Yesterday, 16 October 2014, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan upheld the decision of the court of the first instance, which awarded 50 000 RUR of compensation for moral damages to police captain Artur Sadretdinov. Human rights defenders with the Committee Against Torture, who represent the victim’s interests, believe the sum to be meager, and intend to appeal against the decision, and if necessary, to apply to the European Court of Human Rights.
Previously, on 4 August 2010, residents of Oktyabrskiy city – police captain Artur Sadretdinov, Sergey Andreev and Oleg Bayrashev – applied to the Committee Against Torture complaining that they had been battered severely by staff members of Bashkortostan Directorate of Federal Drug Control Service (UFSKN RB).
The Committee Against Torture lawyers conducted a public investigation which established the fact of torture. The formal investigation and court were also satisfied that on 21 June 2010 Sadretdinov, Bayrashev and Andreev were detained by drug control officers and delivered to Oktyabrskiy department of UFSKN where the officers were beating the three men for several hours in with the purpose to make them claim responsible for drug trafficking.
The result of this «communication» with the drug control policemen was that the victims were diagnosed with injuries of different severity levels. Sadretdinov and Andreev had to spend several weeks in hospital.
On 1 September 2010 criminal proceedings based on the fact of violence against Sadretdinov were initiated. Yet, the investigators were not willing to grant Andreev and Bayrashev the status of victims, and criminal proceedings based on the fact of violence against them were initiated only after human rights defenders had repeatedly appealed against unlawful decisions to refuse to initiate criminal proceedings. In February 2012 the pre-trial investigation was completed and the proceedings were referred to court.
On 22 April 2013 Oktyabrskiy District Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan found the three UFSKN RB staff members guilty of criminal offenses under article 286 (3) of the Criminal Code of RF. Evgeniy Filipov was sentenced to four years of probation with a six-year suspended sentence; Aleksandr Bukarev received three years of probation with a three-year suspended sentence; Sergey Khanzhin was sentenced to three years of probation with a four-year suspended sentence. The convicts were also prohibited from being employed in law enforcement agencies within three years from then.
The convicted and their advocates disagreed with the sentences and appealed against them. On 30 October 2013 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan passed the decision which upheld the sentence delivered by the first instance court, and dismissed the appellate complaint.
After the judgment of conviction had entered into force, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, representing the victim’s interests, filed a claim requesting compensation for the moral damages suffered by Mr Sadretdinov. On 14 May 2014 the Leninskiy District Court of Ufa city only partly satisfied the claim – the plaintiff requested 2 million rubles, but the court awarded only 50 thousand rubles to be paid by the Ministry of Finance.
Human rights defenders believed the sum to be meager appealed against the decision. However the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan did not take into consideration the arguments of the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture and upheld the decision of the court of the first instance.
Lawyer working with the Bashkortostan regional branch of the Interregional NGO «Committee Against Torture» Airat Davletshin: «We are not satisfied with the decision. We hoped that the court of appeal would take into consideration Sadretdinov’s inflicted injuries, including – fractured neck vertebra, nose bone fracture, traumatic eardrum rupture, which, of course, constitute grounds for a more significant sum for compensation. We are going to appeal against this court decision at the national level under cassational procedure, and in case of negative result we shall have to apply to the European Court of Human Rights».