To the ninety percent of complaints about unlawful violence used by enforcement agents the Orenburg regional Investigative Committee responds with refusals to institute criminal proceedings. This is what human rights defenders with the Orendurg regional branch of the INGO “Committee Against Torture” report, basing their arguments on facts from the Committee’s practice in the region.
In the report the lawyers assert: since the time when the branch started working in Orenburg, they have faced the problem of ineffective investigation of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment. Over the years, the things have been going from bad to worse, and now the situation must be described as systematic and demonstrative disregard of law. Basic procedural steps are not taken: applicants are not questioned in respect of their complaints; preliminary checks are either not conducted, or appear to be absolutely uncareful; the results are not indicated to applicants quite often.
The situation with massive human rights violations committed by investigative bodies of the Investigative Committee is changing for the worse. The European Court of Human Rights repeatedly acknowledges this in its judgments reiterating the fundamental importance of effective investigation of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.
“We have many times asked the Head of the Main Investigating Department of the Investigative Committee for Orenburg region, Sergey Kolotov, to influence the situation,” says the Head of the Committee regional branch in Orenburg Sergey Babinets, “But he has never taken any effective measures. It appears that without control and supervision intervention from superior governmental bodies the situation is not going to progress. That is why we have submitted the report on the facts showing failure to investigate torture complaints in the region to Mr. Bastrykin.
Our practice shows that in respond to ninety percent complaints from individuals beaten up by policemen, victims receive refusals to open criminal proceedings, and it is quite often that they don’t even get this formal ill-grounded reply. In order to attain bringing responsible servicemen to justice, one has to spend years on fighting against the eagerness of the system to protect the honour of the law enforcement community instead of establishing the truth in every case. Lots of cases don’t shift from the stage of preliminary check over years. Even if criminal proceedings are initiated, it is not an easy matter to “drag” them into the trial stage.”
The report “On the situation concerning examination of criminal complaints and criminal investigation of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in Orenburg region in 2011-2013” was as well submitted to the Prosecutor General Yury Chayka, to the Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin, the Chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov, and to the law enforcement superiors of the region.