The complaint of a retired police officer will be examined in the European Court


01 July 2015

Lawyers of interregional non-governmental organization «The Committee Against Torture» lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in the interests of Igor Lavoshnik from Moscow.  Human rights defenders think that some articles of the European Convention on Human Rights were violated in his regard, including the ones prohibiting torture, providing the right to fair trial and the right to effective means of legal defense.
Igor Lavoshnik applied to the Moscow office of the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance on 12 February 2014. The man told the human rights defenders that in the night of 22 December 2013 he was severely beaten up by the security and police officers when he attempted to  leave the territory of Skolkovo innovation сenter in his car. 

According to Igor, the events of his night developed in the following way. He was getting back to his home in the car together with an acquaintance of his, and the short way to get there was through Skolkovo innovation center. Having passed the check point without any obstacles at the exit from another check point the security demanded that Igor paid for the passage, complaining about the nuisance in the night and interrupted sleep. Lavoshnik refused to pay and asked to let him pass showing his ID of a disabled person and a retired officer of the Ministry of the Interior. As Igor recalls, the second security officer pulled several notes out of the purse that Igor produced (where his ID was) and recommended that he went away in good time. An argument followed, as a result of which Lavoshnik made several shots in the air from his non-lethal gun. The security officers together with their colleagues who showed up after they heard shots managed to quickly tie up the hardheaded car enthusiast – according to Igor, he was severely beaten up and thrown on the floor in the unfinished checkpoint premises. The police officers who arrived on the scene also, according to the applicant, hit him several times on his face and body, after that he remained lying on the floor. 

Igor’s wife who arrived on the scene of the incident transported him to the first-aid station. Doctors registered closed craniocerebral injury, cerebral concussion, contused wound of the lower jawbone, numerous bruises, scratches on the head and face, chest, lower limbs.

On 10 February 2014 Igor Lavoshnik filed a complaint about the battery by the security and police officers to the Investigative Committee of Russia. However, for one and half years when pre-trial examination was underway the investigator five times issued refusals to initiate criminal proceedings, four of which were subsequently declared illegal.  Lavoshnik, his wife and the passenger, whom he was taking to his home, were never questioned, medical documents on Lavoshnik’s examination were never requested, expert examinations or verification activities were never conducted.  The investigator drew his conclusions that Igor’s battery never happened basing exclusively on the evidence of those whom the man actually accuses of the battery. The investigator, the security and the police officers are not able to provide any explanation on how he got numerous injuries. 

As a result Igor’s verdict pronounced that he was guilty of disorderly conduct in relation to the checkpoint security officers (shooting out of a non-lethal gun) so he was convicted conditionally to three-years prison term. As to the pre-trial investigation referring to Lavoshnick’s complaint about his battery, at the present time another refusal to initiate criminal proceedings has been issued. On 8 July of this year human rights defenders will   appeal against this decision of the investigator in court. 

Due to tenacious unwillingness of the Investigative Committee to conduct a full-scale investigation of Igor Lavoshnik’s complaint about his battery, his representatives and human rights defenders of the Committee Against Torture made a decision to lodge a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. 

Head of the Moscow branch of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» Sergey Babinets: «The Investigative Committee of Russia represented by investigator Anton Krivov refuses to provide effective support and time after time passes standard refusals to initiate criminal proceedings based exclusively on the evidence of the security and the police officers. Over and over again, while we have been receiving  standard refusals which even contain identical orthographic mistakes, we realized more and more clearly that it is impossible to compel the investigator to conduct the necessary verification activities. For one and a half years Mr Krivov did not even find time to question Igor Lavoshnik… Despite the complaint filed to the European Court, we will continue to do our best to insist on effective investigation of Lavoshnik’s application at the domestic level»

The consultant of the Committee Against Torture for international law Ekaterina Vanslova emphasizes: «Igor Lavoshnik provided a clear and detailed description of ill-treatment, which is consistent with his complaints, medical documentation and witnesses’ evidence. In addition, we brought the attention of the European Court to the fact that the applicant had ill health. After the car crash he even moves about with great difficulties. The poor health condition was obvious at the first glance, that is why the violence applied with knowledge about the victim’s poor health must be determined not just as ill-treatment, but as a torture».

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