The European Court will deal with the case of the battery of the football fan from Samara


12 March 2019

Today, on 12 March 2019 lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the European Court of Human Rights with a complaint on behalf of Denis Belyanin, a fan of the “Krylya Sovetov” football club from Samara, who has been insisting on opening of the criminal case based on the fact of illegal applying physical violence against him by law-enforcement officers.  

 As we have previously reported, on 4 October 2017, a criminal case regarding the crime under item ‘a’, part 3, Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office using violence”) was initiated regarding the fact of the battery of “Krylya Sovetov” football club fans.

This criminal case was opened with regard to the following events. On 2 September 2017, in the framework of the 11th Tour of the National Football League in Orenburg a game between local team “Orenburg” and “Krylya Sovetov” from Samara took place. In the very end of the game, an incident between the visitant football fans and law-enforcement officers occurred in the guests sector. Numerous videos of the indecent were loaded in the Internet, one of them features law-enforcement officers putting the football fans faces against the wall with feet spread apart and kick them and beat them with truncheons. It is seen in the video record that the football fans did not offer resistance and did not attempt to flee.

Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, having examined these video records, concluded that the actions of the law-enforcement officers involve elements of crime under item “a”, part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office using violence and special equipment”). Regarding this on 8 September human rights defenders applied to the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Orenburg region with a crime report.

On 11 September, human rights defenders also applied to the regional Investigative Department, but this time in the interests of a specific victim – “Krylya Sovetov” fan Denis Belyanin.

Denis Belyanin from Samara applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance on September 6. He reported on what happened to him on 2 September at the Orenburg stadium: “After the law enforcement officers brought me beyond the audience sector, they forced me to stand on my knees, press my head against the concrete wall and my arms behind my back. After some time, I was told to stand up. When I started standing, they hit me from two sides with truncheons and feet. I felt strong pain and my feet became numb as a result of the beating”.

According to Belyanin, he and several fans from Samara were taken to the City Police Department where they were forced to stand with their head pressing against the wall, feet spread apart and arms behind their backs. According to Denis, he was released only after he signed a document stating that he had no claims against the police officers.
When he returned to Samara, Denis applied to City Clinical Hospital No.1 named after Pirogov, where the doctors registered “a bruise, a hematoma of the left ankle-joint and foot”.

On 30 October 2017, investigator Sergey Novoselov issued a refusal to initiate criminal proceedings based on the fact of Denis Belyanin’s battery, which was quashed two months after by Deputy Head of the Investigative Department Aleksandr Morozov.

By the present time, the investigators issued seven refusals to initiate criminal proceedings already, six of which were subsequently declared illegal and quashed. The last “refusal” was issued on 30 August 2018 by investigator for major cases of the Investigative Department for the Southern Administrative District of Orenburg of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Orenburg region Dmitry Seleyev.

On 23 November, Deputy Prosecutor of the Leninsky District of Orenburg Vladimir Zenkin quashed this ruling and the pre-investigative check based on Denis Belyanin’s complaint was resumed. However, human rights defenders still don’t know what ruling was passed by the investigator based on the results of the new check, with regard to this they applied to the District Court.

In addition, the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture have submitted today an application to the European Court of Human Rights – according to human rights defenders, the Russian Federation violated articles of the European Convention, prohibiting torture and ensure the rights to effective remedy for everyone with regard to Belyanin.

“The investigators of the Investigative Committee have violated virtually all the criteria of the effective investigation, developed by the practice of the European Court for Human Rights, such as accuracy, timeliness, objectivity and impartiality, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin comments. – For example, investigators never questioned important witnesses of the incident, failed to examine the scene of the incident and failed even to identify the officer who beat Belyanin’s feet. Despite our today’s application to the European Court, we will continue our work at the national level and will be insisting on opening a criminal case”.

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