“The Article That Is Not There”: the Committee Against Torture, Zebra Hero and SETTERS issued a special project against violence by law-enforcement officers


27 January 2022

The project tells about the importance of the existing problem, which the authorities often prefer to ignore, and on the necessity of introducing a dedicated article in the Criminal Code which would regulate tortures. Rapper Vladi together with the Committee Against Torture issued a video with real torture victims, and non-indifferent media supported the project with invisible articles.

In Russia, complaints on tortures by law-enforcement officers are not investigated effectively. When dismissing claims to open a criminal case, the investigators often are guided not by the evidence obtained from the victims and the witnesses, medical documents or video records, but by the testimonies provided by the law-enforcement officers themselves.

Based on the Committee Against Torture’s experience, in 51% of cases no criminal case is opened against the person guilty of torture. Remaining 49% is a result of human rights defenders committed work. Without it, even 10% of the investigations would not be initiated.

Since there is no dedicated torture article, there is no official statistics. Which means that the state does not see the number of applications and cannot evaluate the scale of the problem.

In order to bring the society attention to the problem of the absence of the torture article, such media outlets as Mediazona, Novaya Gazeta, Echo of Moscow, The Village, Snob and Takiye Dela issued publications named “The Article That Is Not There”. At the first glance, it is just empty pages. However, in order to see the material, it is necessary to select the text. In such a way we wanted to show that tortures and information about them do exist — it is just thoroughly hidden.

Kasta band participant, Russian rapper Vladi, issued a track which, accompanied by the video clip made by film directors Filipp Yuriev and Ivan Proskuryakov, tells about the torture problem with such acuteness that it does not leave a single chance to ignore the horrible reality witnessed by the whole country.

We are convinced that the changes will start with acknowledgement of the problem and the desire to fix it. We know that it is possible to eradicate tortures in our country, and it should be started with a competent legislation, which would not allow hiding the facts of torture and deleting the traces of law-enforcement officers’ crimes.

Support “The Article That Is Not There” by reposting, it will contribute to its turning into a real article of the Criminal Code and, if not stopping tortures in Russia all at once, then to making a confident step in this direction.

The Committee Against Torture thanks agencies Zebra Hero and SETTERS for the idea and implementation of project “The Article That Is Not There”. We are proud of the independent media who supported the project. We express our gratitude to Vladi, a participant of Kasta band, for the fact that he managed to express the subject of torture in such a manner that none of us would be able to.

You also can support the Committee Against Torture which is fighting with tortures, by making a contribution for the benefit of the CAT Charity Foundation.


Website: https://pytkam.net/
Video: https://youtu.be/D2a4ggoGK54

Special project “The Article That Is Not There”

Echo of Moscow article — https://echo.msk.ru/blog/kpp_/2970342-echo/ 
Mediazona article — https://zona.media/article/2022/01/27/protiv-pytok 
Novaya Gazeta article — https://novayagazeta.ru/articles/2022/01/27/statia-kotoroi-net 
Snob article — https://snob.ru/society/statya-kotoroj-net/ 
Takiye Dela article — https://takiedela.ru/2022/01/statya-kotoroy-net/ 
The Village article — https://www.the-village.ru/people/opyt/menya-pytali 

Project team
Ivan Zhiltsov — the Committee Against Torture Project Manager
Natasha Kurekina — the Committee Against Torture PR Manager
Artyom Tsaregorodtsev — Zebra Hero Co-Founder, Creative Director
Elnara Yalaltdinova — Zebra Hero Creative Director
Andrey Solgalov — Zebra Hero Creator
Anna Bokina — Zebra Hero Senior Producer
Andrey Paukov — Zebra Hero Production Director
Elena Samoylova — Zebra Hero Account-Director
Sergey Aleshkin — SETTERS Special Projects Producers Group Leader
Alisa Golovkina — SETTERS Special Projects Producer
Darya Berezovskaya — SETTERS Strategist
Sergey Ilyukhin — SETTERS Creative Director
Nikita Labutin — SETTERS Senior Creator
Dmitry Shvets — SETTERS Art Director
Ira Koritsa — SETTERS Senior Media Designer
Arina Semchugova — SETTERS Editor-in-Chief

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