ICCPR Case Digest




Submission: 2016.06.23

View Adopted: 2021.10.19

E.S. v. Kyrgyzstan

The author was subjected to cruel and degrading treatment at a pretrial detention facility- violation found

Substantive Issues
  • Conditions of detention
  • Torture / ill-treatment
Relevant Articles
  • Article 10.1
  • Article 7
Full Text


The author is a national of Kyrgyzstan. He claimed that the State party had violated his rights under articles 7 and 10 (1) of the Covenant, by subjecting him to beatings in the Issyk-Ata pre-trial detention facility.

On 14 September 2011, a group of detainees from cell no. 6 attacked the police officials. The author was being held in cell no. 5 of a pretrial detention facility, when he was woken up in the middle of the night by prison officials, with a strong blow to his back. The author was beaten on the head, including with a set of heavy keys, and one of the officers jumped on his head. He sustained multiple blows from boots, police batons and wooden sticks all over his body. Overall, the beating lasted for approximately 30 minutes. On 16 September 2011, a monitoring group consisting of representatives of the Ombudsman’s Office and of two human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) visited the facility, interviewed the detainees and took pictures confirming the bodily injuries that they had sustained. The author and other detainees filed a formal complaint with the Issyk-Ata district prosecutor’s office. On 27 September 2011, the prosecutor’s office issued a decision refusing to open criminal proceedings.

On 9 January 2012, the Prosecutor General’s Office revoked Issyk-Ata district prosecutor’s decision and ordered an additional investigation to be carried out by Bishkek city prosecutor’s office, which refused to open criminal proceedings in the case. Further, multiple criminal investigations were opened into these allegations, which were ultimately closed. The author filed an appeal against the decision of the court, however the author’s motion was rejected on the grounds that all the witnesses had been questioned. On 27 May 2013, Issyk-Ata district prosecutor’s office issued yet another decision not to open a criminal investigation. The author appealed against this decision, which was rejected on the grounds that several of the detainees had retracted their complaints. On 18 December 2013, the author appealed before Chu regional court. His appeal was rejected on 14 February 2014. The author submitted a supervisory review appeal to the Supreme Court, which rejected his appeal on 23 April 2014.


The Committee noted from the material on file that the author had not raised these claims before the competent domestic authorities, with regard to the author’s claims of a violation of articles 7 and 10 (1) of the Covenant on account of poor conditions of detention in the Issyk-Ata pretrial detention facility. Accordingly, it declared this part of the communication inadmissible. However, the Committee considered that the author has sufficiently substantiated for the purposes of admissibility the claims under articles 7 and 10 (1), read alone and in conjunction with article 2 (3), of the Covenant concerning the beating by the detention facility officers and the lack of effective investigation. It, therefore, declared the communication admissible.


The Committee noted that while referring to the fact that the unrest in the detention facility was caused by detainees from cell No. 6, the State party does not provide any explanation as to why the author was also taken outside by the police officers and beaten. The Committee considered that the facts before it reveal that the beating of the author by the police officers on 14 September 2011 amounted to cruel and degrading treatment in violation of article 7 of the Covenant. In this context, the Committee referred to its general comment No. 20 (1992), in which it notes that the scope of article 7 of the Covenant extends to the prohibition of corporal punishment, including excessive chastisement ordered as punishment for a crime or as a disciplinary measure.

Further, the Committee concluded that no effective investigation had been conducted into the author’s allegations of ill-treatment, in violation of article 7 read in conjunction with article 2 (3) of the Covenant. Having concluded that, in the present case, there has been a violation of article 7, read alone and in conjunction with article 2 (3), of the Covenant, the Committee decided not to examine separately the author’s claims under article 10 (1) of the Covenant.


The State party is obligated, inter alia, to:

  • take appropriate steps to conduct a prompt and effective investigation into the beating of the author and, if confirmed, to prosecute, try and punish those responsible; 
  • to provide the author with adequate compensation for the violations of his rights. 

The State party is also under an obligation to take all steps necessary to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future.


Deadline: 17th February 2022


By Sugandha Sawhney

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