Nine illegal rulings and three years of red-tape is not a reason for compensation


26 February 2016

Lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture received appellate ruling of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Mary El – the judicial panel agreed to the ruling of the court of the first instance which dismissed the claim for moral damage to Evgeny Dydychkin, inflicted to him by inefficient check of the crime report of his beating up by the police. In the opinion of the judges, nine illegal dismissals to initiate criminal proceedings and the pre-investigation check extended from ten days to three years do not violate the rights of the applicant and do not result in compensation for moral damage.  Lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture, representing the interests of Dydychkin, will appeal against these court rulings under cassation procedure.

This story started back in 2013, when Evgeny Dydychkin and Mikhail Maltsev from Yoshkar-Ola applied to the Mary El branch of INGO «The Committee Against Torture». They told the human right defenders that on 14 January of the same year they were beaten up by the Road Control Service police officers near local bar called «Bogema». According to the applicants, the incident was caused by self-made snowmobile of Evgeny, on which the two friends came to the bar – the law-enforcement officers suspected that the vehicle was stolen. As Evgeny recalls, he passed out twice during the battery. His friend was also beaten up; he asked to stop using physical violence.

After the incident near the bar the two men were taken to Police Department No.1 where reports on committing administrative offense, expressed in insubordination to the police officers, were drawn up. On the next day Evgeny and Mikhail registered numerous bodily injuries at the medical institution, and applied to the investigative bodies with a crime report.
A highly inefficient check of this fact was performed by the investigative department for Yoshkar-Ola city of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Republic of Mary El, which resulted in refusal to initiate criminal proceedings. Since the investigator did not even question the applicants, did not establish and question the people who were in the bar at that moment, did not assign additional medical forensic examination and failed to perform a number of other checking activities, human rights defenders, representing the interests of the applicants, successfully insisted that this unlawful refusal was declared illegal and reversed.

However, during the following two years the investigators issued eight more refusals to initiate criminal proceedings, which subsequently were also declared illegal.

Considering the check of Evgeny Dydychkin to be obvious example of red tape, which led to violation of his rights, human rights defenders filed a claim in court seeking compensation for moral damage. However, the court did not share the opinion of lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture and on 10 November of last year dismissed this claim.

Human rights defenders appealed against this ruling. Unfortunately, the result was negative for them – on 4 February 2016 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Mary El upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance.

«The court did not even examine the positive court rulings for this category of cases, which we provided as a justification of our complaint. The judges also ignored our arguments concerning the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, which in its rulings has repeatedly indicated the necessity of efficient investigation of torture complaints as well as awarded compensation to applicants only due to the fact that their complaints were followed by the investigators’ rulings subsequently quashed as illegal, – emphasizes lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Dmitry Yalikov. – In their appellate ruling the judges justly noted that «the most important task of a law-bound state shall be to provide fair, fast and efficient restoration of the violated rights and compensation of the inflicted damage. The Russian Federation, which declared itself to be a law-bound state, must comply with this criteria», but that did not prevent them from considering nine refusals to initiate criminal proceedings and three-year long pre-investigative check to be the facts which do not violate the applicant’s rights and therefore do not result in the compensation of moral damage. We shall certainly appeal against this ruling under cassation procedure».

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