Police beating with rubber logs, cigarette burning and torture with electric cables and needles under the nails
Tsakoyevy v. Russia 02.10.2018 (no. 16397/07)
Police violence and the death of a suspect for his participation in an armed group. He was beaten with rubber logs, burnt with cigarettes, tortured with electrified cables, and needles were inserted under his nails. Ineffective investigation by the authorities. Violation of the right to life, the prohibition of torture and the right to freedom and security.
The applicants, Dzhamal Tsakoyev and Zukhra Tsakoyeva, are Russian nationals who were born in
1940 and 1950 respectively. They live in the North Caucasus (Russia).
The case concerned the alleged abduction of their son, Rasul Tsakoyev, on 27 September 2004
during a police special operation. He was found two days later next to a local petrol station. He had
been severely beaten and died soon after in hospital from his injuries.
The applicant couple complained to the authorities while their son was still alive and an investigator
went to the hospital to question him. He explained that he had been forced into a car and taken to
police premises which he recognised from previous times he had been questioned about his
involvement in an illegal armed group. He alleged that he had then been beaten with rubber
truncheons, burnt with cigarettes and tortured with electric shocks and needles under his nails for
the next three days.
The prosecuting authorities opened a criminal case on 7 October 2004. Rasul Tsakoyev’s family and
colleagues were questioned and confirmed his allegations, while the police officers gave statements
either saying that they could not recall the incident or that they had been asked by family and
friends to search the police station for Mr Tsakoyev but had not found him.
The investigation has since been repeatedly suspended and resumed, the supervising prosecutors
and domestic courts pointing out shortcomings in the investigation. The criminal proceedings are,
however, still pending.
Relying on Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of torture and of inhuman or degrading
treatment), Article 5 (right to liberty and security) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), the
applicant couple alleged that the police had abducted and tortured their son, as a result of which he
had died, and that the authorities had failed to effectively investigate the matter.
THE DECISION OF THE COURT
Violation of Article 2 (right to life) in respect of Mr Rasul Tsakoyev
Violation of Article 2 (investigation)
Violation of Article 3 (torture) in respect of Mr Rasul Tsakoyev
Violation of Article 5 in respect of Mr Rasul Tsakoyev
Violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3
Just satisfaction: EUR 5,000 each to Dzhamal Tsakoyev and Zukhra Tsakoyeva for pecuniary damage,
EUR 60,000 to the applicants jointly for non-pecuniary damage, and EUR 4,500 jointly (costs and