The European Court will deal with the case of death in a detoxification centre in Orenburg region

Событие | Пресс центр

20 марта 2009

Photo: Sergey Litkevich, victim of police abuse.

   Today the Interegional Committee against Torture has filed an application claiming alleged violation of article 2 (right to life) in respect of Sergey Litkevich (born in 1980) from Orsk with the European Court of Human Rights. Mr. Litkevich died in 2004 in hospital where he was taken unconscious from a medical detoxification centre. The application is filed on behalf of his mother.    

Having conducted a public investigation, the Committee against Torture revealed that the state had violated Mr. Litkevich’s rights under articles 2 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

The circumstances of the case are as follows. In the evening on 6 September 2004 Sergey was detained by the traffic police and taken to a detoxification centre. At night a doctor was summoned who examined Mr. Litkevich and concluded that he had no injuries, this fact was documented in the traffic police report. In the morning on 7 September Sergey’s friends came to the detoxification centre for him. They failed to wake Sergey up, he was unconscious. The ambulance took Mr. Litkevich to hospital where doctors diagnosed a brain injury. Sergey was immediately operated on, but it was too late, he died without coming to himself.  According to forensic medical experts, the cause of death was as follows: “grave brain contusion with destruction of the left frontal lobe, subdural brain hemorrhage”. However, the traffic police and medical detoxification centre staff claim that no violence was used against Litkevich.

The investigation authorities several times refused to open criminal proceedings. Finally, due to multiple appeals of the Committee, the criminal case was started, but the crime remained undetected. The Prosecutor’s Office five times suspended the proceedings because the culprits were unknown. Sergey died five years ago.