European Court of Human Rights posed questions to Russian authorities concerning the citizen from Orenburg who applied to the Strasbourg court complaining against tortures that he was subjected to in 2006.
Sergey Eroshenko’s application is one of the first ones that the Orenburg branch of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture started its activity with in April 2007. The applicant reported that in the night from 23 to 24 November 2006 in the course of apprehension he was brutally beaten up by the officers of the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the Department of the Interior of the Orenburg region.
According to Eroshenko, the battery continued in the District Department of Interior of Akbulak, where he was taken after the apprehension. As the applicant pointed out in his written application to human rights defenders, the police officers who abused him were drunk and apart from the battery itself attempted to stick a rubber truncheon with a condom put on in his rectum, but failed to tear up his clothes. In the course of the torture the police officers demanded that he confessed that the sawed-off gun from which someone shot some time ago, belonged to him.
According to Sergey, only in the morning, when the District Department of Interior duty officers started to enter their duties, he was taken to the temporary detention cell.
– I started to vomit there, I had a splitting headache, I asked to call the doctors but no one would listen to me, – Eroshenko described what was happening on that morning.
After some time, he was taken to the investigator. A defense lawyer was in his room, too. Eroshenko informed that he was beaten up by the police officer and that he needed a doctor. After some time, Sergey was taken to hospital where the doctors took a decision to put him in surgery department.
According to the certificate of forensic medical examination, Eroshenko had the following bodily injuries: closed craniocerebral trauma, brain concussion, bruises on his face, chest contusion on the right side, scratches of both forearms.
On 28 November a court hearing took place right in the hospital ward, which defined a restraint for him in the form of taking into custody upon suspicion of committing the crime under Part 2 Article 163 of the Russian Criminal Code (“extortion”). Eroshenko reported how the police officers were beating him up, but the court did not react to it.
Only on 4 December Eroshenko managed to submit application with regard to this incident to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Akbulaksky District. Based on the results of the check Deputy Prosecutor Aleksey Ivanov issued two refusals to initiate criminal proceedings. The latest of the mentioned rulings, dated 15 February 2007, was based on the statement that applying physical force against Eroshenko was, allegedly, legal.
On 10 May 2007 the members of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture appealed against this refusal of the District Prosecutor at court. However, judge Sergey Stoiko refused to consider the complaint, claiming that the arguments described in the complaint shall be the subject of judicial control in the course of examination of the criminal case against Sergey Eroshenko himself. Cassational appeal against this ruling was submitted to the Orenburg City Court which agreed to the arguments of the court of the first instance on 10 July 2007.
“Notably, during the examination of the criminal case based on the accusation of Sergey Eroshenko, the latter, sticking to judge Stoiko recommendations, once again reported about the police battery. However, once again the court refused to consider Sergey’s arguments on tortures which he was subjected to, this time indicating that the police officers’ conduct is not the subject of the judicial examination”, – member of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Vyacheslav Dyundin emphasized.
Having exhausted all the domestic remedy, lawyers with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture submitted a complaint on behalf of Sergey Eroshenko to the European Court of Human Rights in July 2008.
Nine years after the Court communicated this complaint, having posed questions to Russian authorities, including question whether the applicant was subjected to torture and whether the investigation of his report of that was effective.