Chief Department of the Interior for the Nizhny Novgorod region officially apologized to local resident Leonid Mursky who suffered from tortures by the police officers. Despite the fact that the official body had to apologize as per law “On Police”, it happened only after lawyers with the Committee Against Torture complained about absence of apologies to the court.
Leonid Mursky applied to the Committee Against Torture in 2015. He told human rights defenders that two days before he was apprehended near the door of his house and taken to the police department, where the police officers beat him up demanding that he confessed of sale of drugs. In addition, the police officers threatened to drown him.
On the same day, the medics registered Leonid with bruises and scratches of the forehead as well as suspected non-displaced fracture of odontoid vertebras. Later on, medical forensic experts revealed that the police officers inflicted Leonid with a closed craniocerebral injury.
Subsequently, Mursky was convicted to four and a half years under part 3 of Article 30, item “g” of part 4 of Article 228.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Illegal manufacture and sales of drugs on a large scale”).
Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture tried to insist that a criminal case is opened on abuse of office against the police officers who were torturing Leonid, but the Investigative Committee dismissed their claims six times. Then, the lawyers applied to the ECHR, and in December 2021 Mursky was awarded 52 thousand euros of compensation, having acknowledged that he indeed was subjected to tortures, and the Russian state failed to perform an effective investigation based on his application.
The Investigative Committee still initiated a criminal case against three police officers — Sergey Lebedev, Nikolay Atamashko and Aleksey Khrulev. Atamashko and Khrulev got two and a half years of penal colony of standard regime, Lebedev — two years of conditional term.
— We did not apply to the Chief Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior with another request to execute the requirement of the law, but submitted a court lawsuit right away. That is how we are attempting to draw attention to the system-based character of this violation, — lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Sergey Shounin comments. — We submitted the lawsuit on 18 February, and apologies followed on 9 March. It demonstrates two important aspects. Firstly, it confirmed our assumption that no official apologies were offered to Mursky. Secondly – had there been no lawsuit, no apologies would have followed. They demonstrated their attitude to the victim and lack of desire to apologize in the text itself — it does not contain the word “dear”. Well, let us see what the defendant’s representative will have to say in court.