The Supreme Court of Russia will examine the application of a citizen from Nizhny Novgorod regarding tortures at the Anti-Extremism Centre


15 June 2018

Nikita Danishkin from Nizhny Novgorod applied to the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Russia with a motion to resume the check of his complaint regarding tortures at the Department for Countering Extremism of the Chief Directorate of the Interior of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region in 2010. As we have previously reported, the Strasbourg judges established that Article 3 of the European Convention (“prohibition of torture”) was violated with regard to Danishkin, and due to that he was awarded a compensation in the amount of 20 000 euro.

(© RIA-Novosti / Aleksey Kudenko)

On 1 February 2011 Nikita Danishkin applied to Nizhny Novgorod office of interregional nongovernmental organization «The Committee Against Torture» for legal assistance. In his application Nikita claimed that on 25 December 2010 he was detained in his rented flat by officers of the Anti-Extremism Centre (AEC) who took him to AEC headquarters. There these officers beat and tortured his him (they made Nikita sit with crossed legs, tied his legs up with the towing-cable and flung him on the floor) in order to make him confess of preparation of a terrorist attack and dissemination of information smearing the honor and dignity of AEC staff. Nikita emphasized that the head of AEC took part in his tortures.

According to Mr Danishkin, the police officers failed to obtain the confession from him and they brought him to the Temporary Isolation Cell, however, when the duty officer there saw Nikita’s numerous injuries he sent him to hospital No.40 for an examination. As a result, Mr Danishkin was diagnosed with bruises, including on his face.

On December 27, 2010 Danishkin was admitted to remand prison, where he had the following injuries documented: a red-brown bruise on the right side of the abdominal area, a yellowish-green bruise in the axillary region on the left, multiple purple bruises on the face and neck.

Danishkin complained about ill-treatment to the head of the Investigative Committee. However, no criminal case was initiated, and the pre-investigation check, in the course of which investigator Novikov five times illegally passed refusals to initiate criminal proceedings and which lasted for over one year and a half, ended in the Nizhny Novgorod regional court on 5 August 2013 where the sixth refusal was declared legal in the end.

On 15 June 2011 the Avtozavodsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod declared Nikita Danishkin to be guilty of committing the crime under part 1 of Article 222 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“illegal storage, transportation of explosives and explosive devices”) and sentenced him to three years prison term in a standard regime penal colony.

Having exhausted all domestic remedy, on 5 February 2014 lawyers with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture submitted a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights. On 7 April 2015 it was communicated.

After communication the pre-investigation check based on Danishkin’s complaint was resumed and the material was handed over to investigator of the first department for major cases investigation of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Nizhny Novgorod region Aleksandr Busarov. However, the criminal case was never opened.

On 2 May 2017, the European Court of Human Rights passed a ruling with regard to the complaint submitted in the interests of Danishkin. The Strasbourg judges unanimously established the following:

– Article 3 of the Convention was violated in its material part (the applicant was subjected to torture);

– Article 3 of the Convention was violated due to absence of efficient investigation of the applicant’s claims about having been tortured by the police officers.

Due to that Nikita Danishkin was awarded twenty thousand euro as a compensation for moral damage.

Today, on 15 June 2018, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to Chairman of the Supreme Court of Russia Vyacheslav Lebedev with a motion requesting to resume the check of the applicant’s complaint of torture at the Nizhny Novgorod Anti-Extremism Center due to the new circumstance – the ruling of the European Court.

“Despite the fact that for several years the victim provided consistent testimony and identified the persons who treated him brutally, the investigative authorities refused to perform a full-fledged and extensive check of Nikita Danishin’s arguments, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Anastasia Nikitina, representing his interests, comments. – It is a pity that the investigative authorities have not resumed the check of the Danishkin’s complaint at their own initiative after the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights – let us hope that now the Supreme Court will satisfy our motion to that effect”.

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