Today, on 1 September 2020, the European Court of Human Rights issued a ruling with regard to an application of Vladimir Shishkin from the Nizhny Novgorod, who complained of having been beaten up at a police department in March 2006. The European Court established that Vladimir was subjected to brutal treatment by state representatives and that no effective investigation of this fact was conducted. With this regard, a compensation of 19300 euro was awarded to him. The police officers guilty of Shishkin’s tortures will bear no punishment due to expiry of the period of limitations for bringing to criminal responsivity.
As we have previously reported, Vladimir Shishkin from Kstovo applied to the Committee against Torture on 12 January 2007. He told that on 2 March 2006 he went to the Kstovo District Directorate of the Interior for the Nizhny Novgorod region in order to clarify the fate of the computer and the documents which had been seized the police officers during the search on the previous day.
According to Shishkin, he was battered at the police department, he was handcuffed, his head was tied to his feet – the “envelope” torture was applied – then the police officers pulled him up on the handcuffs and threw on the floor. According to Shishkin, the law enforcement officers demanded that he wrote the statement on the absence of any claims against the police officers with regard to the seized items.
According to Vladimir, after four hours of torture, he agreed to sign the required statement, after that he was released.
On the next day Shishkin’s condition deteriorated, and he was delivered to the Kstovo District hospital. The doctors diagnosed him with the contusion of the lumbar region and the right kidney, hematoma of the left eye area.
In July 2006 Shishkin applied to the Prosecutor’s Office with a complaint against illegal actions of the police officers.
For eight years of the investigation based on Shishkin’s application seventeen refusals to initiate criminal proceedings were issued, sixteen of them were subsequently quashed as illegal. Last time the investigative authorities refused to initiate a criminal case in December 2014. This ruling was declared legal by the national courts.
No criminal case was initiated, and period of limitations for bringing to criminal responsibility the police officers who tortured Shishkin expired in March 2016.
On 13 May 2009, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted an application on behalf of Vladimir Shishkin to the European Court of Human Courts. In June 2018 it was communicated: the Strasbourg judges posed questions to the Russian Federation as to whether the applicant was subjected to torture and whether investigation of this incident at the national level was effective.
Today, the European Court of Human Rights passed a ruling with regard to Vladimir Shishkin's application. The Strasbourg judges established that the applicant was subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (“prohibition of torture”). The ECHR also established that the Russian authorities failed to perform an effective investigation with regard to brutal treatment of the applicant. With regard to this a compensation of moral damage in the amount of 19300 euro was awarded to him.
“Despite the fact that in 2014 Shishkin managed to adjudge ten thousand rubles from the state for the red tape of the investigation, the European Court of Human Rights pointed out that this compensation does not deprive the applicant of his victim status with regard to brutal treatment that he was subjected to, and dismissed the Government’s objections with this regard. Unfortunately, the ECHR ruling on the Shishkin’s case will no longer be possible to use for bringing the guilty party to responsibility, since the period of limitations already expired”, - lawyer with the international and legal department with the Committee Against Torture Mariya Zadorozhnaya emphasizes.