The court in Ufa ordered to pay 200 thousand rubles to a truck driver as compensation for the beating by the officer of the Russian Guard 


31 March 2023


On 30 March 2023 the Kirovskiy district court of Ufa partially accepted the tort claim for non-pecuniary damage lodged by a truck driver named Aleksandr Artamonov against the National Guard of the Russian Federation. The district judge ordered to pay 200 thousand rubles out of the 500 thousand claimed in the civil action. We plan to challenge the court’s decision, as we consider the awarded amount to be disproportionate to the inflicted harm.

The quarrel between Mr. Artamonov and the officer of the Russian Guard, Alexey Lapshov, occurred in September 2020. The driver parked his vehicle on the territory of a gas station as the truck had broken down. The gas station staff demanded to drive the truck away and after Mr. Artamonov’s refusal, they called the police. Then two officers of the Russian Guard arrived, asking the driver to leave the gas station. A verbal dispute resulted between them, and one of the officers hit Aleksandr in the face. Mr. Artamonov turned on the video record on his phone’s camera, but the officer knocked the phone out.

Mr. Artamonov was taken to the Sterlitamak Department of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, where he was held without food or water for about ten hours. Besides, Aleksandr’s phone was seized. Mr. Lapshov included false information while drawing up the record of escorting the driver to the police station. For instance, the record stipulates that no personal belongings were seized from Aleksandr, there were no visible bodily injuries, and some witnesses were «present» when drawing up the record (in fact, there weren’t any of them). In the morning, Mr. Artamonov was taken for a medical examination, and several bruises were found on his face and hands.

When Aleksandr managed to get his phone back, he called the prosecutor’s office and filed the crime report. In October 2020, the investigator of the Sterlitamak investigative department opened the criminal case into Mr. Lapshov’s excess of authority. Aleksandr applied to the lawyers of the Crew Against Torture in April 2021, and only after their intervention some progress has been made in the case (e.g., the confrontations and the inspection of the crime scene happened). In August 2021 the case was referred to the district court, and in February 2022 the officer of the Russian Guard was sentenced to three years of prison (the sentence was suspended). The court found Mr. Lapshov guilty of excess of authority combined with the use of violence and means of restraint (paras. «a» and «b» of part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code). Mr. Lapshov was also banned from state service for two years. The judgment entered into force in May 2022.

Aleksandr Artamonov lodged a civil action for non-pecuniary damage caused by the unlawful actions of the officer of the Russian Guard. According to the lawsuit, the amount of damages reached 500 thousand rubles, but the court awarded Mr. Artamonov 200 thousand rubles only, rejecting other claims. The human rights defenders will appeal against that decision, since the awarded sum does not comply with the principle of fairness and is disproportionate to the damage inflicted to the victim.

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