The application of Mr. Novosyolov from Nizhny Novgorod dealing with police abuse and absence of an effective remedy is admitted by the European court in Strasbourg


16 June 2008

  The European Court Registry notified the lawyers of the Multiregional Committee against Torture representing Mr. Alexander Novosyolov in the European Court that Mr. Novosyolov’s application reached the court. Mr. Novosyolov’s claims that Russia has violated article 3 (prohibition of torture) and 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

You may remember that Alexander Novosyolov applied to the Committee against Torture claiming that on April 27, 2004 he had been detained in Nizhny Novgorod by unknown people who had made him get into their car by means of threats and violence. After that they drove out of the city and took him to a forest plantation located in the Balakhninskiy district. When they reached the forest they started beating Alexander demanding that he should confess that he had murdered famous Nizhny Novgorod businessman Mr. Oleg Sorokin. Accoding to Mr. Novosyolov, he was not simply battered but tortured. They put a plastic bag on his head, threatened him with a gun and even shot it several times while holding the gun near Mr.Novosyolov’s head in order to make an impression that they were going to kill him.

In course of the public investigation specialists of the Committee against Torture found out that Mr. Novosyolov had been detained by officers from the Nizhny Novgorod region Department of Internal affairs.

The investigation performed by the Committee revealed several interesting facts. First, police officers who battered Mr. Novosyolov were in disguise and wore make up to look like businessman Sorokin’s security officers and even Mr. Sorokin himself. Second, violent treatment in the forest constituted an official and confidential investigation.

At present the Prosecutor’s office does not allow the Committee against Torture to study the materials of the check on the basis of which it refuses to instigate a criminal case against the police officers because the materials allegedly contain confidential information.

The case list of the Committee against Torture contains about twenty cases (for example, the case of mopping-up in Borozdinovskaya) when the victims, just like Mr. Novosyolov, are deprived of their fundamental right to take part in the investigation and can not make use of their constitutional right to appeal against the actions of state representatives who use this pretext of confidentiality.

It is worth mentioning that the citizens’ right to appeal against the actions of the state is covered by p.2 of art. 46 of the RF Constitution.   

The actions of the Prosecutor’s office violate both the Criminal Procedure Code, the RF Constitution, and the European law as a whole. In particular, there are several judgments of the European Court reinstating the applicant’s right to take part in the investigation and obtain the necessary information.

Proceeding from the position of the state, Mr. Novosyolov and his representatives can not appeal against the Prosecutor’s office actions in court under art. 124-125 of the RF CPC where this right is guaranteed.  

Keeping all this in mind, Mr. Novosyolov states in his application that he is deprived of the right to an effective remedy.

In the nearest future Russia is expected to deliver its response to Mr. Novosyolov’s application.

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