Photo: Anna Mikhailova, victim of police abuse.
On 19 May 2009 the Oktyabrsky city court of Bashkiria sustained Anna Mikhailova’s claim and found the actions of the police in charge of the woman’s battery unlawful.
Now it will be easier for the Committee against Torture representing Ms. Mikhailova’s interests to press for initiation of criminal proceedings against the perpetrators who had abused the woman.
A month ago, on 19 April, Ms. Mikhailova was unlawfully detained by the police, forced to get into the police car and taken to a detoxification centre.
Furthermore, the police left Ms. Mikhailova’s nine year old daughter alone in the street in a district she did not know. Naturally, Anna burst into hysteria because she was worried about the child, and the police and detoxification centre staff concluded that she was intoxicated. Being in the detoxification centre, Anna asked the police to release her in order to find the child, but the police again used violence and broke the woman’s clavicle. Instead of providing Ms. Mikhailova medical aid the police placed her in a cell with no light where she felt worse because she suffered from claustrophobia and was afraid of closed and dark rooms.
On 4 May 2009 Anna Mikhailova applied to the Bashkirian representation of the Committee against Torture. The Committee conducted a preliminary check that confirmed that actions of the detoxification centre staff amounted to cruel and degrading treatment violating the applicant’s rights under article 3 of the European Convention. Lawyers of the Bashkirian representation of the Committee against Torture lodged a claim under article 39 of the Law “On police” with the Oktyabrsky city court about police abuse exercised by the Oktyabrsky Department of the Interior staff.
At present the Investigation Committee is checking Ms. Mikhailova’s application. Yesterday’s court decision rendering the actions of the police unlawful might encourage speedy initiation of criminal proceedings.