The Committee Against Torture submitted five complaints to the ECHR regarding violence in the January meetings in support of Navalny


13 April 2022

Photo Maksim Shipenkov, EPA-EFE

Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted complaints to the ECHR on behalf of five people suffered from violence by law-enforcement officers during the Moscow protest rallies in January 2021.    

One of the applicants, Valery S., was beaten up with rubber truncheons — at that time he was 17. According to the young man, he did not take part in the action, but was going home and helped a fallen girl to stand up, after that the police officers brought him down on the snow and beat him up. Later on, medics registered Valery with bruises and a psychological trauma caused by violence and the court fined him for 10 thousand roubles for participation in an unauthorized action (later on this case was dismissed).

Viktor Lipatov also reported a battery with a rubber truncheon. According to the victim, his head was hit and bleeding started. When Viktor started to lose consciousness and put his right arm forward to prevent falling, it was hit, as well.  Later on, it turned out that a law-enforcement officer broke Lipatov’s arm. 

Collage features: Mariya Isayeva, Viktor Lipatov (photo: Evgeny Odinokov / RIA Novosti), Vasily Surov

Mariya Исаева said that her head was hit several times, when the OMON (Police Special Force) officers were beating up the protesters chaotically, and bleeding started.    Soon after that, the medics diagnosed her with a contused wound of the head and a contusion of a wrist joint (a truncheon hit her arm when the girl tried to protect her head with it). 

Stanislav Milyakov suffered during the same rally. He told human rights defenders that the law-enforcement officers seized him by the hands and hit his gauged ear with a “tunnel”, due to that his piercing accessory came out “with meat”. Then, other law-enforcement officers took Stanislav by his legs and carried him to the police van. On the way, he was hit several times with a knee and a truncheon, and before being taken into the van, he was thrown on the snow-covered asphalt and beaten up with feet. Later on, in the first-aid station, Stanislav was registered with a contusion of a shank and a lobe, as well as the foot’s ligament tension and the joint trauma.    

According to Denis Pakhnov, he and his friend were standing on a bench when apprehensions started around them. A law-enforcement officer knocked him down from the bench, Pakhnov fell and hit against the tiles. He heard some rustle in the knee and felt a sharp pain — later on he will be diagnosed with a tension and a joint rupture. After that, the OMON officers put an armlock on the young man and took him to the van and then to the police department, despite his complaints of a knee pain.   

— In contrast to the complaints against brutal treatment not related to the rallies, in these cases the Investigative Committee simply refused to open investigation and even did not initiate pre-investigative check. Instead, it transferred them to the authorities, the officers of which might be involved in brutal treatment of the applicants, — lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Mariya Zadorozhnaya explains. — Before that we submitted applications to the European Court regarding the violence applied during 2019 rallies, and the Russian authorities did not carry out any investigations of these, either. Evidently, the dismissal of claims to conduct investigations for “rally” cases is a trend.   

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