justification of claims which Pronin raised against the medics and the superiors of Penal Colony No.14.

On 5 February 2020, judge of the Sovetsky District Court Svetlana Tolmacheva partially satisfied claims under the lawsuit of Aleksandr Pronin, having obliged the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia to pay him sixty thousand rubles as a compensation for moral damage out of the claimed one million seven hundred thousand. Claims under the lawsuit in the part of damage compensation were dismissed. In the opinion of the court, “the applicant’s claims in this part are not specific, but rather generic”. Today, human rights defenders received a copy of this court ruling.

“We shall definitely appeal against this court ruling in the part of the awarded compensation for moral damage, as well as in the part of the court dismissal of the claims under the lawsuit on damage compensation”, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Sergey Shounin, representing the interests of Aleksandr Pronin, comments. – We shall also insist that the criminal case is opened with regard to Aleksandr’s complaint about repeated beatings at the penal colony – we already submitted the corresponding crime report to the Investigative Committee in January of this year”.