STATEMENT of the RF Commissioner for Human Rights


11 August 2008

Photo: RF Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin made an official statement under the case of Mr. Sergey Sankin from Nizhny Novgorod.The Committee against Torture publishes the text of the statement    

    On June 17, 2008 the Sormovskiy district court of Nizhniy Novgorod sustained the claim of Mr. Yuriy Sidorov, lawyer of the Committee against Torture, filed in the interests of Mr. Sergey Sankin from Nizhny Novgorod who had been battered by the Sormovskiy district police in 2000.

According to the judgment, the defendant in the law suit – the Finance Ministry of Nizhny Novgorod region – should pay Mr. Sankin a lump sum of 1 million 137 thousand roubles as compensation of damage to health, and besides that, 2 million roubles as compensation of moral damage. Till April 2009 Mr. Sergey Sankin will receive 17 thousand roubles monthly.

I want to express my content with the judgment delivered by the Nizhny Novgorod court under this case. I want to underline: disregard of law shown by law enforcement agents is a serious human rights issue.  We can suppose that the Sormovskiy court judgment will become a precondition to solve the problem.   

I can not omit the fact that upon receipt of the judgment the victim’s lawyer plans to withdraw the application from the European Court of Human Rights.

I am sure that the majority of problems that make people apply to the European Court can be solved on the domestic level provided the Russian court system shows enough fidelity to principle.

Injustice is redressed in this specific case, law prevailed. Unfortunately, it happened 8 long years after the crime. I cannot refrain from asking the question: “What or who prevented the investigation from taking in this quite transparent situation earlier?”

Summing up this instructive case and thinking highly of its importance for the case-law, I want to express my sincere acknowledgement to Russian INGO “Committee against Torture” and personally lawyer Sidorov without whose dedication the problem would not be solved.

Vladimir Lukin

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