Human rights defenders submitted application to the European Court of Human Rights with regard to a small compensation for the crime


23 July 2018

Today, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of former convict of Orenburg penal colony-settlement No.11 Sergey Nikonorov – as we have previously reported, former head of this penal facility, Filyus Khusainov, used violence and threats to force the convict to build his summer cottage. Due to the fact that domestic courts evaluated moral sufferings of Nikonorov at seventy five thousand rubles, human rights defenders submitted an application to the ECHR.

(Sergey Nikonorov and member of the Committee Against Torture Vyacheslav Dyundin)

Human rights defenders started working on this situation after 26 July 2013, when Irina Balashova applied for help. According to the woman, her partner Sergey Nikonorov was trapped in unbearable and inhuman conditions created by the staff of Penal Colony (settlement) no. 11 for Orenburg region, which is headed by Filyus Khusainov: convicts were systematically subjected to ill-treatment, including threats of sexual abuse. Concerning Mr. Nikanorov, the treatment had been caused by his refusals to work at construction sites, and his forced labor complaints lodged with the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor’s Office.

In particular, Sergey told in details how he was building a country house and a sauna for head of Penal Colony-Settlement No.11 Filyus Khusainov. Nikonorov insisted that during the check of the testimony on site he can indicate such details which cannot be known to a stranger, and even to the owner of the constructed facilities himself, but only to the immediate performer of the construction work.

In the course of the judicial proceedings former head of Penal Colony Settlement No.11 admitted his guilt, but only partially, denying his guilt in the part of using a fire-arm for the purpose of the victim Nikanorov intimidation. However, the court, having evaluated all the cumulative evidence, came to the conclusion that Khusainov used fire-arm during committing the crime. In particular, the victim precisely described the appearance of the gun before the traumatic weapon was seized in the course of the search in the Khusainov’s apartment. In addition, witness S., who was refurbishing the internal premises of a country house, stated that he heard a loud bang during Khusainov’s visit to the construction site. A dent on the stainless steel sheet of the fencing, which, according to the expert examination, could be made by the bullet fired from a traumatic gun, completes the picture.

On 4 May 2016, judge of the Novotroitskiy City Court Ekaterina Rodygina passed a judgment of conviction to former head of Penal Colony-Settlement No.11 of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the Orenburg region Filyus Khusainov. He was declared guilty of committing the crime under item «а» part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation («abuse of office performed using violence or with a threat of its use») and sentenced to three years of prison term in a standard regime penal colony. In addition, Khusainov is debarred from holding a public office within two years.

On 31 August 2016 the judicial panel of the Orenburg Regional Court upheld this ruling.
After the verdict has entered the legal force lawyer of the Committee Against Torture Albina Mudarisova, representing the interests of Sergey Nikonorov, applied to court with a lawsuit on compensation of moral damage inflicted to the victim and compensation of losses incurred through Filyus Khusainov’s crime.

On 22 March 2017, judge of the Central District Court of Orenburg Albina Andronova partially satisfied the claims under the lawsuit, having awarded Sergey Nikonorov with seventy five thousand rubles out of claimed eight hundred fifty thousand rubles as a compensation for moral damage. The court dismissed the claims under the lawsuit with regard to compensation of losses.

Sergey Nikonorov and his representative were dissatisfied with the amount of the compensation and submitted a complaint to the Orenburg Regional Court. Another appellate appeal was submitted by the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation, having requested the court to dismiss the lawsuit altogether, as Khusainov was convicted already after he was fired.
On 7 June 2017, the Orenburg Regional Court upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance, and dismissed the applications of the parties to the proceedings.

According to human rights defenders and the victim himself, the amount of compensation does not correspond either to the gravity of the inflicted damage, or to the existing practice of the European Court of Human Rights. That is why they decided to submit an application to Strasbourg.

“Unfortunately, it is by far not the first case when we are forced to submit a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights with regard to the fact that our domestic justice failed to achieve its goals, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin comments. – We think that the meager compensation awarded to Sergey Nikonorov, still retains his status of a victim of the crime, because the state has not yet been incurred full responsibility for its citizen with regard to violations of his rights”.

As we have previously reported, on 5 April 2017, judge of the Novotroitsky City Court of the Orenburg region Pavel Ivlev passed a ruling with regard to former superiors of Penal Colony Settlement No 11, having declared former head of this institution Filyus Khusainov and his deputy Murat Kumarov guilty under three articles of the criminal code of Russia. They share two articles: sexual battery performed by a group of persons by previous concert and exceeding official authority. In addition, the court declared Mr Khusainov guilty of abuse of office and Mr Kumarov – of bribery. Former Head of Penal Colony No 11 is sentenced to seven years jail time, and his subordinate – to five and a half years jail time. The court of appeal upheld the verdict.

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