The Dzerzhinsky District Court of Orenburg declared the dismissal of a claim to open a criminal case with regard to the facts of torture of applicant Aleksandr Bogdanov back in 2011 to be illegal.
Judge Elena Verkashinskaya obliged the investigators to take into account the ECHR arguments. Previously, in 2020, the Strasbourg judges acknowledged that the state violated the rights of Aleksandr Bogdanov to freedom from torture and brutal treatment, as well as the right to effective investigation. Russia paid 19 400 euro of compensation. Now, the regional Investigative Committee will have to conduct an investigation of illegal violence once again.
“We are satisfied with the ruling of the domestic court. Not only the court declared the investigator’s ruling to be illegal, but motivated its ruling in detail… – the Dzerzhinsky District Court analyzed the ruling of the European Court and pointed to the investigative authority at the necessity to take its arguments into consideration” — lawyer with the Orenburg branch of the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin comments on the situation.
Lawyer Rakhmatulin also tells about the subsequent work on the case: “We intend to insist that the investigative authority either opens a criminal case or stops activities in the case with the appropriate grounds – due to expiry of the period of limitations of bringing the police officers to criminal responsibility. At the very least, the crime should be called a crime, and the victim at the national level will have a right to submit a civil suit to the state”.
In October 2011, the police officers of Department No.3 were beating him up and choking him with a plastic bag, forcing to confess of murder. In addition, the man was handcuffed, tied up with a towing rope, inserted a baseball bat between his elbows and spine, and hang him on it.
Next day Aleksandr was diagnosed with hematomas of soft tissues, extravasations, bruises and hemorrhages. Later on, during the court hearing of the Dzerzhinsky District Court, Bogdanov withdrew his evidence obtained under torture. Despite this, the man was declared guilty and sentenced to ten and a half years of prison term.
Aleksandr applied to the Committee Against Torture from the penal colony where he was serving his sentence. Having received seven dismissals of claims to open a criminal case and having exhausted all possible domestic remedies, human rights defenders applied to the ECHR.
On 22 September, the period of limitations for bringing to criminal responsibility of the police officers who were torturing Aleksandr Bogdanov, expired. On 10 November, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture complained to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe with regard to non-execution of 4 rulings of the European Court on criminal cases on tortures in the Orenburg police departments. The human rights defenders’ application also mentions the ruling of the European Court in favor of Aleksandr Bogdanov.