Today the Sovietsky district court judgment awarding 600 000 roubles to the relatives of a Nizhny Novgorod citizen killed in a medical detoxification centre (150 000 each to three children and the sister) has entered into force.
The regional court upheld the judgment despite the complaints of the victims who considered the compensation to be underrated.
In their appeal prepared by the Committee against Torture the claimants said that the compensation did not reflect the gravity of sufferings because they had had a severe psychological trauma aggravated by the fact that their father and brother had died due to unlawful actions of the police which was supposed to protect the citizens and not kill them, and also by the fact that the criminal investigation and trial had lasted more than 6 years.
Meanwhile, the application of the deceased person’s sister, Elena Anoshina, against the Russian Federation (“Anoshina V. Russia”) is pending at the European Court of Human Rights. In the European Court case law there is a series of Russian cases where victims were awarded a much bigger compensation of moral damage related to their relatives’ death. We may suppose that the European Court will find the compensation awarded to Elena Anoshina insufficient and deliver a just judgment. In this case the state will have to make one more payment.
It should be mentioned that sometimes federal courts use a different approach in relation to compensation of moral damage incurred by tortures. For example, Sergey Sankin from Nizhny Novgorod, a victim of police abused, was awarded 3 137 000 roubles which he received on time. The application was withdrawn from the European Court and the image of the RF and Nizhny Novgorod region was not affected. It seems that district courts are not in a hurry to adopt such experience; therefore we may expect more high-profile judgments against Russia at the European Court.
Such attitude of Nizhny Novgorod regional law enforcement bodies to the problem of human rights protection may cause other difficulties for the state as well. Our region will rank second after Chechnya in terms of human rights cases lost at the European Court.
Of the Interregional Committee against Torture
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