The European Court of Human Rights is considering the case about a suicide of Mari teenagers, beaten for stealing rabbits

The European Court of Human Rights is considering an application of the resident of Sernur (Mari El Republic) Elvira Andreyevna KISLITSINA. She is represented before the Court by lawyers of Interregional Committee against Tortures (Nizhniy Novgorod).

Elvira Kislitsina complaints that her minor son Artem Kislitsin and his friends were beaten by police officers, and then they committed a collective suicide. According to the applicant’s opinion, domestic remedies in respect of her complaint were not effective.

On 3 March 2005 the applicant’s son and his friends were interviewed in connection with a theft of rabbits from two other residents of Sernur. None of the boys’ parents or any other adults representing their interests were present during those interviews. Further, Artem said to his older brother that he had been punched in the solar plexus by police officers who had forced him to confess to the theft.

Artem’s house was searched and stolen rabbits were seized.

On 5 March 2005 criminal proceedings were brought in connection with the theft. It appears that the three boys were summoned for questioning on 9 March 2005 in the context of those proceedings. However, in the night of 8 to 9 March 2005 teenagers committed suicide by hanging themselves. They also left  suicide notes.

Criminal proceedings into the deaths of the applicant’s son were instituted, but then they were discontinued. The decision thus concluded that it was clear that the applicant’s son and his friends had taken a decision to commit suicide of their own motion without being influenced by any third persons.

Elvira Kislitsina also applied to public prosecutor’ office and submitted a complaint against police officers as they had beaten the boys, but public prosecutor’ office refused to institute criminal proceedings.

Elvira Kislitsina applied to Regional public organization “Human being and Law”, the personnel of which came to the conclusion the investigation of Artem Kislitsin’s death was not effective. Further, the staff member of Interregional Committee against Tortures submitted a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights.

At the moment, the Court submitted to the Russian Federation a number of questions and Russia is invited to provide a copy of the entire investigation file.

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