Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court Confirms a Human Rights Lawyer from CAT Was Right


10 September 2012

Last Friday, on September 7, the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court upheld the judgment of the Kanavinsky District Court whereby the arrest of Anton RYZHOV, a lawyer at the Committee against Torture, as well as the seizure of his laptop were recognized unlawful. Now Mr. Ryzhov intends to claim compensation for non-pecuniary damage.

Earlier, the transport prosecutor’s office had also recognized Mr. Ryzhov’s arrest and the seizure of his laptop to be unlawful. Nevertheless, at that time the Committee against Torture was not completely satisfied with this decision and considered it inconsistent.
Let us recall that Anton RYZHOV, a lawyer at the Committee against Torture Inter-Regional NGO, was arrested at the exit from a train in Nizhny Novgorod on January21, 2012, when he was coming back from a mission in Chechnya related to his work in the Joint Mobile Group of human rights activists. Ryzhov was brought to the department on duty of the Nizhny Novgorod Transport Police, where his laptop and electronic data carriers were seized. The actions of the police were appealed against to a number of authorities including the prosecutor’s office subdivisions.
Thus, the judicial authorities confirmed the corollaries elicited by the Nizhny Novgorod Transport Prosecutor’s Office statting that Ryzhov was delivered to the department on duty with no legal grounds available. No record was ever filed in regard to either his delivery or any offences he had aledgedly committed.
Furthermore, a detective carried out Ryzhov’s personal search in violation of law. No orders to carry out any operational and search activities were ever issued; therefore, the said activities could not be undertaken following only a registered message. In violation of of the law “On Police”, which defines a closed list of items seized during a personal search, some personal belongings that do not refer to that list were seized from Ryzhov; therefore, the seizure of his laptop, memory cards and USB drives were unlawful.
Furthermore, the courts recognized Ryzhov’s forced photographing and obstructing his right to a telephone call to be unlawful. The judicial authorities also confirmed the fact of intrusion into his private life.
At present, the lawyers of the Committee against Torture prepare a claim for compensation for non-pecuniary damage inflicted on Anton Ryzhov.

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