On 30 October 2013 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan upheld the first instance court’s sentence for the three staff members of Bashkortostan Directorate of Federal Drug Control Service (UFSKN RB) who had been found guilty of criminal offenses under article 286 (3) of the Criminal Code of RF.
Previously, on 4 August 2010, citizens of Oktyabrskiy city, police captain Artur Sadretdinov, Sergey Andreev and Oleg Bayrashev, applied to the Committee Against Torture complaining that they had been battered severely by staff members of Bashkortostan Directorate of Federal Drug Control Service (UFSKN RB).
The Committee Against Torture lawyers conducted a public investigation which established the fact of torture. The formal investigation and court were also satisfied that on 21 June 2010 Sadretdinov, Bayrashev and Andreev were detained by drug control officers and delivered to Oktyabrskiy department of UFSKN where the officers were beating the three men for several hours in with the purpose to make them claim responsible for drug trafficking.
The result of this «contact» with the drug control policemen was that the victims were diagnosed with injuries of different severity levels. Sadretdinov and Andreev had to spend several weeks in hospital.
On 1 September 2010 criminal proceedings based on the fact of violence against Sadretdinov were initiated. Yet, the investigators were not willing to grant Andreev and Bayrashev the status of victims, and criminal proceedings based on the fact of violence against them were initiated only after human rights defenders had repeatedly appealed against unlawful decisions to refuse to initiate criminal proceedings. In February 2012 the pre-trial investigation was completed and the proceedings were referred to court.
On 22 April 2013 Oktyabrskiy District Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan found the three UFSKN RB staff members guilty of criminal offenses under article 286 (3) of the Criminal Code of RF. Evgeniy Filipov was sentenced to four years of probation with a six-year suspended sentence; Aleksandr Bukarev received three years of probation with a three-year suspended sentence; Sergey Khanzhin was sentenced to three years of probation with a four-year suspended sentence. The convicts are also prohibited from being employed in law enforcement agencies within three years from now.
The convicted and their advocates disagreed with the sentences and appealed against them. On 30 October 2013 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan passed the decision which upheld the sentence delivered by the first instance court, and dismissed the appellate complaint.
The Head of Bashkirian regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» comments on the news: «The Prosecutor’s Office asked the court to impose terms of actual imprisonment. Nevertheless, the victims are satisfied with the court decision. Now we are planning to file a monetary claim against the Ministry of Finance of Russia – and demand compensation for moral damage».