Yesterday, the Kstovo City Court of the Nizhny Novgorod region passed a ruling to collect five thousand rubles from the Ministry of the Finance of Russia for the benefit of Kristina Morozova, who was previously brought to criminal responsibility illegally under the article on the insult of the police officer. Morozova herself claims that the police officers applied brutal force against her during the examination when she refused to take off her underwear in the presence of men. The criminal case based on the fact of applying violence was dismissed three times already due to this lawyers with the Committee Against Torture intend to apply to the European Court of Human Rights.
As we have previously reported, Kristina Morozova from Kstovo applied to human rights defenders for legal assistance on 25 October 2016. She reported that in the evening of 9 September she was detained in the street when walking her badger-dog and taken together with the dog to the local police department. According to Morozova, one of the female police officers commenced her examination and attempted to remove her bra in the presence of the other detained, of male gender. When Kristina expressed her indignation with this fact, physical force was applied against her, and her bra was cut with scissors. Then the police officer pressed Kristina against the floor and stepped on her head with her knee in such a way that Kristina felt sharp pain and crackle in her facial bone. After that one of the police officers sprayed tear gas in the face of the dog, and then – in the face of Kristina.
Subsequently Kristina was diagnosed with closed craniocerebral injury, mild brain contusion, fissured fracture of yoke-bone, fracture of the alisphenoid bone from the left.
The criminal case on the crime under item “a” part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“exceeding the official authority”) against the police officers was initiated only on 11 January 2017, after two refusals to initiate criminal proceedings were issued. As the ruling goes, the case was initiated against “unidentified officers of the Department of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Kstovo District”.
On the other hand, the criminal case against the victim herself under Article 319 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Insult of representative of authority”) was initiated. The investigation into the case was performed promptly, and soon the Kstovo City Court of the Nizhny Novgorod region declared Kristina guilty of committing this crime. However, on 10 November 2017 the court of appeal dismissed the criminal case against Kristina and acknowledged her right to rehabilitation.
In the end of the last year, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to court in the interests of Kristina Morozova with the lawsuit on compensation of moral damage inflicted to her by the illegal criminal prosecution.
“During the period of investigation and numerous court hearings on this case Kristina went through a strong stress, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Vladimir Smirnov, who represented Morozova’s interests in court, comments.
– For a housekeeper who never was brought to criminal responsibility, this is explicable. Her stress was aggravated also by understanding that the criminal prosecution became the results of her complaints against the police officers: i.e., being a victim, she was turned into a culprit”.
In order to justify the lawsuit, human rights defenders presented to court, among other things, a conclusion of a psychologist, who confirmed that Kristina has signs of depression due to the incident, as well as subsequent proceedings. A psychotherapist agreed to these conclusions. The plaintiff estimated the moral damage, inflicted by illegal criminal prosecution, at two hundred and fifty thousand rubles.
Yesterday, on 15 January 2018, judge of the Kstovo City Court of the Nizhny Novgorod region Konstantin Tyugin satisfied the claims under Kristina Morozova’s lawsuit only partially, having awarded her five thousand rubles as a compensation for moral damage.
It is worth noting that the criminal case against the police officers based on the fact of abuse of office using violence was once again dismissed on 24 November 2018.
“The process of familiarization with this criminal case will take some time, after that we will definitely appeal against the ruling on its dismissal. We also intend to apply to the European Court of Human Rights, since, in our opinion, Article 3 of the Convention, prohibiting brutal and degrading treatment, as well as Article 8, guaranteeing the right to respect of privacy, were clearly violated. We will surely be appealing against today’s ruling on meager compensation, as well”, – Vladimir Smirnov emphasized.