Yesterday, on 17 June 2015, the Vyksunsky District Court of the Nizhny Novgorod region examined a suit of a regional police department against the Committee Against Torture and website «Virtualnaya Vyksa» for protection of business reputation and compensation of moral damage. Having considered the arguments of the parties judge Mikhail Ilyushkov dismissed the suit.
The suit filed by the Department of the Interior of Russia for Vyksa city of the Nizhny Novgorod region was caused by the news published on our website concerning applying to the European Court of Human Rights in the interests of Igor Kolosunin. Thus, among other things, there were mentioned circumstances which the applicant reported about the police torture, as well as brief procedural history of his crime report, filed to the Investigative Committee.
In his complaint the representative of Vyskun police Ms.Smirnova evaluated this information as false and asked the court to oblige both of the defendants to publish a correction statement, as well as to collect fifty thousand roubles from each of them as a compensation for moral damage.
The human defenders’ argument, in their turn, amounted to the following: it is not clear from the suit what exactly, in the police representatives opinion, amounts to false information, which exact phrases in the text influenced the business reputation of the Ministry of the Interior and how it was manifested, who precisely was damaged. In addition, the Committee Against Torture is certain that the case of Igor Kolosunin is not over yet: human rights defenders lodged a complaint with the European Court, appealing against unlawful rulings of the investigator continues, at the national level, too.
As additional argumentation representative of the Committee Against Torture Dmitry Utukin provided the court with the results of the psychophysiological study of Igor Kolosunin with the use of polygraph which unambiguously identified that the applicant told the truth about the circumstances of the police battery. Based on these and many other grounds the lawyer of the Committee Against Torture asked the court to dismiss the suit.
«I would like to point out professional work of judge Mikhail Ilyushkov. He listened attentively to arguments of each of the parties, studied all case materials and passed an impartial decision. Satisfying of such a suit would create a dangerous precedent. Since it often happens so that attracting media attention is the only tool with the help of which the torture victims can influence the efficiency of the investigation, – emphasized Dmitry Utukin. – The European Court of Human Rights upholds the same position, by the way. He repeatedly indicated in his orders what has to be taken into account, what was the purpose of writing articles about crimes committed by the authorities representatives. Pressure exerted on journalists, writing on such topics as police tortures, may prevent open discussion of important social issues».