Russia did not answer the questions on tortures and extrajudicial killings posed in the UN report


27 December 2022

The United Nations Organization published the seventh periodic report on Russia’s compliance with the Convention Against Torture. Previously, the UN Committee Against Torture posed 35 questions aiming at identifying the significant problems in the Russian legal system regarding torture. Lawyer with the Department of the International Legal Remedy of the CAT Elza Valieva studied the report.      

Part of the Russian authorities’ answers represents quotes of the legislative norms (for example, the Constitution, the Criminal Code and etc.). Part of the questions remained unanswered: about violence during peaceful protest rallies; on violence due to sexual or gender orientation, forceful disappearances, tortures and extrajudicial killings in the Northern Caucasus.

The remaining answers are superficial. For example, answering to the question on abduction of Salman Tepsurkayev, who was subjected to torture and sexualized violence, Russia did not even mention that the ECHR ruling was passed with his regard. The ECHR established that the Russian authorities are responsible for Tepsurkayev’s abduction and brutal treatment.     

As a positive example of a recovery of the torture-related moral damage, several references to the court rulings are provided in the report. According to the rulings, the victim who was beaten up by the Federal Penitentiary Service officers, received 10 thousand rubles, and the victim of tortures performed with an electric shocker – 30 thousand rubles.   

Russia did not mention in the report that it refuses to comply with the ECHR rulings passed after 16 March 2022.  Therefore, the torture victims are now deprived of the possibility to restore justice. The UN Committee Against Torture is going to review Russia’s report during one of the sessions in 2023. Previous concluding remarks on the sixth periodic report were issued in 2018.