Избранные дела общественного расследования

Рубрикатор дел общественного расследования Комитета против пыток

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Photo: Aleksey Malgavko / RIA Novosti

On 6 July 2021, in the course of the court hearing with regard to the application submitted by the Committee Against Torture against the suspending of the criminal case concerning the fact of death at Penal Colony No.14, it turned out that this case had been resumed by the Investigative Committee a day before the court hearing. Previously, the investigators illegally suspended the investigation several times. It took two years of concentrated effort of the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture for the investigative authorities to start giving an adequate evaluation of the material on the murder of a man in a closed institution. It remains a mystery why the cases related to law-enforcement officers’ abuse of office are examined for years in the framework of the legislation of our country. 

As we have previously reported, in September 2015, Nina Markova applied to human rights defenders asking to initiate public investigation based on the fact of violent death of her brother, Aleksandr Kulemin, in November 2014, at Penal Colony No.14 (the Nizhny Novgorod region, the Sukhovobezvodnoye settlement). Kulemin’s sentence at the same penal colony started in October 2014, and as early as in November when Markova received a telegram about the death of her brother.
 
Posthumous expert examination of Aleksandr Kulemin also registered numerous bodily injuries on his body, for example: “Closed blunt craniocerebral injury, closed indirect fractures of the 5-th, 6-th and 7-th ribs on the left…”. Mr Kulemin’s body was practically fully covered with bruises and fractures. 

Despite the described bodily injuries, the official special reports of Penal Colony No.14 superiors with regard to these deaths feature one and the same preliminary diagnosis: “acute cardiovascular inefficiency”.

As we have previously reported, Penal Colony No.14 (the Nizhny Novgorod region, the Sukhovobezvodnoye settlement) became notorious due to a large number of complaints against brutal treatment and tortures of convicts, as well as violent actions of sexual character.

For a long time, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture were not allowed to familiarize with the materials of this criminal case. Time after time, the lawyers appealed against illegal dismissals. 

On 6 July 2021, in the course of the judicial examination, human rights defenders familiarized themselves with the ruling on resuming the criminal case, which was presented by the defendant’s representative — investigator for major cases with the first section of the Investigative Department for the Nizhny Novgorod region Ilya Chuyev. Notably, the ruling was passed exactly one day before the court hearing. For 2 years, human rights defenders had to go a long way: to appeal against the dismissal of a claim to familiarize with the materials of the criminal case, then to appeal against the inaction of the investigative authorities, and finally, to learn in the court room that the Investigative Committee agrees that the work in the case was performed not effectively enough. 

It remains a mystery why it took two years for an adequate evaluation of the material, and the ruling is transferred to court on the day of human rights defenders’. We continue to work on the case of Aleksandr Kulemin who died in Penal Colony No.14. “Unfortunately, our hopes for effective work of the investigative department after the criminal case was transferred from the district investigative department, were in vain, — lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Sergey Shounin comments. — Only after appealing against the investigator’s illegal actions in court, the superior finds in his subordinate the same faults which we indicate in our complaint”.

Photo by vestirama.ru

Today, on 27 July 2021, the European Court of Human Rights passed a ruling stating that Article 3 of the European Convention, prohibiting tortures, was violated with regard to applicant Sergey Eroshenko. In its ruling, the court pointed out that the RF authorities failed to perform an effective investigation with regard to tortures, and declared the law-enforcement officers’ actions towards Eroshenko to be inhumane and degrading. With regard to this, he was awarded a compensation for moral damage in the amount of 26 000 euro.

Sergey Eroshenko’s application is one of the first ones that the Orenburg branch of the Committee Against Torture started its activity with in April 2007. The applicant reported that in the night from 23 to 24 November 2006 in the course of apprehension he was brutally beaten up by the officers of the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the Department of the Interior of the Orenburg region. 

According to Eroshenko, the battery continued in the District Department of Interior of Akbulak, where he was taken after the apprehension. As the applicant pointed out in his written application to human rights defenders, the police officers who abused him were drunk and apart from the battery itself attempted to stick a rubber truncheon with a condom put on in his rectum, but failed to tear up his clothes. In the course of the torture the police officers demanded that he confessed that the sawed-off gun from which someone shot some time ago, belonged to him.

 
According to Sergey, only in the morning, when the District Department of Interior duty officers started to enter their duties, he was taken to the temporary detention cell.

I started to vomit there, I had a splitting headache, I asked to call the doctors but no one would listen to me, – Eroshenko described what was happening on that morning.

After some time, he was taken to the investigator. A defense lawyer was in his room, too. Eroshenko informed that he was beaten up by the police officer and that he needed a doctor. After some time, Sergey was taken to hospital where the doctors took a decision to put him in surgery department. According to the certificate of forensic medical examination, Eroshenko had the following bodily injuries: closed craniocerebral trauma, brain concussion, bruises on his face, chest contusion on the right side, scratches of both forearms.

On 28 November a court hearing took place right in the hospital ward, which defined a restraint for him in the form of taking into custody upon suspicion of committing the crime under Part 2 Article 163 of the Russian Criminal Code (“extortion”). Eroshenko reported how the police officers were beating him up, but the court did not react to it.

For several months after that, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture were trying to ensure that the criminal case with regard to the facts of torture is opened at the national level. The Prosecutor’s Office did not believe the statements of Sergey Eroshenko on the police battery and dismissed the claim to open a criminal case. Following that, the courts of the Orenburg region deemed Sergey’s version inconsistent and declared the dismissal of the Prosecutor’s Office to be legal and well-grounded.

Having exhausted the domestic legal remedies, in July 2008, the human rights defenders submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Sergey Eroshenko. 

Today, the ECHR satisfied the human rights defenders’ application, having acknowledged that Sergey Eroshenko was subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment, and awarded him a compensation in the amount of 26 000 euro. “We are, certainly, satisfied with this ruling, since the international authority, in essence, acknowledged that the state representatives subjected the applicant to illegal and brutal treatment, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin comments. – We have to admit that at the domestic level it is impossible to bring anyone to justice for violation of Sergey Eroshenko’s rights, because the period of limitation for bringing to criminal responsibility for abuse of office is expired. However, we intend to insist that an official investigation is conducted and the guilty of committing a crime against Eroshenko are identified. In addition, we are convinced that in combination with other rulings, this decree of the European Court will help us to influence the current situation related to state authorities’ performance with regard to torture complaints”.

Photo by vestirama.ru

Today, on 27 July 2021, the European Court of Human Rights passed a ruling stating that Article 3 of the European Convention, prohibiting tortures, was violated with regard to applicant Sergey Eroshenko. In its ruling, the court pointed out that the RF authorities failed to perform an effective investigation with regard to tortures, and declared the law-enforcement officers’ actions towards Eroshenko to be inhumane and degrading. With regard to this, he was awarded a compensation for moral damage in the amount of 26 000 euro.

Sergey Eroshenko’s application is one of the first ones that the Orenburg branch of the Committee Against Torture started its activity with in April 2007. The applicant reported that in the night from 23 to 24 November 2006 in the course of apprehension he was brutally beaten up by the officers of the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the Department of the Interior of the Orenburg region. 

According to Eroshenko, the battery continued in the District Department of Interior of Akbulak, where he was taken after the apprehension. As the applicant pointed out in his written application to human rights defenders, the police officers who abused him were drunk and apart from the battery itself attempted to stick a rubber truncheon with a condom put on in his rectum, but failed to tear up his clothes. In the course of the torture the police officers demanded that he confessed that the sawed-off gun from which someone shot some time ago, belonged to him.

 
According to Sergey, only in the morning, when the District Department of Interior duty officers started to enter their duties, he was taken to the temporary detention cell.

I started to vomit there, I had a splitting headache, I asked to call the doctors but no one would listen to me, – Eroshenko described what was happening on that morning.

After some time, he was taken to the investigator. A defense lawyer was in his room, too. Eroshenko informed that he was beaten up by the police officer and that he needed a doctor. After some time, Sergey was taken to hospital where the doctors took a decision to put him in surgery department. According to the certificate of forensic medical examination, Eroshenko had the following bodily injuries: closed craniocerebral trauma, brain concussion, bruises on his face, chest contusion on the right side, scratches of both forearms.

On 28 November a court hearing took place right in the hospital ward, which defined a restraint for him in the form of taking into custody upon suspicion of committing the crime under Part 2 Article 163 of the Russian Criminal Code (“extortion”). Eroshenko reported how the police officers were beating him up, but the court did not react to it.

For several months after that, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture were trying to ensure that the criminal case with regard to the facts of torture is opened at the national level. The Prosecutor’s Office did not believe the statements of Sergey Eroshenko on the police battery and dismissed the claim to open a criminal case. Following that, the courts of the Orenburg region deemed Sergey’s version inconsistent and declared the dismissal of the Prosecutor’s Office to be legal and well-grounded.

Having exhausted the domestic legal remedies, in July 2008, the human rights defenders submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Sergey Eroshenko. 

Today, the ECHR satisfied the human rights defenders’ application, having acknowledged that Sergey Eroshenko was subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment, and awarded him a compensation in the amount of 26 000 euro. “We are, certainly, satisfied with this ruling, since the international authority, in essence, acknowledged that the state representatives subjected the applicant to illegal and brutal treatment, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin comments. – We have to admit that at the domestic level it is impossible to bring anyone to justice for violation of Sergey Eroshenko’s rights, because the period of limitation for bringing to criminal responsibility for abuse of office is expired. However, we intend to insist that an official investigation is conducted and the guilty of committing a crime against Eroshenko are identified. In addition, we are convinced that in combination with other rulings, this decree of the European Court will help us to influence the current situation related to state authorities’ performance with regard to torture complaints”.

Событие | Пресс центр

30 июля 2021

Событие | Пресс центр