Igor Kalyapin's report to the UN Committee against torture


08 November 2012

Today in the course of the official hearings on the observance of the Convention against torture and maltreatment in Russia Igor Kalyapin, the chairman of IRPO “Committee against torture” makes a report.

“In Russia tortures are used by the police, the penal system, the army and by the intelligence services in counterterrorism operations. We are convinced that the reason of such wide torture usage is their impunity. Despite the fact that Russia still hasn’t criminalized torture as a separate corpus delicti, but the Russian legislation enables to punish officials for tortures. However the legislation doesn’t actually work, in the vast majority of cases of torture use by the officials they escape unpunished.

The complaints on tortures should be investigated by an independent investigation body. The Investigative Committee is such a body in Russia. Formally it is independent, but in fact the investigators of the Investigative Committee constantly work together with policemen, officers of the Federal Penal Service and other law enforcement bodies. That is why when they receive a complaint on tortures they actually investigate a case concerning their colleagues and such an investigation is not very effective as a rule.

Several months ago the chairman of the Investigative Committee Aleksandr Bastrikin issued a decree on forming a special division of the Investigative Committee which would carry on investigations only regarding the officials. Thus for the first time an actually independent body capable of investigating torture complaints was formed.

But the number of investigators in this division is fixed at 50 people for all the territory of the Russian Federation. While the bodies of the Investigative Committee receive dozens of thousands of complaints on tortures and inhuman treatment annually. Thus the investigators of the special division of the Investigative Committee can’t physically investigate even 10% of received complaints.

We ask the government of Russia to pay attention to the necessity to provide careful and effective investigation on every torture complaint. It requires really providing the division of the Investigative Committee, which investigates crimes made by officials, with the necessary resources and, first of all, by the necessary number of investigators”.

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