The Avtozavodsky court of Nizhny Novgorod has the ninth time found the refusal to open a criminal case on the allegations of torture unlawful


07 October 2009

 Since 2002 the investigation authorities refuse to investigate the woman’s application claiming police abuse.

   Yesterday the Avtozavodsky district court of Nizhny Novgorod heard the appeal of the Committee against Torture representing Ms. Lyubov Shevtsova living in the Avtozavodsky district. The woman applied to the Committee against Torture seven years ago claiming that she had been beaten up by the police. For all these years the Committee has tried to make the investigation authorities start criminal proceedings, however the authorities eight times refused to do so. All refusals were later found unlawful and unmotivated and cancelled. Yesterday the court chaired by judge Frolikova heard the ninth appeal and again found the decision of the investigative bodies unlawful and ill-founded and obliged them to eliminate the errors.

Since 2002 first the Prosecutor’s Office and later the Investigation Committee have been protracting the investigation with the persistence that could serve better purposes. There is almost no hope that yesterday’s judgment will change the position of the investigation authorities and they will conduct an effective investigation into the allegations of torture. In such circumstances Lyubov Shevtsova can only rely upon the European Court where the Committee lawyers applied in 2007. The ECtHR will try the application claiming both police abuse and lack of an effective investigation. Our experience shows that to begin working efficiently the Nizhny Novgorod investigation bodies still need an impetus from the European system of justice raising its sword against investigators customarily issuing unlawful documents.

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