View Adopted: 2021.10.26
The author is a national of the Russian Federation who was summoned by the police to give information about drug trade in the area where he lived and a murder case. The author has assured multiple times that he had no knowledge about these issues and denied any wrongdoing. He was nevertheless held at the police station, beaten several times, tortured, and was demanded to confess to the murder. As a result of these actions, the author agreed to sign a letter of confession to the murder and was taken to the scene of the crime where he was prompted to give details. The beatings and torture continued afterwards. The author told the doctor at the detention centre and his defence lawyer that he had been beaten, who in turn documented the bruises on his body. These bruises were confirmed by a forensic medical examination requested by the prosecutor's office but it could not be concluded as to when such injuries could have been inflicted. As such, he was charged with murder and his claims relating to torture were dismissed. The investigation into his claims of torture were opened and closed several times but not criminal case was started.
Concerning the exhaustion of remedies, the Court considers that a supervisory review which could be filed against a judgment having the force of res judicata and which depend on the discretionary power of the judge does not constitute an effective remedy under article 5 (2) (b) of the Optional Protocol. The state has not shown that such request would provide an effective remedy for this purpose; the Committee is not precluded from examining the communication. Concerning the delay, the Committee recalls that a communication may constitute an abuse when it is submitted five years after the exhaustion of remedies. In the present case, the communication was submitted less than three years after the author's examining the communication. The claims unders articles 2 (3) and 14 (3) are sufficiently substantiated and therefore admissible.
The Committee notes that a criminal investigation into the author's allegations of torture were launched on 6 December 2005. However, it considers that the material on file does not allow it to conclude that the investigation into the allegations of torture was carried out effectively. This is mainly because the statement of several witnesses, who testified that there was no visible injury prior to the author's arrest, and detailed medical records contradict the State's allegations that he was injured before he was apprehended. The Court also notes that the State invoked the Committee's confession in finding the author guilty despite the fact that he alleged acts of torture during the trial hearings. The Committee therefore considers that there is a violation of article 2 (3) and article 14 (3) (g) of the Covenant.
The State party has to provide the author with an effective remedy, namely, make full reparation, to take appropriate steps to conduct thorough, prompt and impartial investigation in the author's allegations to provide the author with adequate compensation. The State party has to take steps to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future.
26 April 2022