Responsibility for words


06 May 2010

On 4 May 2010 the justice of the peace of judicial district no.1 of the Kilemarsky district of Mariy El delivered a judgment convicting officer Chulkov, head of the regional police station in the village of Vizimyary under the Kilemarsky district Department of Internal Affairs. Officer Chulkov was found guilty under p.1 art.130 of the RF Criminal Code – “Act of insult”. The policeman is sentenced to payment of a fine in the amount of 6000 rubles.

On 20 December 2009 head of the village police Chulkov came to the house of Ms. Lubov Gorshkova in Vizimyary. Right off the bat he started cursing at the owner without explaining the reason for his visit. Later he wondered who of the guests was Mr. Pavlov and asked the guy to follow him. Finally he demanded that Ms. Gorshkova and two of her guests should come to give their explanations to the local police station the next morning. Chulkov did not mention the reason for giving explanations. Lubov Gorshkova applied to the investigation authorities asking them to hold the officer criminally responsible.  Having conducted a check, an investigator from the Medvedevsky Interdistrict Investigation Department of the IA of the IC under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Mariy El refused to open criminal proceedings on the grounds that Chulkov had acted within his jurisdiction. Ms. Gorshkova disagreed with the investigator’s reasoning and applied to the court of the peace with a private charge insisting on bringing the village police head to liability. In court Chulkov claimed that he had not insulted anyone during his visit.  Nevertheless, having listened to the arguments of all parties, the court decided that the officer was guilty and imposed a just penalty on him.   

The Mariy El representation of INGO “Committee against Torture” did not establish a breach of Article 3 of the ECHR. According to representation head Dmitry Yegoshin, the Committee lawyers conducted a check which showed that there had been no human rights violation committed in respect of Ms. Gorshkova.  However, domestic law still treats an insult as a crime entailing liability.  The Mariy El representation of the Committee against Torture has provided all the necessary legal aid to Ms. Gorshkova. .

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