The ECHR awarded 180 000 euros to seven victims of torture. Russia refused to properly investigate their cases


08 December 2023


The European Court found a violation of Article 3 of the Convention in relation to all these applicants, as they were subjected to ill-treatment, and Russia did not conduct an effective investigation into their relevant complaints.

The largest compensation – 60 000 euros – was awarded by the Court in the case of Movsar Umarov. The judges found that Russia violated several Articles of the Convention in relation to Mr. Umarov and his family members: forced abduction, unlawful detention, inhuman treatment related to Movsar’s brother, improper investigation and mental suffering of the relatives.

A Chechen named Movsar Umarov was arrested in July 2020 and taken to the so-called “oil regiment” (local police unit for the protection of the oil and gas facilities). According to Movsar’s mother, the officers demanded testimony from him about certain residents of Ingushetia. Movsar’s family members met with Mr. Umarov in the police building in the presence of police officers; after that meeting, Movsar called the relatives several more times. The last message from him came in mid-August: “I’m at a meeting.” Subsequently, Movsar never contacted his wife or any of his relatives again. The police told the family that Movsar had allegedly escaped during the arrest of a suspect on the territory of Ingushetia.

Human rights activist Igor Nagavkin was awarded 26 000 euros: according to Igor, in 2017, guards at the Moscow City Court forced him to strip naked for a physical search, after which they beat him, threatening to rape him with a bottle and a rubber truncheon.

The ECHR also decided on the complaints lodged by Maksim Timoshenko (torture in the FSB department of Gelendzhik), Nikita Kompaneyts (arrest during an opposition rally), Vyacheslav Petrosyan (beating in a temporary detention facility), and the spouses Olga Shvetsova and Valery Malakhov (torture with boiling water in the Gulkevichi police station of the Krasnodar region).

One should recall that since the Russian Federation has left the jurisdiction of the European Court, these judgments will not be executed by Russia. Although, on the basis of obligations previously taken under the European Convention on Human Rights, Russia is obliged to implement all judgments adopted by the Court on violations of human rights that have occurred before the expulsion of the Russian Federation from the Council of Europe.

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