The ECHR has communicated a complaint of a student from Nizhny Novgorod who reported tortures and inefficient investigation


08 April 2015

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has communicated a complaint submitted by lawyers of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» on behalf of Nikita Danishkin who applied for legal assistance in 2011. European judges posed a number of questions to Russian authorities based on this complaint.  In particular, whether the applicant was subjected to torture in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention, and whether the investigation conducted based on his complaint, was effective. In the nearest future the Russian Federation is going to submit its comments on the case to the Strasbourg court.


On 1 February 2011 Nikita Danishkin applied to Nizhny Novgorod office of interregional nongovernmental organization «The Committee Against Torture» for legal assistance. In his application Nikita claimed that on 25 December 2010 he was detained in his rented flat by officers of the Anti-Extremism Centre (AEC) who took him to AEC headquarters. There these officers beat and tortured his him (they made Nikita sit with crossed legs, tied his legs up with the towing-cable and flung him on the floor) in order to make him confess of preparation of a terrorist attack and dissemination of information smearing the honor and dignity of AEC staff. Nikita emphasized that the head of AEC took part in his tortures.   

According to the applicant, the police officers failed to beat the confession out of him, and they took Danishkin to the remand prison under Police Department no.1 in Nizhny Novgorod. When the remand prison duty officer saw Nikita’s numerous injuries he sent him to hospital for an examination.

On 27 December 2010 Danishkin was admitted to remand prison, where he had the following injuries documented: a red-brown bruise on the right side of the abdominal area, a yellowish-green bruise in the underarm region on the left, multiple purple bruises on the face and neck.

Danishkin complained about ill-treatment to the Investigative Committee. 

However, no criminal case was opened, and a pre-trial investigation in the course of which investigator Novikov five times unlawfully issued dismissals to initiate criminal case and which lasted over 1.5 years, ended in the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court on 5 August 2013. The court in the end declared the sixth dismissal to be lawful.  

«Investigator’s arguments in issuing these dismissals looked more like an excuse rather than a real attempt to establish the truth, – thinks Albert Kuznetsov, a lawyer working with the Committee Against Torture. – Indeed, the applicant’s injuries  have not been properly registered and Danishkin’s version of events was rejected pointblank, since a criminal case was opened against him, and the investigator, apparently, a priori perceived his applicant as a criminal who cannot be trusted».

Having exhausted all domestic remedies to restore the applicant’s rights on the national level on 5 February 2014 the lawyers working with the Committee Against Torture lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. It was communicated on 7 April this year.

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