The Committee Against Torture submitted eight applications of the Krasnodar Territory residents to the ECHR


19 January 2022

Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted applications from eight Krasnodar Territory residents who became the victims of tortures by law-enforcement officers. All the applicants tried to achieve justice at the national level, but the Russian law-enforcement bodies refused to investigate their cases.

Artem Ponomarchuk. Aram Arustamyan, Karen Engoyan and Erik Engoyan were apprehended in December 2015. The men told human rights defenders that the police officers were beating them up, tortured them with electricity, choked them, threatened with rape, and inserted a stick in the rectum of one of them. In such a way the law-enforcement officers were forcing them to confess of robbery. The criminal case against the police officers was initiated two years later, but since that time no suspects have been identified. The investigators repeatedly dismissed and suspended the case. 

Applicant Aram Gambaryan was apprehended in March 2017. He told human rights defenders that FSB officers took him to the forest where they were beating him up for six hours and threatened with murder, demanding that he confessed of attempting to murder a local businessman. As a result, he signed a full confession. After seven illegal refusals, the investigators in the end opened the case on abuse of office (Article 286 of the Criminal Code), but no actual investigation is taking place.

Applicant Evgeny Bunin told human rights defenders, that in November 2018 he was invited for a conversation at the police department. When he came there, a police officer handcuffed him and started to force him to confess of a phone theft. When Evgeny refused, the police officer started to hit his head. The case on abuse of office was opened based on the fact of the crime, but now it is dismissed.

In July 2020, Nadezhda Pupkova and Evgeny Bayguzin were tied up to a post in the street by a police officer and a Cossack-patrolman. They stood like that for two hours in the strong heat. Then they fined for 500 rubles for failure to obey to the police officer, and a criminal case was opened against Nadezhda with regard to violence applied against a police officer (Article 318 of the Criminal Code) — she allegedly bite his finger. The woman was sentenced to two years of conditional term. Investigators have already issued four dismissals of claims to open a criminal case against the police officer and the Cossack. Lawyers think that in all these cases the Russian state violated Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which prohibits tortures. In addition, the state did not perform an effective investigation of the torture complaints and did not punish the guilty. Apart from that, in cases of Gambaryan, Ponomarchuk, Arustamyan, Karen Engoyan and Erik Engoyan, Pupkova and Bayguzin, the right to freedom and personal integrity is violated, which is guaranteed by Article 5 of the Convention.

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