The Committee against Torture refutes the arguments of the state


24 August 2020

 The Committee against Torture has sent its objections to the government’s memorandum under Dmitry Ochelkov’s application to the European Court. The Strasbourg court might adjudicate on this case in several months.

   At the beginning of August the Committee against Torture received a copy of the memorandum prepared by the RF representative in the ECtHR which stated that the Prosecutor’s Office had thoroughly checked Ochelkov’s claims and found no traces of torture, since multiple injuries documented by doctors “could result from Dmitry’s own inadvertency”.

In its counter-plea the Committee against Torture completely refuted the state’s statements pointing at evident proofs of tortures Mr. Ochelkov had been subjected to and inconsistency of prosecutorial checks. The Committee also claimed just satisfaction and mentioned the compensation amount Dmitry should obtain to redress the violation of his rights.

Separately we would like to say that the ECtHR will adjudicate on two allegations of torture: according to Mr. Ochelkov, he was abused in 2002 in Zavolzhye and in 2003 in Balakhna. Both claims are based on medical documents and witnesses’ testimonies. In the first case experts diagnosed Dmitry with “a closed craniocerebral injury, concussion, multiple injuries of the head, back, arms and legs”, in the second case – “injuries on the chin, left and right forearms, left and right shoulders, right cheek-bone,  bruises on the chest and lumbus”.

For many years prosecutorial bodies where Dmitry and his representatives from the Committee against Torture had filed an application basically refrained from an adequate investigation into the allegations of torture. When investigation into the Zavolzhye events, the criminal case was terminated 9 times, as for Balakhna, there were 9 refusals to open criminal proceedings.

The Committee against Torture stated its counter-arguments and reminded the court about the case of Alyasev who had also been battered by the Balakhna police.

Since Ochelkov was tortured several times, and there are other examples of police abuse in the cases of Mikheyev and Maslova, the Committee against Torture supposes that the European Court has every reason to conclude that tortures in Nizhny Novgorod region are systematic.

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