The European Court will have considered the case of Elena Lisina this year


10 January 2007

 Today the Committee against Torture has been officially notified (p.1, p.2) that the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg declared the complaint ‘Lisina v. Russian Federation’ admissible. It means that very soon the complaint will be considered on the merits. Lawyers of the Committee have certain reasons to believe that the Court will have already considered the complaint this year.

    You may remember that after it conducted a public investigation of Ms. Lisina’s allegations, the Committee Against Torture lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. On 15 January 2002 the Court registered the complaint. On 15 May 2005 the Court advised the Russian Federation of the fact that the Court took into execution Ms. Lisina’s complaint to decide as to its admissibility. Now the complaint has been declared admissible.

    At present lawyers of the Committee Against Torture continue providing Ms. Lisina with necessary legal aid. We need to mention that the Public Verdict Foundation from Moscow, a partner of the Committee, has much contributed to providing Ms. Lisina with an advocate. 

    The case of Ms. Lisina is one of the most ‘symbolic’, even among such famous and significant as e.g. the case of Aleksey Mikheev or the case of Sergey Sankin. A shocking crime – horrible tortures and gang-raping – which several prosecution officials and one police officer committed in November of distant 1999 in respect of a young woman, has for more than 8 years already been unpunished. The offenders are still ‘respected members of society”. Former prosecution officials, who disgraced poor Elena in their working room, who organized a lengthy ‘third degree’ interrogation, are now, not without efforts of their high standing relatives, successfully work as lawyers.

    In such conditions the last remedy to restore her right was Ms. Lisina’s application to the European justice. Judges in Strasbourg are to examine the facts, stated in the complaint fairly, thoroughly and in compliance with legal norms, and to pass an objective and legitimate judgement, compulsory for execution by the Russian Federation. We cannot forestall the Court’s decision, but we can hope that the acceptance of Ms. Elena Lisina’s complaint by the European Court will make Russian law-enforcement and judicial agencies pay attention to multiple flaws and infringements, committed during the long years of the investigation.

    We hopefully believe that before the European Court of Human Rights renders its judgement concerning this application, Russian judicial bodies will have considered the Case of Lisina, restored her rights and punished the offenders.

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