The court of cassation held that the courts that previously examined the complaints against the dismissal of the criminal case on tortures of four residents of Anapa at the police department, passed legal and justified rulings, despite the fact that the investigative authorities did not provide any data disproving the victims’ evidence.
Artem Ponomarchuk, Aram Arustamyan, Karen and Erik Engoyan applied to human rights defenders with a crime report regarding police torture. According to them, in December 2015, the police officers were beating them up, tortured with electricity and threatened to rape them, demanding that they confessed of an armed assault. The medical forensic expert registered the applicant’s injuries, including the ones resulting from electrical current.
Before the criminal case was initiated in 2017, the Investigative Committee issued eleven dismissals. Almost three years later, in 2020, the investigative authorities came to the conclusion that there was no criminal event and dismissed the criminal case altogether. Human rights defenders appealed against this ruling at the court of the first instance, which agreed to the conclusions made by the Investigative Committee and did not find any violations. Now the court of cassation sided with the investigators, too.
Comment of lawyer with the Krasnodar branch of the CAT Roman Veretennikov:
The Investigative Committee is obliged to compare the evidence and evaluate their authenticity, indicate motives under which some evidence is taken into account and some other is not. However, work was not done – the investigator violated the evidence procedure. For example, he refers to the data that contradicts to the medical records log.
A question arises: if the injuries were not inflicted at the police department when the victims were there, then how they could be inflicted at all? The court did not see obvious violations in the data by the Investigative Committee and did not give any evaluation to any of the arguments that were put forth by our side. We are planning to appeal against this ruling at the Supreme Court of Russia.