27 September 2007

27 September 2007, Yoshkar-Ola (The Republic of Mari-El). – Lawyers of the regional human rights NGO “Man and Law” that represent the interests of two minor boys – Andrey Aplekaev and Denis Darovskikh – filed claims for compensation of non-pecuniary damage to the Yoshkar-Ola City Court. The respondent under the claims is the RF Ministry of Finance. The sum claimed in compensation amounts to 200 thousand roubles to each of the boys.

    You may remember that in December 2004 policeman Sergey Pchelnikov, being tasked with operative/search activities, visited one of the city’s disco clubs. There he met two teenage boys, Andrey Aplekaev and Denis Darovskikh, whom he knew. Mr. Pchelnikov suggested them “going out for a conversation”. The boys refused. He called for policemen on duty and forced the boys out of the club and made them lean against the police car’s bonnet with their lag being stretched apart. Then Mr. Pchelnikov hit the boys several times in the stomachs, heads and groins with his arms and legs. But he did not stop thereon.

    Around 2 a.m. Mr. Pchelnikov in the police car brought the boys to his office in the Central police station of Yoshkar-Ola. In the office he continued beating the boys. After that he left Andrey and Denis in the corridor and went home.

    The following day the boys reported the incident to the police, but no action followed. The police refused to initiate criminal proceedings. Then the young men applied for help to lawyers of the human rights NGO “Man and Law” who, assisted by the Nizhny Novgorod Committee Against Torture and the Public Verdict Foundation, carried out a public investigation and finally achieved the initiation of criminal proceedings against Sergey Pcheklnikov.

    The policeman pleaded guilty before the court and apologized to the boys for the cruel treatment. The judge took into account his repentance and on 12 July 2007 the Yoshkar-Ola City Court found policeman Pchelnikov guilty of abuse of official powers committed with the use of violence and special means (Article 286 §3 of the RF Criminal Code) and sentenced him to 3 years and 6 months’ imprisonment in a minimum security colony.

    After that the victims exercised their right to just satisfaction and filed claims against the State for compensation of non-pecuniary damage. “The State must take responsibility for the misdeeds of its officials to whom it has delegated its powers, to whom it has entrusted the protection of rights and interests of its citizens. And the compensation, in accordance with the RF Constitution and international standards must be adequate”, comments Dmitry Egorshin, a lawyer of the regional NGO “Man and Law” and INGO Committee Against Torture.

    Read more concerning the case of Aplekaev and Darovskikh at

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