The European Court communicated the complaint of a citizen from Nizhny Novgorod against tortures that took place eight years ago

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19 October 2018
Denis Kramchaninov

The European Court of Human Rights communicated a complaint of Denis Kramchaninov from Nizhny Novgorod region, who was subjected to torture at the police department in 2010. Despite the fact that the police officer’s guilt in this case was proven and he got conditional sentence, human rights defenders with the Committee Against Torture will be insisting for this complaint to be examined in Strasbourg, since Kramchaninov’s violated rights have not yet been restored.

As we have previously reported, Denis Kramchaninov applied to the Committee Against Torture in July 2010. He told the human rights defenders that he was severely beaten by a local police officer who was forcing the young man to sign a false self-accusation of committing a theft.

As Kramchaninov reported in his explanation, in the evening of 15 July 2010 he was brought from his home to the Shakhunsky Police Department. Inside the office premises the police officer demanded that the guy confessed of theft, after that he hit him several times with his fists against the head, pressed his fingers with pliers, and, having put the gas mask on the young man, made him do knee bends. The battery and torture lasted about two hours, after that Denis yielded and agreed to sign a full confession, which was dictated to him by the police officer. When in the evening of the same day the young man applied to the Shakhunskaya District hospital doctors diagnosed him with a cerebral concussion and registered some hematomas on his body.

The criminal case on theft initiated against Denis was dismissed in a short time due to failure to prove the young man’s guilt.
 
For almost seven years human rights defenders were insisting on opening the criminal case based on Denis torture report: during this time ten refusals to initiate criminal proceedings were issued, subsequently they were declared illegal and quashed. In August 2016, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the European Court of Human Rights with a complaint in the interests of Denis Kramchaninov.

On 29 May 2017, the criminal case was opened with regard to former investigative officer of the Department of the Interior for the Shakhunsky District Andrey Tumanov, who is accused of committing a crime under item “a” part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abuse of office with the use of violence”).

The preliminary investigation of the criminal case took about two months and after the assertion of the indictment by the Prosecutor it was sent to court for evaluation on its merits.

On 17 January 2018, judge of the Shakhunsky District Court of the Nizhny Novgorod region Valentina Smelova passed a judgment of conviction with regard to former investigative officer of the Department of the Interior for the Shakhunsky District Andrey Tumanov, who was declared guilty of committing a crime under item “a” part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abuse of office with the use of violence”) and sentenced to four years’ conditional term.

After the verdict took its legal effect, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to court with two lawsuits on behalf of Denis Kramchaninov: one – seeking a compensation of moral damage inflicted to Denis Kramchaninov by illegal activities of the convicted law-enforcement officer, another – seeking a compensation of moral damage inflicted by inefficient investigation. Both lawsuits were satisfied partially, inefficient investigation cost Russian budget thirty thousand rubles, and the crime of the officer of the Ministry of the Interior – three hundred and fifty thousand.

Today, human rights defenders received a notification from the European Court of Human Rights that
the complaint in the interests of Denis Kramchaninov was communicated.

The Strasbourg judges posed the Russian Federation the following questions:

– taking into account the bodily injuries detected on the applicant, whether he was subjected to tortures,

– whether the state provided a credible explanation on how the applicant obtained these bodily injuries,

– whether the authorities performed effective investigation based on the applicant’s complaint against tortures, taking into account the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings and inability of the investigative authorities to conduct full-fledged investigative activities in the framework of the pre-investigative check. .

“Restoring the victim’s rights includes not only convicting the person who applied torture, but also paying a fair compensation to the victim, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Pavel Osadshiy, representing the interests of victim Denis Kramchaninov, comments. – However, the amount of compensation for inefficient investigation, which lasted almost for seven years, is obviously disproportionate to the sufferings which Denis lived through. At the present time we insist on increasing the awarded sum. As for the compensation for moral damage, inflicted by the crime, Kramchaninov deemed it to be acceptable. But the defendant represented by the Ministry of the Interior of Russia disagreed with this sum, considering it to be excessive and appealed against the court ruling”.

According to Osadchiy, at the present time Denis Kramchaninov has not received a single one of the awarded compensations. In addition, no one among the police superiors offered apologies to him for the crime of their subordinates. The violated rights of Kramchaninov have not been restored, that is why there are no grounds to withdraw the complaint from the European Court of Human Rights.