Mistreatment of prisoners by police officers with struks on the stomach and the head. Condemnation for torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.
Zolotorev v. Russia 19-09-2017 (no. 13408/07)
Mistreatment of prisoners by police officers. Strucks on the stomach, head and body of two detainees by police officer. In view of the court trial in St. Petersburg the applicant refused to attend without his lawyer being present, and thus the police officers who accompanied him pushed him into the wall, pushed him and hit him on the back and beat his head against the wall. The authorities refused to prosecute or order a forensic examination after Mr Zolotorev’s allegations. Documents were also lost from the case file. The ECtHR condemned Russia for the inhuman and degrading treatment of the applicant and for ineffective investigation.
The applicant, Leonid Leonidovich Zolotorev, is a Russian national who was born in 1965 and is imprisoned in Kharp (Russia). The case concerned allegations of ill-treatment.
On 4 July 2003, on suspicion of having committed a number of offences, Mr Zolotorev was arrested by the police and taken to the temporary detention centre of the police station of the city of Saint Petersburg (IVS). On his arrival he was examined by an assistant doctor.
In the evening of 7 July 2003, according to Mr Zolotorev, two men in uniform took him to an interrogation room where they struck him twice with a truncheon in the stomach to make him confess. On 9 July 2003 Mr Zolotorev was transferred to prison no. IZ-47/1 of Saint Petersburg, where, in the evening of 20 September 2003, a police officer struck him in the stomach while he was in his cell. On the orders of that officer, he received blows to the body and head from two of the other inmates. He was admitted to the prison hospital on 26 September 2003.
On 23 June 2005 Mr Zolotorev was taken to the court of Saint Petersburg to attend a hearing, but he refused as the lawyer of his choosing was not present. The escorting police officers allegedly pressed him against a wall and punched him in the back, also banging his head against the wall.
The investigating authorities refused several times to open criminal investigations or order a forensic medical examination in respect of Mr Zolotorev’s allegations. Various documents were also lost.
Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, Mr Zolotorev complained that he had sustained ill-treatment and that there had been no effective investigation into these allegations.
THE DECISION OF THE COURT
Violation of Article 3 (investigation)
No violation of Article 3 (treatment) – concerning the allegation of ill-treatment on 7 July 2003
Violation of Article 3 (torture) – concerning the treatment sustained on 20 September 2003
Violation of Article 3 (inhuman and degrading treatment) – concerning the treatment sustained on 23 June 2005
Just satisfaction: 45,500 euros (EUR) (non-pecuniary damage)(echrcaselaw.com editing).