Victims of torture voiced support of the Committee Against Torture

Событие | Пресс центр

06 March 2015

Forty people who in different time suffered from crimes committed by law-enforcement agents and received support from the human rights defenders of the Committee Against Torture, signed the petition in support of this organization, which was submitted yesterday to the State Duma deputies from the regions where the human rights defenders work, to the Minister of Justice, and to the Prosecutor General.

Association of Torture Victims which has been recently established in Nizhny Novgorod initiated this petition. As we have previously reported, the reason for its establishment, as one of the Association’s activists, Aleksey Yakimov, told us, became the RF Ministry of Justice including of the interregional non-governmental organization «The Committee Against Torture» in the list of non-governmental organizations, performing the functions of foreign agents: «This disgraceful status is a reference to 1930s and reminds of Stalin’s clichés which were used by the political regime as a tool for reprisal against undesirable persons and organizations. The Committee Against Torture will not accept this status and will appeal against this decision of the Ministry of Justice in court, but I’m not sure the human rights defenders succeed. That is why they will be forced to shut down».

In their open petition the signers expressed their indignation with regard to including the human rights organization in this list, emphasizing: «The Committee Against Torture is not anyone’s «agent», it does not execute anyone’s orders. Its activity is aimed exclusively not at changing but at implementing the norms which are the basis of the legal system of our country. It is perfectly clear that the Committee will not be able to efficiently perform its mission in conditions when a disgraceful cliché is attached to it, the meaning of which is too evident based on the history of our long-suffering Motherland. And it means that we and hundreds of other victims of lawlessness will be deprived of protection, support and hope.

Some time in the past the Committee Against Torture helped us to protect ourselves from the lawlessness of the state agencies. Now we ask you to use all the means available to protect the Committee».

We publish the full text of the open petition:

We, the citizens of Russia, who in different time suffered from crimes committed by law-enforcement agents, express our indignation with the decision of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on including of the interregional non-governmental organization «The Committee Against Torture» in the so called «List of non-governmental organizations, performing the functions of foreign agents».

We are people of different fates, life principles, religious beliefs, professions: former police officer, businessman, factory worker, military pilot, sportsman, teacher, driver… But we share a common misfortune – in different time all of us were subjected to torture in order to make us confess of crimes we never committed or bear false witness against our close ones. Some of us were tortured just to satisfy the torturer’s sadistic inclinations. Everyone of us applied to the authorities – Prosecutor’s Office, Investigative Committee – asking for support, protection, justice.

And each time investigators refused to open criminal proceedings against the tormentors, for years they sabotaged the investigation of committed crimes, in some cases trying to forge the accusations against victims. All of us had to fight a losing battle for justice. But we were not alone in this fight. The Committee Against Torture came to aid.

Now everyone of us can say that without the support of this organization the justice would not have been able to prevail. Some of us, probably, would not have survived to this day. When we lost any glimpse of hope the lawyers of the Committee Against Torture repeatedly appealed against unlawful decisions of no-good investigators.

For example, in the case of Aleksey Mikheyev’s tortures with electricity, which the prosecutor’s office authorities were trying to destroy seven long years, 20 unlawful terminations of criminal case, 3 unlawful refusals to initiate criminal proceedings and 3 suspensions of criminal case were quashed. The case of Sergey Sankin’s battery was unlawfully terminated by the investigator 10 times and suspended 3 times, and all these investigator’s orders were also quashed by the courts and superior investigative authorities based on complaints of the Committee Against Torture. We see the similar picture in the prevailing number of our cases: only determination of the Committee Against Torture members allowed us to see the our tormentors behind the bars and receive adequate compensations. All this support was provided to us free of charge. In addition, the Committee Against Torture paid for the treatment of injuries and traumas inflicted to us, bought rare and expensive medicine, conducted medical and rehabilitation programs. In cases when some of us were threatened by criminals in police uniform, the Committee Against Torture organized shelter for us, arranged expensive programs of victims and witnesses protection.

At some point the state authorities washed hands off their legal and social responsibilities. Now they are destroying the organization, the activists and members of which voluntarily accepted to carry these responsibilities on their shoulders. The Prosecutor’s Office, which year by year was covering for the criminals, issuing hundreds of unlawful rulings, now is cynically trying to discredit those who year by year was actually doing its work.

We regard attaching the disgraceful label of «foreign agent» onto the Committee as instigation to bashing, as means of indirect reprisal against human rights defenders. We also think that from the part of the Prosecutor’s Office it is yet another means of support for those criminals whose interests they were so keen to serve in the past. Finally, this is a means of action against those among us who is still trying to find justice facing sabotage of investigative authorities.

The Committee Against Torture is accused of receiving foreign funding. But this money is spent on those expensive medical activities which allow us supporting our health after the inflicted torture! The state either can’t or won’t render this support to us. This money go to payment of high-class lawyers, without the help of which dozens of sadists in uniforms, who are now in prison, would have walked free! The state either can’t or won’t do this work. Yes, the Committee Against Torture receives part of its funding in the form of the Russian Federation government grants, but it barely covers one fifth of the necessary costs.

In addition, the Committee Against Torture is accused of activity aiming at «changing the policy of the Russian Federation». But does the Russian policy really involve torture and securing impunity to those who resort to it? This is a conclusion that one can make from the Nizhny Novgorod region Prosecutor’s petition! However, we know from the Constitution and the laws that the state policy consists of the contrary: torture is prohibited in Russia, and each victim of the crime is guaranteed justice and compensation.

The Committee Against Torture is not anyone’s «agent», it does not execute anyone’s orders. Its activity is aimed exclusively not at changing but at implementing the norms which are the basis of the legal system of our country. It is perfectly clear that the Committee will not be able to efficiently perform its mission in conditions when a disgraceful cliché is attached to it, the meaning of which is too evident based on the history of our long-suffering Motherland. And it means that we and hundreds of other victims of lawlessness will be deprived of protection, support and hope.
Sometime in the past the Committee Against Torture helped us to protect ourselves from the lawlessness of the state agencies. Now we ask you to use all the means available to protect the Committee.

Regards,

1. Valentin Vasilyevich Aleksandrov. Complainant in criminal case No. 411018. Mari El Republic.
2. Konstantin Pavlovich Almakayev. Complainant in criminal case No. 116269. Mari El Republic.
3. Lidiya Ivanovna Almakayeva. Mother of a complainant in criminal case No. 116269. Mari El Republic.
4. Zhamal Khamzovna Amirova. Representative of a complainant in criminal case No.56/135. Chechen Republic.
5. Sulumbek Khuseinovich Amriyev. Complainant on the material of check No. 318. Chechen Republic.
6. Amsadova Aizan Imranovna. Complainant on the material of check in relation to death of I.Z.Khadzhiyev, D.Z.Khadzhiyeva, A.U.Sotuyeva, Kh.Z.Magomadova, K.I.Magomadova, and R.I.Amsadov, Chechen Republic.
7. Alikhan Bislanovich Akhmedov. Complainant in criminal case No. 10123. Chechen Republic.
8. Ansar Adgamovich Vagapov. Complainant on the material of check No. 145 app.-2008. Mari El Republic.
9. Irina Aleksandrovna Demidova. Complainant in criminal case No. 89565. Nizhny Novgorod region.
10. Aleksandr Ivanovich Dmitriyev. Complainant in criminal case No. 180725. Nizhny Novgorod region.
11. Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Dydychkin. Complainant on the material of check No. 070 app.-13. Mari El Republic.
12. Aleksandr Alekseyevich Zhdan. Complainant in criminal case No. 51/28–2014. Orenburg region.
13. Timur Iskairovich Zhumagazeyev. Complainant in dismissed criminal case No. 51/22–14. Orenburg region.
14. Dmitry Mikhailovich Yefremov. Complainant on the material of check No. 0005 app.-08. Mari El Republic.
15. Tatyana Vasilyevna Ivanova. Complainant in criminal case No.0904015. Republic of Bashkortostan.
16. Ivan Yuryevich Kozlov. Complainant in criminal case No. 0483. Mari El Republic.
17. Raisiya Ivanovna Lebedeva. Complainant on the material of check No. 57 app.-07. Mari El Republic.
18. Ruslan Anatolyevich Lebedev. Complainant on the material of check No. 57 app.-07. Mari El Republic.
19. Sergey Vladimirovich Lyapin. Complainant on the material of check No. 314-app.2008. Nizhny Novgorod region.
20. Dzhobrail Khamzatovich Magamadov. Complainant on the material of check No. 112. Chechen Republic.
21. Ayma Adnanovna Makayeva. Complainant in criminal case No.74032. Chechen Republic.
22. Gulsina Nigmatzyanova Minibayeva. Complainant on the material of check No. 1132. Republic of Bashkortostan.
23. Aleksey Yevgeniyevich Mikheyev. Complainant in criminal case No. 68241. Nizhny Novgorod region.
24. Dmitry Aleksandrovich Nikolayev. Complainant in criminal case No. 249323. Nizhny Novgorod region.
25. Aleksandr Valeryevich Novoselov. Complainant on the material of check No. 36 app.-15. Nizhny Novgorod region.
26. Vladimir Andreyevich Ott. Complainant in criminal case No.430036. Mari El Republic.
27. Marina Vladimirovna Ott. Representative of complainant on criminal case No.430036. Mari El Republic.
28. Anna Sergeyevna Prokofieva. Crime report is sent to Tverskoy Investigative Department of Interdistrict Investigative Department of Central Administrative District of the Russian Federation Chief Investigatory Directorate for Moscow. Moscow region.
29. Vladimir Petrovich Prytkov. Complainant in dismissed criminal case No. № 52/39-11. Orenburg region.
30. Yury Vasilyevich Sankin. Father of complainant in criminal case No.582886. Nizhny Novgorod region.
31. Nina Petrovna Svintakova. Representative of complainant in criminal case No.545/12-2003. Orenburg region.
32. Pavel Pavlovich Seliverstov. Complainant in dismissed criminal case No. 51/26-13. Orenburg region.
33. Aleksey Gennadievich Sukhov. Complainant in criminal case No. 51/51–14. Orenburg region.
34. Doka Said-Akhmadovich Suleymanov. Complainant in criminal case No. 49012. Chechen Republic.
35. Vyacheslav Aleksandrovich Timoshenko. Complainant on the material of check No. 0740 app.-09. Mari El Republic.
36. Zina Adnanovna Umarova. Complainant on the material of check No. 562. Chechen Republic.
37. Lilya Shamil’khayevna Khasiyeva. Complainant in criminal case No. 42040. Chechen Republic.
38. Anatoly Anatolievich Yadykov. Complainant on the material of check No. 963. Mari El Republic.
39. Rimma Arsentievna Yadykova. Complainant on the material of check No. 963. Mari El Republic.
40. Aleksey Viktorovich Yakimov. Complainant in criminal case No. 256660. Nizhny Novgorod region.