The European Court has delivered the first judgment concerning police abuse in Orenburg region


28 September 2010

Alexey Dmitrachkov from Orenburg region has been awarded 12 000 euro as compensation for tortures by the police.

The Orenburg office of the Interregional Committee Against Torture will ensure execution of the ECtHR judgment on the national level, including punishment of perpetrators.

Late at night on April 16, 2001 Alexey Dmitrachkov living in the city of Buzuluk (Orenburg region) was detained at home on the suspicion of theft. He was placed in a detention facility at the local police station. In response to his requests for legal assistance he was beaten by police officers. Two days after Alexey was examined by a doctor. The examination showed that he had physical injuries.

During the proceedings at the European Court the Russian Government failed to provide convincing proofs that the applicant had obtained injuries through no fault of the state.  Therefore, the ECtHR concluded that Mr. Dmitrachkov had been subject to inhuman treatment by state agents in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.  

The Court also noted that the investigation of Alexey’s complaints had been characterized by selective and inconsistent evaluation of evidence by the investigation authorities. For instance, the prosecutor’s office considered the applicant’s statements false just because they reflected the condemnatory tactics of the victim. However, the police officers’ statements appeared rather trustworthy to the investigator, although they could also reflect the tactics of defense. According to the Court, the authorities used double standards to evaluate the evidence. Besides, the Court found it striking that the investigator had failed to find other witnesses, apart from law enforcement agents. Moreover, the ECtHR criticized the fact that the prosecutor had handed Dmitrachkov’s complaint over to the local police station, i.e. to the body which had been allegedly involved into the beatings to be investigated. Taking into account all these facts, the Court found the prosecutorial investigation ineffective and amounting to another breach of the Convention.

Basing on those conclusions, the European Court awarded the applicant 12 000 euro as compensation of moral damage.

Hereyou will find the translation of the European Court judgment translated by the Committee Against Torture.

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