The European Court will consider the case of Aleksandr Kim, a post-graduate of the Moscow State University


23 January 2018

Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Aleksandr Kim, a post-graduate of Soil Science Department of the Moscow State University. According to human rights defenders, the state violated the whole range of his rights, notably – the right to fair judicial investigation, to freedom and personal security, to effective legal remedy, as well as committed the applicant’s discrimination on the ground of national origin.

(Aleksandr Kim)

As we have previously reported, in March of last year Aleksandr applied to human rights defenders for legal assistance. According to Aleksandr, on 21 February of this year he was stopped at Pervomayskaya metro station by a police officer who demanded that he showed his ID. In response Mr Kim asked the sergeant to introduce himself and also show his ID.

Sergeant introduced himself as Andrey Pyshkin, showed his ID and repeated his demand to Mr Kim. When Aleksandr asked what was the reason of the demand to show ID, the police officer replied that it is necessary in the framework of operation “Migrant. Residential sector”. The police officer said that Mr Kim had a non-Slavic appearance, and in his opinion, it was a sufficient ground for assuming that his stay in the territory of the Russian Federation was illegal.

Having considered such a demand illegal, in fact, discriminating, Mr Kim refused to show his ID and went up the escalator. The police officer went with him, and when they reached the turnstiles, Mr Pyshkin started to pull him to the police premises nearby. As to Mr Kim, he intended to leave the metro. He held the mobile guard rack with both hands while Mr Pyshkin was pulling his hands. The police officer started to disengage Aleksandr’s fingers from the rack one by one. When Mr Pyshkin used force to pull Mr Kim’s left hand thumb the latter felt a sharp pain. Mr Kim told Mr Pyshkin that he was breaking his fingers; however, the law-enforcement officer ignored his words and continued to apply force.

Subsequently Aleksandr was taken to the 6th Polic Department at the Moscow Metro, provisionally being handcuffed to the same police officer. At the same time they had to go in a metro coach in full public view, due to that Mr Kim characterizes the trip as a very humiliating one. At the police department, having realized what happened, the police officers apologized to Aleksandr for Mr Pyshkin’s actions and accompanied the former to the first aid station where his bodily injuries were registered.

Mr Kim was diagnosed with: “closed incomplete nondisplaced fracture of the proximal phalanx base of the 1st finger of the left hand. Bruise of the 3rd finger of the left arm”.

The verity of Aleksandr’s version is confirmed, among other things, by the audio record, which he made for several hours during his communication with the police officers.
“However, the court considered that Andrey Pyshkin made a perfectly legal demand to Aleksandr, since the police officer had grounds to suspect Mr Kim of committing a crime or administrative offence: Mr Pyshkin stated this at court, however, it turned out rather difficult for him to explain what precise crime or offence he suspected Mr Kim of, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Anastasia Garina comments. – Accordingly, based on this logics, Mr Kim, having refused to carry out the legal demand of the police officer, violated the law himself. The court did not evaluate the discriminative character of Pyshkin’s demands”.

As a result Mr Kim was brought to administrative responsibility under Article 19.3 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation (“Failure to obey to legal instruction or demand of the police officer”). He was inflicted a penalty of one thousand roubles. The Moscow City Court in the appellate instance upheld this ruling.
At the same time, the Investigative Committee initiated a check of Mr Kim arguments and failed to find any element of crime provided by Article 286 of the Criminal Code of Russia (“abuse of offce”) in the actions of Andrey Pyshkin. The internal check of the Ministry of the Interior did not establish any element of administrative offence in the actions of the police officer, either (provided that, according to the materials of the agency check, three other police officers were brought to disciplinary action for improper formalisation of Aleksandr Kim’s delivery to the department).

Therefore, since no adequate response of the Russian state authorities to obvious violations of Aleksandr Kim’s rights followed, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture were forced to apply to the European Court of Human Rights.

“Now we submitted a complaint against the violation of several articles of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms with regard to Aleksandr Kim, – lawyer on international law with the Committee Against Torture Ekaterina Vanslova emphasizes. – It involves Articles 5, 6, 13 and 14, which guarantee the right to fair judicial investigation, to freedom and personal security, to effective legal remedy and which prohibit discrimination. We have not submitted a complaint concerning the main, third, Article – the main Article which the Committee Against Torture works with and which prohibits brutal treatment, since we have not yet exhausted all domestic remedies. We hope that at least in this part we would be able to achieve justice at the national level”.

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