Today, on 2 October 2020, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Maksim Timoshenko from Gelendzhik. He claims that in August 2019 he was tortured by the FSB officers who forced him to confess of organizing the illegal migration and to provide evidence against his superior.
As we have previously reported, on 14 August 2019, Maksim Timoshenko from Gelendzhik town of the Krasnodar Territory applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. Maksim works in a local company as a specialist for registration of migration registration of foreign citizens.
Maksim said that on 8 August he was invited to the department for internal migration issues of the Gelendzhik police, where a little later some FSB officers showed up. who handcuffed him and brought him to the FSB department for the Krasnodar Territory with dislocation in Gelendzhik. There, according to Timoshenko, they beat him up, demanding that he confessed of organization of illegal migration, as well as provided evidence against the General Director of the company he was working at.
“After I reported that in 2018 I already provided explanation to the police officers in the framework of the check, one of the FSB officers started to yell obscenities and shouted: “You don’t understand where you are, we are not police!” At the same time, the second officer put a plastic bag on my head and started to choke me; there was virtually no oxygen in the bag, and at that they were hitting my head against the table. At first someone hit me once, and then, since there was no response from me, another hit came. In total, they hit me about five times at the back of my head and in the ear area. Then I heard a sound typical for electric shockers from behind my back. They hit my shoulder with it, I fell on the floor due to harsh pain. In total, there were about ten hits of electric shocker in the area of my shoulder and my back. When I was lying on the floor, the FSB officer told me, “Get up, you f…er, stop lying around!” After that I felt a kick in the left part of my rib chest”, – Maskim described.
According to Timoshenko, after that he agreed to demands of the FSB officers, who removed the handcuffs and dictated the information that he was supposed to memorize and convey to the investigator during the interrogation.
“The FSB officer delivered me to the police department and handed me over to the investigator, having warmed me against any “funny business”. The investigator interrogated me in the capacity of a suspect, I signed the protocol and received its copy. Then a defense lawyer came in, who, having familiarized with the protocol, told me that this crime involves paying a fine, and also signed the protocol. I demanded the copy of a ruling on initiating criminal proceedings, but the investigator refused, telling me: “You’ll get it when you have a passport on you”, – Maksim described.
After Mr Timoshenko left the police department, first he came by his office and then went to the first aid station to have the bodily injuries registered. Based on the results of the medical examination, a medical note with a diagnosis was issued to him: “Contusion of the rib chest on the left lumbar region”.
According to the report of medical forensic examination conducted on 14 August, Maksim Timoshenko was inflicted the following bodily injuries: “bruises of the left lumbar region, anteroexternal surface of the right forearm in the lower third part, extravasation of the internal surface of the left shoulder in the upper third part”.
On 12 August, Maksim Timoshenko submitted an application to the Military Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Krasnodar garrison, which is conducting the check at the present time.
On 28 August, Senior Investigator with this Department Aleksandr Kuleshov, who was conducting a check of Timoshenko’s torture complaint, dismissed the claim to open a criminal case. Later on, the courts of two instances declared this ruling to be legal.
Due to the fact that no effective check of Maksim Timoshenko’s torture complaint was done at the national level, today, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied on his behalf to the European Court of Human Rights. According to human rights defenders, the Russian authorities violated the provisions of Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, that guarantees freedom from torture and the right to effective investigation.
“We think that during Maksim Timoshenko’s torture complaint check the criteria of effective investigation established by the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, were severely breached. For example, the ruling dismissing the claim to open a criminal case, the investigator pointed out that Timoshenko’s evidence shall be treated critical as they are disproved by the totality of the available evidence, namely, the explanations of the police and the FSB officers, themselves. This serves a vivid example of a violation of the investigation objectivity criterion”, – lawyer with the International Legal Remedy Department with the Committee Against Torture Margarita Khusyainova comments. – We also think that during the check, investigator Kuleshov violated the principle of the investigation impartiality, since he questioned only law-enforcement officers, but not other witnesses”.