The European Court, after the application of the lawyers of the CAT, established a violation of Ekaterina Zaytseva’s rights in accordance with Article 3 of the Convention on Protection of Human Rights. In the ruling it is said that she was subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment during the apprehension. In addition, the ECHR established that the authorities did not perform an effective investigation of the fact of the battery.
In September 2012, during the “March of the Millions” event in Nizhny Novgorod, a police officer hit Ekaterina Zaytseva’s head with a rubber truncheon. It happened after the student pulled off the police helmet from him, to identify him. According to Ekaterina, prior to that, the special police force officer hit another participant of the March. After the battery, Zaytseva underwent a treatment in the hospital where she was diagnosed with a closed craniocerebral injury, brain concussion, contusion of the soft tissues of the head.
The event was registered with photo and video cameras. After the event, Ekaterina applied for legal assistance to the CAT and submitted an application to the Investigative Committee, however, the police officer was not brought to responsibility. Instead, he wrote a cross-application where he pointed out that Zaytseva, allegedly, represented a threat to his life and health. In his explanations he claimed that he applied a rubber truncheon justifiably, since he hit not the head but the shoulder. This wording became the main one in the rulings refusing to open a criminal case – for 2.5 years there were issued six of those.
In 2015, lawyers with the CAT submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Ekaterina Zaytseva, emphasizing in the document that she was not applying violence against a police officer, did not represent any real threat to him, that is why applying a truncheon only for the purpose of “safeguarding the state property” (helmet), based on the ECHR practice, amounts to excessive and unacceptable use of force in violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture) of the European Convention.
In addition, this ruling was passed after acceptance of the law on non-execution of the rulings of the ECHR that came into force after 15 March 2022, that is why it will not be executed by Russia.