Today the European Court has notified the Committee against Torture that it has stopped proceedings under the case “Sankin vs. Russia” according to the Committee’s request, and the case has been struck off the list.
On 31 May 2000 officers of the Sormovskiy district Department of Internal Affairs tortured Sergey Sankin, in connection with this on 5 November 2001 the Committee against Torture lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights.
However, later the Committee against Torture representing Mr. Sankin on the domestic and international level managed to ensure effective protection of the applicant’s rights by the state.
On 30 December 2004 officers of the Sormovskiy district Department of Internal Affairs Ageyev and Guganov who had torured and abused the applicant were found guilty and sentenced to 3 years of 6 months of imprisonment each. Besides, on 17 June 2008 under the applicant’s claim for compensation of moral damage, Sergey Sankin was awarded 3 137 000 roubles the state paid on time.
So, the victim’s rights were fully restored by the state, therefore, proceedings in front of the European Court were to be terminated since Sergey Sankin was not a victim any more.
Thus, on 11 November 2008 the Committee against Torture sent a motion to the European Court and asked it to strike Mr. Sankin’s application off the list. Having studied the circumstances of the case, the European Court agreed that the applicant’s rights had been fully restored and terminated proceedings under the case.
Sankin’s case is the first case of the Committee against Torture in the European Court that is terminated because the applicant’s rights were restored on the national level. The Committee hopes that this tendency will live on. If we look at applications submitted by the Committee against Torture to the European Court of Human Rights, it becomes evident that in the majority of cases it is still possible to cope with the problem on the domestic level provided the state wants to do so.
The Committee against Torture intends to do its utmost in order to solve torture cases on the national level, and not in the European Court of Human Rights, because this is exactly the way to change the domestic legal practice in the sphere of torture and police abuse prevention.
Here you can read the European court Judgment in English. The judgment will be translated into Russian and available on the Committee against Torture web-page soon.