Due to the fact that the state represented by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Justice included the Committee Against Torture in the list of non-commercial organizations performing the functions of foreign agents, which threatens us with liquidation, we consider it necessary to remind what we have been doing all these fifteen years. We start publishing the series of video materials on our activity.
Aleksey Mikheyev from Nizhny Novgorod was a State Traffic Patrol Department traffic warden. In 1998 he was charged with rape and murder of the girl whom he gave a lift once in the evening. The police officers tortured their colleague (surely they forced him to sign the backdated service leave) for several days. Unable to withstand the torture with electricity Aleksey confessed of the crime, after that he jumped from the window on the third floor of the district police department. He survived, but got spinal fracture.
He became invalid because the police officers prohibited the doctors from performing a timely surgery. The next day after the incident the «murdered» girl returned home safe and sound. Having failed to receive support in his homeland Aleksey had to undergo medical treatment abroad. Norwegian policemen gathered money for his treatment who learned about the fate of their Russian colleague from the mass media.
The Prosecutor’s Office, in its turn, steadfastly refused to admit the fact of torturing Mikheyev. Investigation of the case was openly sabotaged, investigators avoided collecting evidence and interrogating the suspects, blatantly and systematically violated procedural rules, openly ignored the rights of the victim and his representatives, distorted the witnesses’ evidence during record-keeping.
The case was dismissed over 20 times. And each time the lawyers of the Committee Against Torture found fault in the prosecutor’s work, appealed against the unlawful decree either in the upper line Prosecutor’s Office or in court. And each time the appeals were successful – the unlawful decrees were quashed, the investigation was resumed. Then again – the case dismissal, again complaints against numerous violations…
Total investigation period amounted to almost seven years. During this time different Prosecutor’s Office bodies repeatedly issued unlawful decisions on the case: 3 times the criminal proceedings initiation was refused, 3 times the criminal case was suspended and 20 times the criminal case was dismissed.
Only 7 years later two of those who tortured Aleksey were convicted. The lawyers of the Committee Against Torture applied to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Mikheyev. The European Court awarded him with a record-breaking compensation of 250 000 euro. The case of Aleksey Mikheyev is the first case in the European Court on torture practices in the Russian police.
It is during dealing with Mikheyev’s case when human rights defenders decided to establish a specialized organization – the Committee Against Torture.
New video materials will be published here