The ECHR passed a ruling on the application from a Yoshkar-Ola resident concerning tortures that took place 15 years ago

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01 December 2020

Today, on 1 December 2020, the European Court of Human Rights passed a ruling on the application from Andrey Ivanov, a resident of Yoshkar-Ola, who complained of tortures at the local police department back in 2005. The European Court established that Andrey was illegally apprehended and subjected to tortures by state representatives and that no investigation was carried out with this regard. Due to that, 30000 Euro of compensation is awarded to the applicant.

Late at night, on 15 July 2005, Andrey Ivanov from Yoshkar-Ola was apprehended together with a friend of his by the police officers in the street and taken to the Central Police Department of the Interior for Yoshkar-Ola. There, according to him, a police officer started to beat him up with a rubber truncheon, demanding that he confessed of having committed robbery. The blows that Andrey received and the shock made him pass out. When he came to his senses, he found himself lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Another police officer was in the room; he did not take part in the battery. This officer called an ambulance for the victim. The arrived medics provided medical assistance to Andrey and registered numerous bodily injuries. After that, the Ministry of the Interior’s investigators performed the identity line-up, in the course of which the victims did not identify Andrey Ivanov as the man who committed the robbery.

Later on, Ivan was registered with the following bodily injuries based on the results of the medical forensic examination: “Extravasation in the area of the left shoulder girdle, two extravasations of the left shoulder, six bruises on the surface of the hand, bruise on the right elbow, bruise on the left forearm, a wound at the top of the head, a bruise of the right superciliary area, an extravasation on the upper lid of the right eye”.

On 16 July 2005, Andrey Ivanov submitted an application to the Prosecutor’s Office requesting to initiate criminal proceedings against the police officer who was beating him up, and on 18 July he applied for legal assistance to human rights organization “The Man and the Law”.

Despite all the efforts of human rights defenders, no criminal case against the police officer was initiated: at first, the claim to do that was dismissed illegally three times, and appealing against the fourth dismissal failed. Official investigative authorities explained Ivanov’s bodily injuries by the fact that he allegedly wanted to jump out of the window and a police officer, preventing his escape, seized Ivanov by the hand, but the latter broke forth and hit his head against the safe.

Due to the fact that Andrey Ivanov’s violated rights could not be restored at the national level, on 18 February 2008, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights on his behalf.

Today, the ECHR passed a ruling on this application.

The Strasbourg judges acknowledged that Andrey Ivanov:

– in violation of item 1 of Article 5 of the Convention was illegally apprehended and kept at the police department on suspicion of having committed a crime without any procedural documents on his apprehension having been drawn up;

– in violation of Article 3 of the Convention he was subjected to torture, and no effective investigation has been conducted with this regard.

Due to this, the applicant was awarded a compensation for moral damage in the amount of 30000 Euro.

“In today’s ruling, the European Court once again paid attention to the fact that the applicant’s tortures were performed in conditions of his illegal stay at the police department without drawing up any procedural documents on his apprehension. In the opinion of the ECHR, this is a system-level problem for our country, – lawyer with the international legal department with the Committee Against Torture Mariya Zadorozhnaya emphasizes. – In addition, the European Court is convinced that similar situations with illegal apprehension and confinement at police departments make the stories on brutal treatment more credible due to vulnerability of the applicants with regard to the police officers and create background for abuse by state representatives”.