30 December 2020
On 1 December 2020 the European Court of Human Rights made a decision on the application of the resident of Yoshkar-Ola, Andrey Ivanov.
In 2005, he was taken to the police, where, after beating him, the police officers forced him to confess to the crime.
The European Court found that Andrey had not only been detained illegally, but also tortured by state representatives, and there had not been any effective investigation into this fact.
The applicant was awarded compensation of 30 000 EUR.
Lawyers of the human rights organization “Man and Law” and the Committee against Torture defended his right to a fair trial.
Andrey Ivanov was detained in the street, taken to the police department, beaten with a baton and fists, and forced to make a confession
At night on 15 July, 2005, residents of Yoshkar-Ola, Andrey Ivanov and his friend, were detained in the street by policemen and taken to the Central police department of Yoshkar-Ola.
According to Ivanov, the police officer first beat him with his feet, and then with a rubber baton on the head, demanding a confession of robbery.
From the received blows and shock Andrey lost consciousness. He woke up on the floor, in a pool of blood.
There was another policeman in the office who did not take part in the beating. This employee called an ambulance for the victim. The doctors who arrived helped Andrey and recorded numerous injuries.
Only after that the investigator of the Ministry of Internal Affairs carried out identification during which victims of the crime … did not identify Andrey Ivanov as the person who had committed the robbery against them!
Later, Ivanov received the results of forensic medical examination. Following injuries were recorded: “a bruise on the left shoulder girdle, two bruises on the left shoulder, six abrasions on the surface of the hand, an abrasion on the right elbow, an abrasion on the left forearm, a wound on the top of the head, an abrasion on the right superciliary area, a bruise on the upper eyelid of the right eye.”
4 “refusals”: a criminal case against a police officer who had beaten an innocent person was not initiated
On 16 July, 2005, Andrey Ivanov wrote a statement to the Prosecutor’s office with a request to open a criminal case against the policeman who had beaten him, and on 18 July, he applied for legal assistance to the human rights organization “Man and Law”.
Despite all the efforts of human rights defenders, a criminal case against the police officer was not initiated. At first, it was illegally refused three times, and the appeal against the fourth “refusal” decision was not successful. The official investigation explained Ivanov’s injuries by the fact that he had allegedly wanted to jump out of the window, and the police officer, preventing escape, had grabbed Ivanov by the arm, but Ivanov had broken free from the police officer and smashed his head against the safe.
Due to the fact that it was not possible to restore the violated rights of Andrey Ivanov at the national level, on 18 February, 2008, the lawyers of the Committee against Torture sent an application on his behalf to the European Court of Human Rights.
The European Court of Human Rights made a decision on this application on 1 December, 2020.
The ECHR verdict: Ivanov was detained illegally and tortured by representatives of the state
The Strasbourg judges recognized:
– in violation of article 5, paragraph 1, of the Convention, Andrey Ivanov was unlawfully detained and held in a police department on suspicion of committing a crime without drawing up procedural documents on his detention;
– in violation of article 3 of the Convention, Andrey Ivanov was subjected to torture, and this fact was not effectively investigated.
In this regard, the applicant was awarded compensation for non-pecuniary damage in the amount of 30 000 EUR.
Sergei PODUZOV, co-chairman of the Interregional non-governmental human rights organization “Man and Law”, comments on the case:
“Working with representatives of the state, we always talk about the importance of the principle of inevitability of punishment for human rights violations. And the decisions of the ECHR are a vivid confirmation of this.
Even after many years, victims of human rights violations in Russia are seeking justice!
So, the European Court of Human Rights issued a verdict, and recognized our applicant as a victim of human rights violations.
Of course, the work at the national level should be continued now, and the Court’s decision should be implemented.
I think the Government of the Russian Federation will execute the decision in terms of compensation for damage in the amount of 30 000 EUR without any difficulties.
But I am more interested in general measures the Government will take to ensure that similar situations like that will not occur.
For our part, we will try to help the Government of the Russian Federation implement the Court’s decision at the national level and keep the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe informed about the process of implementing the decision.”
Maria ZADOROZHNAYA , lawyer of the international legal department of the Committee against Torture, emphasizes: “The European Court once again drew attention to the fact that the applicant’s torture took place in the conditions of his illegal stay in the police department, without drawing up any procedural documents about his detention. According to the ECHR, this is a systemic problem for our country.
Also, the European Court is confident that such situations with illegal detention and stay in police departments give additional credibility to stories of ill-treatment due to the vulnerability of applicants to police officers and create the ground for abuse by authorities.”