Russian human rights defenders sent alternative report to the UN Committee Against Torture

Событие | Пресс центр

25 April 2018

Lawyers of the Russian non-governmental organization “The Committee Against Torture” submitted an alternative report (read) to the UN Committee Against Torture on the Russian Federation observing the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

This report is provided to the UN Committee Against Torture in the framework of the Russian Federation official report examination – the 6th progress report of Russia on implementation of the against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – and is aimed at covering most urgent issues of human rights observance established by the Convention.

“During our work on the report our objective was to provide the Committee’s experts with information both on taken measures and the progress achieved in torture prevention and remedy for their victims, as well as on outstanding problems or problems emerged in the reporting period related to execution of the Convention provisions”, – the report’s authors emphasized.

In their report, human rights defenders pointed out a number of problems which have not been yet solved in Russia. Among others, they involve the following.

Torture as an official crime has never been institutionalized by the Russian Federation authorities in accordance with the UN Committee Against Torture recommendations. Due to that, for example, it is impossible to conduct a statistical accounting of the complaints, verdicts and criminal cases with regard to the persons who applied violent treatment.

In this report, the concern about the mechanism of Public monitoring commissions is expressed. In the authors’ opinion, it needs to be improved; otherwise this institute may cease to be an important element of public control in detention facilities.

Human rights defenders still consider the work of special sections of the Investigative Committee for investigating the crimes committed by law-enforcement officials to be unsatisfactory. The structure itself, the headcount of these special sections do not allow to consider them as effective means on the scale of total number of complaints and torture cases, as well as other types of brutal and degrading treatment. Section, consisting of three people, per a federal district, involving several regions, is able to take up only few thoroughly selected cases.

In their report, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture also point out the problem of inefficient investigation of torture complaints. This refers to systematic issuing illegal rulings by the Investigative Committee officers, lack of procedure control, failure to subject the guilty officials to disciplinary action for committed violations.

Human rights defenders point out that the problem of low compensations, awarded by the courts for damage inflicted by inefficient investigation of torture complaints, has not yet been resolved.

This report also covers the situation with investigation of enforced disappearances in North Caucasus. In 2012-2015 and until now cases of enforced disappearances remain unsolved in the Chechen Republic. The situation with torture complaints investigation is no better in this region. Investigations of tortures are performed highly inefficiently.

In the end of the report human rights defenders submitted their proposals for solving these and other problems mentioned in the document.

“Based on the experience of examination of previous two reports at the UN Committee Against Torture we can say that Russia is ready to cooperate with the Committee and implement its recommendations at the system level, which is especially important, – head of the department of the international legal protection Olga Sadovskaya comments. – Thus, the examination of the report in 2006 resulted in the creation of the Investigative Committee, and in 2012 – in creating a special unit within its structure for investigating the crimes committed by the law-enforcement officers. We hope that this time we shall be able to set up a constructive dialogue all together, and, in my opinion, the most logical step for Russian authorities following this report examination would be creation of the National Preventive Mechanism in the framework of ratification of Optional protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture and taking necessary measures for normal functioning of the above-mentioned special unit in the framework of the Investigative Committee. We emphasize this in our alternative report, submitted to the UN Committee Against Torture today”.

Read ALTERNATIVE REPORT of interregional non-governmental organization “The Committee Against Torture” on the Russian Federation observing the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 2012 – 2018.

Reference:

Every four years the Russian Federation has to report to the UN Committee Against Torture on measures taken for eradication of torture. Our country accepted these obligations in 1987, when it ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In compliance with the applicable procedure, prior to the state’s report, the UN Committee Against Torture conducts official consultations with human rights organizations and other NGOs. These consultations are for the Committee members to acquire additional information on the torture situation in the country from those who interact with torture victims in their work practice.