The ECHR awarded 26 thousand euro to a resident of the Nizhny Novgorod region for ineffective investigation of her husband’s death. He died at a police department


20 June 2022


The application was submitted to the European Court in 2015 in the interests of Elena Shaposhnikova, and her husband Evgeny died four years before that.

In 2011, after a domestic conflict, Evgeny Shaposhnikov was taken to a police department. The next day, a police officer told Elena that her husband died of heart attack in the cell, but she was not allowed to see the body. Initially, the investigation insisted that Shaposhnikov died of wounds that he received from a relative of his during a domestic conflict.  As Elena told human rights defenders, during the quarrel, Evgeny was hit twice in the face. The relative spent nine months at the Pre-Detention Centre, until it was proven that the death could not be caused by his hits, specifically. The expert examination established that Shaposhnikov was inflicted at least 14 traumas of the body and the face, which might have been caused from punching.

Lawyers of the CAT insisted that it was necessary to check the theory that Shaposhnikov’s death might have been caused by the traumas received at the police department. However, for three years, no criminal case against the police officers with regard to the fact of the man’s death was initiated. Having failed to achieve an effective investigation, the CAT lawyers applied to the European Court, which awarded Elena Shaposhnikova a compensation in the amount of 26 thousand euro seven years after.

We informed Elena about the ECHR ruling and about the awarded compensation, as well as due to new changes in the Russian legislation she will not be able to receive it, – lawyer with the Team Against Torture comments. – She did not understand right away why it was so, having repeated several times “What should I do then”? In our practice this has been the first case on which the ruling of the European Court is issued after the refusal of the Russian authorities to execute it.

It is worth noting, that in 2015 the Nizhegorodsky District Court passed a ruling to pay the woman 50 000 thousand out of the claimed 300 thousand of compensation for moral damage, inflicted to her by the ineffective investigation of her husband’s death.

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