The European Court of Human Rights communicated the complaint submitted by lawyers with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture on behalf of Oleg Silverstov who suffered during the action “For fair elections” in 2012 in Nizhny Novgorod. The Strasbourg judges posed questions to Russian authorities on whether Silverstov was subjected to illegal physical violence by law-enforcement authorities and whether the investigation of this incident was effective at the national level.
As we have previously reported, Oleg Silverstov applied to human rights defenders for legal assistance four years ago, in 2012. According to Oleg, during the rally «For fair elections» on 10 March 2012 officers of the Department of the Ministry of the Interior for Nizhny Novgorod Patrol-Guard Service Special Task Police Force stroke him down to the ground and started to choke him, strangling him with hands. When Oleg tried to set free he was hit in the left forearm. Then a few police officers dragged him to the bus, near which physical force was again applied against him – he was stroke down to the ground and hit in the chest area. Under apprehension for his health Silverstov got under the bus, but the law-enforcement officers dragged him out and hit him several times in the head, these hits resulted in Silverstov passing out and he regained his senses only on the Special Police Force bus.
Silverstov and other detained were delivered to Police Department No. 5. Since Oleg’s condition got worse (faintness and sickliness) he started demanding that the police officers called an ambulance for him.
Sometime later the ambulance team arrived to the police department; Silverstov was examined and taken to City Hospital No. 39, where he was diagnosed with a cerebral concussion, bruises of body and face.
On the next day, 11 March, Silverstov applied to the Investigative Committee with a crime report. In the course of the official check seven refusals to initiate criminal proceedings were issued, six of them were quashed by the superiors and the Prosecutor’s Office as illegal and ungrounded.
«Despite the fact that the check lasted over three years and the investigator had more than enough time to establish the circumstances relevant to the case, he, however, limited himself to the theory of the police officers – allegedly, Silverstov got injured when he accidentally slipped from the bus steps when he was taken inside the bus, and fell on the ground. At the same time two refusals to initiate criminal proceedings, issued by the investigator, were identical word for word, including the spelling and punctuation», – lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Sergey Shounin emphasizes.
Human rights defenders appealed against the last refusal in court, however, at first the District Court and then the Court of Appeal dismissed the complaint, considering this ruling to be legal.
With regard to this lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture, representing the interests of Oleg Silverstov, were forced to apply to the European Court of Human Rights.
Today the information that this complaint was communicated was published on the ECHR website.
“The European Court of Human Rights posed questions to the Russian Federation questions concerning Article 3 of the European Convention (“Prohibition of torture”) in the part of brutal treatment by the police officers and adequacy of the applied force during the apprehension of Silverstov, – lawyer of the Department of International and Legal Help of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Ekaterina Vanslova comments. – The Strasbourg judges also posed questions on the efficiency of investigation of this incident and to what extent the authorities were informed about the public event in the course of which the applicant was detained. We are waiting for replies of the Russian authorities in order to comment on the circumstances of this case from our side, too”.