The victim of sexual violence at the Orenburg penal colony applied to the European Court

Событие | Пресс центр

14 January 2019
© EPA/CHRISTOPHE KARABA

Today, on 14 January 2019, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in the interests of the former convict of the Penal Colony Settlement No.11 with regard to low compensation awarded to him by the domestic court. As we have previously reported, the Russian court evaluated the moral damage inflicted to the victim by the sexual violence, which was arranged with regard to him by former head of penal colony Filyus Khusainov and his deputy, Murat Kumarov.  

Penal-Colony Settlement No.11 of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the Orenburg region attracted the attention of human rights back in summer of 2013, when Irina Balashova applied for legal assistance. According to the woman, her partner Sergey Nikonorov was trapped in unbearable and inhuman conditions created by the staff of Penal Colony (settlement) no. 11 for Orenburg region, which is headed by Filyus Khusainov: convicts were systematically subjected to ill-treatment, including threats of sexual abuse. Concerning Mr Nikonorov, the treatment had been caused by his refusals to work at construction sites, and his forced labor complaints were lodged with the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor’s Office. Based on these episodes former head of this penal institution Filyus Khusainov was convicted and sentenced to three years’ prison term with serving the sentence in a standard regime penal colony.

In end of 2013, the picture of appalling abuse of power in Penal-Colony Settlement No.11 was supplemented by testimonies of convicts K. and D. (full names are not given due to ethical reasons), who informed that they became victims of crimes committed by the Colony’s officers. They applied to the Orenburg branch of the Committee Against Torture out of desperation, since after the failed attempt to flee (in its turn, motivated by batteries) one of them was raped by the convict from the so called «core group» in the presence of the Colony officers and at their order and this was recorded by the administration officers using the video recorder.

This is what the victim said later to the investigating officer: on 13 October 2013 Deputy Head of the Colony Settlement for Security and Field Work major Murat Kumarov took him to the punitive isolation ward. There he gave the order to other convicts to beat him. The victim was beaten severely, no one spared him, he fainted away several times. Kumarov helped him regain his consciousness pouring cold water on him. Several employees of the correctional facility were watching this including Filyus Khusainov who was the head of the colony at that time. After the beating Khusainov gave the order: “Make them line up here!” and around fifteen employees of the correctional facility entered the room. Two convicts from the group of the activists who followed the orders of the colony administration employees were holding K., the third one was given the order to touch the face and lips of K. with his genitals and so he did it. Deputy Head of the Colony Murat Kumarov was recording all this with the dashboard camera. And only when the torturer said that the film is ready, they stopped to abuse K. and the employees of the colony broke up.

The court also established that Khusainov ordered his subordinate to conceal the fact of convict K.’s attempt to flee to avoid negative consequences due to committed mistakes and substandard work. Instead, a fake report was drawn up regarding convict K., which stated that the latter was allegedly apprehended by the penal colony officers in the state of drunkenness and offered resistance.

This fake resulted in putting convict K. in the punitive confinement, and his service of sentence conditions were changed for more stringent ones.

Apart from taking part in violent activities of sexual nature and abuse of office, Kumarov was also declared guilty of taking a bribe in the amount of 24400 rubles.

On 5 April 2017, judge of the Novotroitsky City Court Pavel Ivlev passed a judgement of conviction regarding the former superiors of Penal Colony No 11. Khusainov was convicted to seven years of imprisonment, and Marat Kumarov – to five and a half.

The convicts and their defense lawyers, not satisfied with the court’s verdict, appealed against it, but on 27 June 2017 the judicial panel of the Orenburg Regional Court upheld the ruling with regard to Philyus Khusainov and Murat Kumarov. The verdict came into legal force.

After the verdict came into legal force, lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Albina Mudarisova, representing the interests of K., applied to court with a lawsuit on compensation of moral damage inflicted to the victim by crimes of ex-superiors of Penal Colony-Settlement No.11.

On 7 November 2017, judge of the Central District Court of Orenburg Margarita Besayeva partially satisfied the claims on the lawsuit, having awarded to victim K. a compensation for moral damage in the amount of two hundred thousand rubles out of the claimed sum of two and a half million rubles.

The victim and his representative were dissatisfied with the amount of compensation and submitted a complaint to the Orenburg Regional Court. On 14 February 2018, the judicial panel of the Orenburg Regional Court, having listened to the arguments of the participants of the trial, upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance. A cassation appeal was submitted against this court ruling, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court of the RF.

With regard to this, today, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in the interests of the former convict.

“Unfortunately, the domestic court determined that the compensation for moral damage in the amount of two hundred twenty thousand rubles for such an abominable crime committed by the Federal Penitentiary Service officers is just. However, we think that this meager compensation does not correspond to the sufferings that our applicant was subjected to, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Albina Mudarisova comments.

– According to the stance of the European Court, the state is not released from responsibility for violation of fundamental rights and freedoms, if the victim did not receive an adequate compensation, that is why we applied to the ECHR with the appropriate complaint.”