The police and prosecution staff responsible for torturing Ivan Smirnov can be held liable.
Yesterday the Bashkirian Supreme Court cancelled the decision of the Leninsky district court of Ufa that had found the refusal to open criminal proceedings on the allegations of brutal tortures in Ufa lawful. The Bashkirian Prosecutor’s Office refused to start a criminal case on the allegations of Ivan Smirnov’s battery in August 2006. For three years the Committee against Torture where Ivan applied for help had been appealing against that refusal in different courts going all the way up to the Supreme Court that supported the human rights defenders and the victim. Now Ivan has a chance to have a fair trial. The Committee against Torture hopes that finally criminal proceedings against the perpetrators will be started.
The public investigation conducted earlier by the Committee against Torture showed that law enforcement agents had tortured Ivan Smirnov, Rudik Minibayev and Roman Mindibayev. The investigation also revealed a breach of art. 3 “Prohibition of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment”, art.5 “Right to liberty and security of person” and art.13 “Right to an effective remedy” of the European Convention on human rights and fundamental freedoms.