Today, on 14 February 2017, the European Court of Human Rights passed a ruling submitted by lawyers with the Committee Against Torture in the interests of Lubov’ Maslova from the Orenburg region – her brother Vasiliy Lyamov died in the Buguruslan District Department of the Interior (the Orenburg region) in 2005. The Strasburg judges decided that Russia violated several articles of the European Convention with regards to Lyamov, and awarded a compensation in the amount of 50600 Euro to his sister.
(Photo: Vasiliy Lyamov)
As we have previously reported, Lubov’ Maslova applied to the Orenburg branch of the Committee Against Torture on 8 June 2006. On 19 December 2005 her brother, 23-year old citizen of Aksakovo (Orenburg region) Vasiliy Lyamov was detained and ill-treated by district police officer Valery Prytkov and after that delivered to the Buguruslan District Department of Internal Affairs. For several hours the detainee had been lying in the lobby seen by the duty officer and another police agent. Emergency doctors summoned with a great delay established Lyamov’s death.
The Orenburg Regional Forensic Medical Examination Bureau conducted a forensic examination which determined that Lyamov had had numerous intravital injuries – bruises and abrasions on the face and soft tissues of the head, cerebral apoplexy, ruptures in neck bones, etc. The death was caused by a neck bone fracture. The victim’s head had been drawn back to the limit and abruptly twisted to the right.
Nevertheless, a domestic court after a five-year trial found that the prosecution had failed to provide sufficient evidence showing that it was officer Prytkov who had inflicted the deadly injury. In 2011 he was found guilty of exceeding official powers with the use of violence and special devices which led to grave consequences. He was sentenced to 3 years in general regime (minimum security) penal colony.
The outrageous fact is that during the five years, from the moment of being charged with a criminal offense, Mr Prytkov was not debarred from police service. Moreover, he got promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and was granted preferential pension.
On the grounds that no police officers made any efforts to rescue the dying man, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture filed a claim against the State on the behalf of Mr Vasiliy Lyamov’s relatives demanding compensation for moral damage. Almost eight years after he died in the police department, his relatives were paid a total of 680 thousand rubles in compensation. Those responsible have never been identified.
For over a six-years long period of the official inquiry the human right defenders came to a disappointing conclusion. Despite the fact that the criminal case based on the fact of Vasiliy Lyamov’s death was severed into dedicated proceedings, the investigation, in fact, was nothing but pretending to be searching for a murderer. The only way out of this situation was to apply to international authorities. These “big guns” had to be used in 2012, when a complaint on behalf of Lyamov’s relatives was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights.
Today the European Court of Human Rights passed a ruling with regard to this complaint. The Strasbourg judges unanimously established violation of Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention with relation to the death of Vasiliy Lyamov in the state custody and with relation to failure to render medical assistance to him, as well as the violation of Article 2 of the Convention with regard to inefficient investigation of his death.
In this respect the victim’s sister was awarded a compensation of moral damage in the amount of 50600 Euro.
Lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Ekaterina Vanslova comments on today’s ruling of the European Court: «The court established that the Russian authorities are responsible for Lyamov’s death at the police department and that the circumstances of his death were investigated inefficiently. The court also pointed out the low level of compensation for moral damage awarded at the national level, which is ten times lower than the amounts awarded by the European Court for similar cases, and it cannot be considered fair”.