Investigation of prisoner’s ill-treatment continues not thanks to, but in spite of


03 April 2012

Lawyers of the Committee Against Torture have managed to have another refusal to instigate criminal proceedings issued in connection with inmate Yevgeny Smolev’s beating by officers of penal colony no.20 quashed. Such decision was delivered by the Lukoyanov court on March 15, the case was referred for an additional investigation.

You may remember that on 17 June 2010 the Interregional Committee Against Torture received an application from Ms. Barinova claiming that her son Evgeny Smolev contained in penal colony  IK-20 under the Federal Penitentiary Service Directorate for Nizhny Novgorod region had been abused by the colony staff. She claimed that on June 16 Evgeny had been beaten by workers of the penal colony, in particular, by the head of the Security Department, major Baryshev, as a punishment for not going for breakfast because of the back ache due to a spine injury.  

CAT lawyer Dmitry Laptev who is supporting this case has mention very poor awareness of representative of the Shatky Interdistrict Investigation Department Kuznyakova about the materials of the case. Dmitry also added:  “Within 1.5 years of delays and ineffective investigation into the allegations of Smolev’s abuse the investigative authorities have not taken pains to question one of the witnesses named by the victim. Neither they assessed controversies in medical records, according to which on June 16 Smolev’s examination had not revealed any injuries, but another examination in 2 days conducted in presence of PMC members (Note: the Public Monitoring Commission supervising law observance in detention facilities and prisons) had disclosed abrasions and bruises. It seems that investigators are not aiming at an effective and objective inquiry, but are trying to fence the colony staff off in every possible way. Meanwhile, the prosecutorial official involved in the proceedings has sided with the Committee Against Torture and supported our claim.

The Committee Against Torture has many times reported condonation and sabotage demonstrated by the investigative authorities while working with cases of detainees’ abuse. The story of Sergey Nazarov tortured to death by the Kazan police has illustrated what such negligent attitude to one’s duties leads to: it has turned outthat only within one year there were 7 applications claiming police abuse in the Dalny police department, all of them were ignored and proceedings were not instigated. Perhaps, if one of the torturers had been punished then, Sergey Nazarov could have survived.

The Committee Against Torture intends to go through with this case and demand an effective investigation of the incident. At present an application to the European Court of Human Rights is being prepared in connection with tortures and ineffective investigation. 


Of the Interregional Committee against Torture

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