ECtHR awarded Irkutsk victim of police torture 11,000 euros

21 June 2021

by Irina Sergeeva, lawyer, Moscow Helsinki Group volunteer

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group

On 15 June 2021, the European Court of Human Rights came to a decision on the matter of Irkutsk resident Vadim Barovov (link to the decision here).

A brief case summary: On 22 April 1998, the claimant was taken into police custody on suspicion of counterfeiting. P., deputy head of the unit, T., an operative officer and subordinate of P., and one other person used violence to force the claimant into confession of a crime. More specifically, they repeatedly punched and kicked him and handcuffed his hands between thumbs and forefingers, compressing them and inflicting intense pain. After his confession the claimant was arrested and charged with production of counterfeit banknotes. The criminal case against him was subsequently dismissed due to lack of evidence that he had committed the crime.

On 24 April 1998, the claimant was examined by an expert from the Irkutsk Regional Bureau of Forensic Medicine, who established that the claimant had a bruise measuring 20 by 13 centimeters on the back left side of his chest, bruises on the front of his chest and other parts of his body, bruising of the soft tissue of his left cheekbone, an abrasion on his lip, and four banded abrasions on both hands. The specialist noted painful feelings in the parietal and chest regions. He declared that, if a broken rib was later confirmed, his report would be amended. All trauma found could have been dealt on 22 April 1998, as a result of the violence described by the claimant.

On 25 April 1998, the claimant was taken to a hospital with a diagnosis of ruptured spleen and was operated on. He was also diagnosed with a fractured rib, a closed craniocerebral injury, a concussion, and head and face bruises.

The claimant had tried for a long time to bring criminal proceedings against the police officers, but the perpetrators were not brought to account.

I represented the interests of the applicant in this case. The court pronounced the applicant a victim under Article 3 of the Convention [prohibition on Torture – ed.] and that his right to an independent and effective investigation had been violated. The applicant was awarded compensation in the amount of 11,000 euros.

Vadim’s family has awaited this decision for many years.

Translated by Alyssa Rider

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