Today the Committee against Torture has filed the second complaint under the case of a Nizhny Novgorod woman beaten up and raped by the police to the European Court


25 November 2009

Today the limitation period for bringing to criminal responsibility former officers of the police and Nizhny Novgorod Prosecutor’s Office – Milkov, Serov, Khmelyov and Zhiryakov – in charge of abusing and raping Ms. Olga Maslova has expired.

On 25 November 1999 Olga Maslova was summoned as a witness for an interrogation to the Directorate of the Interior. There three intoxicated prosecutorial officials beat Olga Maslova up and raped her, she returned home only late at night.

Ms. Maslova notified the Prosecutor’s Office about the crime. However, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Investigation Authorities of Nizhny Novgorod region refused to conduct an effective investigation under the young woman’s application. Criminal proceedings were instigated, but later many times suspended and re-started.

Having lost hope to restore her rights in Russia, Olga applied to the ECtHR with the help of the CAT. On 24 January 2008 the European Court delivered a judgment under Olga Maslova’s case. The judged unanimously held that Olga had been subjected to multiple tortures and rape by the police and prosecutorial workers, and the official investigation into that crime had been ineffective.

Nevertheless, even when the ECtHR judgment entered into force, the investigation in Russia did not progress. Former policemen and prosecutorial officers have not been indicted, there has been no pre-trial investigation, there is no court judgment. Thus, we can state that non-execution of the European Court judgment is attributed to the inaction of Mr. Maximenko, regional prosecutor, Mr. Stravinskas, Investigation Administration head, and Mr. Poludnevich, head of the Department for Prosecutorial Participation in Court Hearings. These people have once again smeared the reputation of our country be their deliberate negligence.

In such circumstances the Committee against Torture representing Olga Maslova’s interests underlines that the Russian Federation has violated the international law by ignoring the European Court judgment.  Today the CAT has sent another application to the ECtHR claiming violation of three ECHR articles. First of all, breach of article 3: from January 2008 till the limitation period expiry the investigation authorities have not taken any reasonable steps to investigate Maslova’s case. Second, after 25 November 2009 Olga Maslova has no domestic remedies available which violates article 13 of the Convention. And finally, the Russian Federation has not fully executed the ECtHR judgment of 24 January 2008, and has limited itself to payment of the compensation without prosecuting those responsible.  The obligation to execute Strasbourg Court judgments is set forth in article 46 of the Convention. There is no doubt that the European Court and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will have a close look at this situation.

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