The European Court of Human Rights got interested in 12-year old case of torture at the Nizhny Novgorod police


18 July 2018

The European Court of Human Rights communicated application of Vladimir Shishkin from Kstovo of the Nizhny Novgorod region, who complained of the battery at the local police department in March 2006. The Strasbourg judges posed to the Russian Federation the questions about whether the applicant was subjected to torture, as well as whether the investigation of this incident effective at the national level.


Vladimir Shishkin from Kstovo applied to the Committee against Torture on 12 January 2007. He told that on 2 March 2006 he went to the Kstovo District Directorate of the Interior for the Nizhny Novgorod region in order to clarify the fate of the computer and the documents which had been seized the police officers during the search on the previous day.

Accoding to Shishkin, he was battered at the police department, he was handcuffed, his head was tied to his feet – the “envelope” torture was applied – then the police officers pulled him up on the handcuffs and threw on the floor. According to Shishkin, the law enforcement officers demanded that he wrote the statement on the absence of any claims against the police officers with regard to the seized items.

According to Vladimir, after four hours of torture, he agreed to sign the required statement, after that he was released.

On the next day Shishkin’s condition deteriorated, and he was delivered to the Kstovo District hospital. The doctors diagnosed him with the contusion of the lumbar region and the right kidney, hematoma of the left eye area.

In July 2006 Shishkin applied to the Prosecutor’s Office with a complaint against illegal actions of the police officers.

For eight years of the investigation based on Shishkin’s application seventeen refusals to initiate criminal proceedings were issued, sixteen of them were subsequently quashed as illegal. Last time the investigative authorities refused to initiate a criminal case in December 2014. This ruling was declared legal by the national courts. 

On 21 August 2009 lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied with application on protection of Vladimir Shishkin’s rights at the European Court of Human Courts. In June of this year it was communicated.
“In the course of communication the Russian authorities will have to explain how the applicant received bodily injuries, since any trauma, acquired by the person who is under police supervision, brings about the grounded supposition that a person was subjected to brutal treatment, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Ekaterina Vanslova commented. – The court also pointed at numerous refusals to initiate criminal proceedings and posed corresponding questions about the efficiency of the investigation. Unfortunately, at the present time all opportunities to conduct investigation based on Shishkin’s report is lost due to inefficient work of the investigative bodies, and bringing the culprits to responsibility is impossible due to expiry of the period of limitations”.

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