Forty minutes of unlawful detention of a citizen in a cell for administrative detainees cost the state five thousand rubles


01 July 2008

   Today, Mr. Igor Voronov from Yoshkar-Ola who while being in Moscow was unlawfully detained by the police several years ago and spent about forty minutes in a cell for administrative detainees, finally received a judgment of the Zamoskvoretskiy district court under his suit for compensation of moral damages. The court obligated the RF Finance Ministry to pay Mr. Voronov 5 000 rubles as compensation of moral damages. It should be mentioned that the judgment was delivered in February but Mr.Voronov got it only now.  

You may remember that in 2004 Mr. Igor Voronov, lawyer from Man and Law (Mariy-El), a partner of the Committee against Torture, was stopped by the police in Moscow. Mr.Voronov showed them his passport with a Yoshkar-Ola registration mark. After that the police demanded that he should show them the train ticket to Moscow. Mr.Voronov had no ticket because it was in his bag in the left-luggage office at the train station. Mr.Voronov presented a return ticket, but the police were not satisfied with the explanations and asked the man to follow them to the Izmaylovo police station. And moreover, they kept the citizen’s passport.   

At the police station the officers did not ask him about the arrival date and did not check the reliability of Mr.Voronov’s explanations, but wrote an administrative offense protocol. The duty officer asked Mr.Voronov to sign the protocol and pay a fine of 100 rubles. However, Mr. Voronov referred to the fact that the protocol did not contain information concerning the time he had spent in Moscow and that he disagreed with the fact of violation, and refused to sign the protocol.  In return Mr.Voronov was placed in a cell for administrative detainees and later into a dark room without seats where he was kept for about 30 minutes deprived of light and a possibility to sit down. The police did not notify the citizen that he was an administrative detainee and he was not given a copy of the law on administrative detention. 10 minutes later the police led Mr.Voronov out of the cell, gave him a receipt for a fine of 50 rubles and explained to him where he could pay the fine. The police kept the passport, thus depriving the citizen of a possibility to leave Moscow and to appeal against the ruling that was not yet in force without paying the fine (according to law, you can pay an administrative fine within 30 days). Mr.Voronov paid the fine but still he was not given a signed copy of the administrative detention protocol, the duty officer refused to do that. It took some time to talk the duty officer into giving him the protocol stub.  

Mr.Voronov appealed against the actions of the police to the Izmaylovo district court of Moscow. Only after a year and a half of litigations the ruling on administrative offense was cancelled and proceedings under that case were stopped. Upon the fact of detention and placement into a cell for administrative detainees the Izmaylovo multidistrict Prosecutor’s office conducted a check as a result of which the head of the Izmaylovo Department of Internal Affairs received an order to eliminate violations of law.  

Almost three and a half years Mr.Voronov was pressing for justice. At the stage of seeking compensation of moral damages he turned for help to the Public Verdict Foundation.

On February 27, 2008 the Zamoskvoretskiy court of Moscow adjudicated that the police “negligently performed its official obligations”. The court sustained the plaintiff’s claim for compensation of moral damage incurred by unlawful actions of the police and awarded him 5 000 rubles.

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