CASE OF MANSUROV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (European Court of Human Rights) Applications nos. 4336/06 and 7 others – see appended list

INTRODUCTION. The applications concern the alleged ill-treatment of the applicants at the hands of State officials between 2005 and 2012, and the alleged ineffective investigation in that regard, as well as other complaints under well‑established case-law.

THIRD SECTION
CASE OF MANSUROV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Applications nos. 4336/06 and 7 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
16 February 2021

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Mansurov and Others v. Russia,

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:

Darian Pavli, President,
Dmitry Dedov,
Peeter Roosma, judges,
and Olga Chernishova, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to:

the applications (nos. 4336/06 and 7 others) against the Russian Federation lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by Russian nationals (“the applicants”) on the various dates indicated in the appended table;

the decision to give notice of the applications to the Russian Government (“the Government”);

the parties’ observations;

Having deliberated in private on 26 January 2021,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

INTRODUCTION

1. The applications concern the alleged ill-treatment of the applicants at the hands of State officials between 2005 and 2012, and the alleged ineffective investigation in that regard, as well as other complaints under well‑established case-law.

THE FACTS

2. The applicants are Russian nationals who live in various regions of Russia. A list of the applicants is set out in the Appendix.

3. The Russian Government (“the Government”) were initially represented by Mr G. Matyushkin, Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Court of Human Rights, and then by his successor in that office, Mr M. Galperin.

4. The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

A. Mansurov v. Russia, application no. 4336/06

1. Alleged ill-treatment in May 2005

(a) The events of 25-26 May 2005

5. On 25 May 2005 at about 9 p.m. police officers of the Ustinovskiy District Police Department (ROVD) arrested the applicant on suspicion of armed robbery of a private apartment in cooperation with his accomplice K. The applicant was taken to a police department in Izhevsk where, according to him, officers beat him, causing injuries to his head and face, and the loss of several teeth.

6. On 26 May 2005 at 4.30 a.m. the applicant was taken to a hospital. According to a medical certificate issued by town hospital no. 7 in Izhevsk, he had bruises on his left eyebrow, left eye, chin, and left ear, and on other soft tissues of his face. A brain contusion and the loss of teeth were not confirmed.

7. At 5.20 a.m. a doctor on duty informed the Police Department of the Interior (OVD) of Ustinovskiy District about the applicant’s injuries apparently caused by violence.

8. On 27 May 2005 the applicant was admitted to remand prison no. 18/1 in Izhevsk. According to medical notes of the remand prison, the applicant had bruises on the upper part of his head, left eyebrow and left eye.

9. Between 3 and 23 June 2005 the applicant stayed in the surgical department of the prison hospital.

(b) Inquiry into the alleged ill-treatment

10. On 23 September 2005 the applicant complained of the ill‑treatment to an investigator.

11. On an unspecified date the applicant underwent a forensic medical examination. According to report no. 689, he had bruises on his head and face, caused by a hard blunt object. The injuries were classified as light harm to health.

12. On 15 October 2005 the investigator issued a first refusal to open a criminal case. The refusal was quashed on 9 December 2005.

13. On 19 December 2005 the investigator issued another refusal to open a criminal case. According to it, the applicant was a suspect in the robbery of Ms G.G. The investigator interviewed Ms G.G., who stated that following the robbery her husband, Mr O., and her son, Mr R.G., had apprehended the applicant and had used physical force against him. She had seen blood on his face. When the police arrived, they had not applied any force against the applicant. Mr O. corroborated her statement. The investigator interviewed the officers who had arrived at the scene. They confirmed that the applicant had been apprehended by the victim’s relatives.

14. On 17 March 2006 the Ustinovskiy District Court dismissed the applicant’s complaint against the refusal as unfounded.

2. Alleged ill-treatment in June 2005

(a) The events of 28 June 2005

15. On 28 June 2005 the applicant was taken from the remand prison to the office of the Department for Combating Organised Crime (UBOP) in Udmurtia. According to the applicant, three officers forced him to make a confession in relation to other robberies, beat him on different parts of his body and squeezed his right thumb between the door and the frame. The officers insulted him in relation to his non-Russian origin and threatened him with rape.

16. The applicant was taken back to the remand prison. No records of injuries were made in the medical documents of the remand prison.

17. On 5 July 2005, within the criminal proceedings against him, the applicant underwent a forensic medical examination. According to forensic report no. 6656, the applicant had scratches on his arms and legs, and an injured right thumb. The injuries had been caused by a hard blunt object within a week before the examination.

(b) Inquiry into the alleged ill-treatment

18. On 23 September 2005 the applicant complained to an investigator about the ill-treatment.

19. Between October 2005 and March 2006 the investigators issued six decisions, refusing to open a criminal case for the absence of evidence of a crime. All decisions were quashed as incomplete.

20. On 14 April 2006 the investigator issued the latest refusal to open a criminal case. He found that at the end of June 2005 the applicant had indeed been transferred from the remand prison to the UBOP. Referring to the explanations of police officers, who had denied the use of force against the applicant, the investigator found his allegations of ill-treatment unsubstantiated.

21. On 15 May 2006 the Industrialnyy District Court rejected the applicant’s appeal against the refusal, referring to his conviction of 22 February 2006.

3. Relevant information from the criminal proceedings against the applicant

22. On 22 February 2006 the Ustinovskiy District Court found the applicant guilty of robbery. On 18 July 2006 the Supreme Court of Udmurtia quashed the judgment on procedural grounds.

23. On 13 December 2006 the Ustinovskiy District Court convicted the applicant. During the proceedings, Ms G.G. testified that on 25 May 2005 the applicant and Mr K. had burgled her flat. After they had run out of the flat, she had seen the applicant being apprehended on the street by her husband and son.

24. Mr R.G. and Mr O. testified that on 25 May 2005 they had tried to enter their flat but the door had been locked. Then the applicant and Mr K. had suddenly opened the door and run out of the apartment block. Mr R.G. and Mr O. had run after them but apprehended only the applicant. On the street they had tripped him and he had fallen to the ground. They had then tied his hands. The police arrived later on.

25. The police officers testified that by the time they had arrived at the scene, the applicant had already been apprehended and had blood on his face. No physical force had been used against him by the officers as there was no need.

4. Conditions of detention in remand prison 18/1 in Izhevsk

26. Between 26 May 2005 and 11 December 2007 the applicant was detained in various cells of the remand prison.

27. He submitted that he had to sleep in shifts with other detainees due to the insufficient number of beds in the cells. During the winter the window frame in the cell was not glazed, while the temperature outside fell below 40oC. The shower facilities were made available once every twenty‑five days for five to eight minutes. Other detainees smoked in the cells, which caused the applicant discomfort on account of his asthma. The cells were infested with mice, rats and insects. The toilet was not separated from the main area of the cell and had no flush, causing an unpleasant odour.

B. Gavshin v. Russia, application no. 49683/06

28. On 14 and 16 January 2003 the applicant, a suspect in a murder case, was taken to the District Police Department in Arsenyev in the Primorskiy Region for questioning, after which he was released.

29. On 17 January 2003 police officers again took the applicant to the police station for questioning, where he remained until 19 January 2003.

1. The events of 19-24 January 2003

30. On 19 January 2003 the applicant was released. He submitted that he had been arrested again when he approached his house and held at the police station for two days. The officers had beaten him, forcing him to confess.

31. On 21 January 2003 the applicant underwent a forensic medical examination. According to report no. 83, the applicant had abrasions on his nose, lips, lower jaw, right earlobe, right shoulder, wrist and hand, a scratch on his left palm, abrasions on the right side of his back, left shoulder blade and in the area of the first and second lower back spinal discs. The expert concluded that the injuries had been sustained one or two days before the examination.

32. On 22 January 2003 the applicant’s arrest record was drawn up. On the same day he was questioned as a suspect. He submitted that he had not committed the murder.

33. According to the applicant, on the night of 23 January 2003 the officers had again beaten him, forcing him to confess.

34. On 23 January 2003 the applicant was examined by a doctor at the temporary detention facility and diagnosed with a contusion of the ribs and a hematoma on the left side of the waist.

35. On 24 January 2003 the applicant was interviewed again as a suspect in the presence of lawyer Ye. He confessed to the murder of four persons.

36. On the same day, during the reconstruction of the events, the applicant reiterated his confession statements.

37. On 24 January 2003 the applicant was charged with premeditated murder of two or more persons in an organised group.

2. Inquiry into the alleged ill-treatment

(a) Refusals to open a criminal case

38. On 14 July 2003 the applicant complained to a prosecutor of his ill‑treatment and stated that he had confessed under duress.

39. On 17 July 2003 the prosecutor dismissed his complaint about the enforced confessions as unfounded. He ruled out any duress, finding that the applicant had been represented by a lawyer during the investigative activities.

40. On 17 and 25 July 2003 the investigator refused to open a criminal case into the alleged ill-treatment, referring mainly to the explanations of police officers.

41. On 11 November 2005 the prosecutor refused to open a criminal case into the alleged ill-treatment, also referring to the explanations of police officers. On 15 March 2006 the refusal was quashed as premature.

42. On 6 April 2006 the prosecutor again refused to open a criminal case, reiterating the explanations of police officers. The prosecutor noted that the applicant’s medical documents were unavailable since they were included in his criminal case pending before the trial court.

(b) Judicial review of the inquiry

(i) First round of proceedings

43. On an unspecified date in 2008 the applicant appealed against the refusal of 6 April 2006 before the Arsenyevskiy Town Court. On 31 October 2008 the court granted the applicant’s appeal against the refusal. It found the refusal unlawful since the prosecutor had not examined the applicant’s medical documents.

44. On 22 January 2009 the Primorskiy Regional Court quashed the court decision of 31 October 2008.

(ii) Second round of proceedings

45. On 30 April 2009 the Arsenyevskiy Town Court dismissed the applicant’s appeal against the refusal of 6 April 2006. It found the applicant’s allegations of ill-treatment unfounded.

46. On 11 December 2009 the Primorskiy Regional Court quashed the court decision of 20 April 2009 since the applicant had not been notified about the hearing.

(iii) Third round of proceedings

47. On 30 April 2010 the Arsenyevskiy Town Court dismissed the applicant’s appeal against the refusal of 6 April 2006. It found that the applicant’s allegations of ill-treatment had been examined by a trial court and dismissed as unfounded.

48. On 8 February 2011 the Primorskiy Regional Court upheld the court decision.

3. The applicant’s trial

49. On 28 June 2004 the criminal court proceedings started at the Primorskiy Regional Court. The applicant was tried by jury. During the proceedings he requested that the records of his interview as a suspect and the reconstruction record of 24 January 2003 be excluded as evidence because the self-incriminating statements recorded therein had been obtained from him under duress by police officers following his arrest.

50. The court held that the applicant’s allegations that his confession statements had been given under duress were not based on facts and rejected his requests to have the impugned evidence declared inadmissible.

51. On 15 April 2005 the Primorskiy Regional Court convicted the applicant of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

52. In sentencing the applicant the court relied, among other things, on the records of his interview as a suspect and the reconstruction of 24 January 2003.

53. The applicant appealed, arguing that his confession statements of 24 January 2003 had been obtained under duress.

54. On 3 May 2006 the Supreme Court of Russia dismissed the applicant’s appeal as unfounded and upheld the court judgment.

C. Matyushin v. Russia, application no. 47794/06

1. Alleged ill-treatment on 26 August 2005

55. On 26 August 2005 at around 2 p.m. the applicant arrived at Oktyabrskiy ROVD in Ryazan in connection with the investigation of a crime, in which he was a suspect. According to him, police officers beat him in order to extract a confession. He participated in an identity parade, after which he was released. It follows from the case file that the applicant did not seek medical assistance following the incident.

2. Alleged ill-treatment on 14 October 2005

56. On 14 October 2005 at around 10 a.m. the applicant again arrived at Oktyabrskiy ROVD in connection with the same investigation. According to the applicant, the officers again tried to force him to confess. The applicant refused and the officers punched him on the head and torso and hit him on the nose with a heavy key ring, several times. He was released at 7 p.m.

57. On the same day, the applicant went to Ryazan town hospital no. 11. He was diagnosed with concussion and soft-tissue bruises, and a closed fracture of his nose.

3. Inquiry into the alleged ill-treatment of 14 October 2005

58. On 17 October 2005 the applicant complained to a prosecutor about the ill-treatment.

59. On 27 October 2005 the prosecutor refused to open a criminal case for the absence of elements of a crime. He referred to the explanations of police officers, who had denied any use of force against the applicant. On 24 November 2005 the refusal was quashed as incomplete.

60. On 5 December 2005 the prosecutor again refused to open a criminal case. The applicant challenged the refusal before the Oktyabrskiy District Court in Ryazan.

61. On 27 March 2006 the Oktyabrskiy District Court granted the applicant’s claim and found the refusal unlawful and unsubstantiated. It indicated that the prosecutor had failed to establish the origin of the applicant’s injuries, and the timeframe of their infliction. It also referred to witness statements of the applicant’s mother and partner who had submitted that the applicant had no injuries prior to his visit to the ROVD on 14 October 2005.

62. On 4 May 2006 the Ryazan Regional Court upheld the court decision. It also found that the prosecutor had failed to explain the applicant’s presence at the police station for more than ten hours and to assess the actions of the police officers.

63. On 4 September 2006 the prosecutor again refused to open a criminal case.

D. Burobin v. Russia, application no. 17418/08

1. Background information

64. On 27 April 2007 the applicant was arrested in Ryazan on suspicion of kidnapping and robbery.

65. On 28 April 2007 the Oktyabrskiy District Court dismissed an investigator’s request to place the applicant in custody for lack of grounds. The applicant was released, having given an undertaking not to leave the city.

66. On 25 May 2007 the applicant was charged with kidnapping, robbery and murder.

2. The applicant’s detention on remand

67. On 25 December 2007 the murder charge against the applicant was dropped. He was charged with kidnapping and robbery in an organised group.

68. On 25 December 2007 the Oktyabrskiy District Court ordered the applicant’s detention on remand, referring to the gravity of the charges, the organised nature of the crimes and the risk that the applicant would abscond and reoffend or interfere with witnesses. It also noted that the applicant’s accomplices were on a wanted list.

69. On 17 January 2008 the Ryazan Regional Court upheld the court decision.

(a) Extensions of the applicant’s detention on remand

70. On 18 February 2008 the Oktyabrskiy District Court extended the applicant’s detention on remand for the same reasons, finding that there were no grounds to apply more lenient measures.

71. On 6 March 2008 the Ryazan Regional Court upheld the court decision.

72. On 24 April 2008 the Oktyabrskiy District Court again extended the applicant’s detention on the same grounds as before. The court also found that, before being taken into custody, the applicant had attempted to interfere with a witness.

73. On 15 May 2008 the Ryazan Regional Court upheld the court decision.

(b) The applicant’s alleged unlawful detention on remand between 16 and 22 September 2008

74. On 26 August 2008 the Oktyabrskiy District Court extended the applicant’s detention until 27 November 2008.

75. On 16 September 2008 the Ryazan Regional Court quashed the court decision on procedural grounds.

76. On 22 September 2008 the Oktyabrskiy District Court extended the applicant’s detention until 27 November 2008. On 21 October 2008 the Ryazan Regional Court upheld the court decision. It dismissed the applicant’s complaint that his detention on remand between 16 and 22 September 2008 had not been based on a court order.

77. On 13 November 2008 the applicant was released on bail. Between 16 December 2008 and 17 March 2009 the applicant was under an undertaking not to leave the town.

3. Alleged ill-treatment

(a) The events of 31 January 2008

78. On 31 January 2008 at around 3.30 p.m. the applicant was taken from a remand prison to the Ryazan Investigation Department for an interview.

79. According to the applicant, at 4.30 p.m. police officers took him out of the building, put him in a police car and drove away. In the car, the officers demanded that he confess to crimes. The applicant refused and the officers applied electric shocks to his thighs. The officers then took the applicant back to the investigator.

80. At 7.30 p.m. the applicant was taken back to the remand prison.

81. On 1 February 2008 the applicant was examined by a prison doctor. According to his medical card, he had multiple spots on both hips, a skin rash (петехиальная сыпь) and contact dermatitis (контактный дерматит).

(b) Inquiry into the alleged ill-treatment

82. On 7 February 2008 the applicant’s lawyer complained to an investigator about the applicant’s ill-treatment.

83. Between 20 February and 6 June 2008 the investigators issued four refusals to open a criminal case for lack of evidence of a crime, referring to the explanations of police officers that no force had been applied to the applicant.

84. The applicant challenged the refusals before the Oktyabrskiy District Court. The Oktyabrskiy District Court quashed the refusals as incomplete, indicating that the investigators had not established the origin of the applicant’s injuries.

85. On 22 August 2008 the investigator issued the latest refusal to open a criminal case on the same grounds as before. The applicant did not appeal against it.

4. Proceedings concerning compensation for unlawful prosecution and detention

86. On 25 February 2010 all charges against the applicant were dropped for lack of evidence of a crime.

87. On an unspecified date the applicant lodged a complaint against the Ministry of Finance, claiming compensation for unlawful prosecution and detention. He claimed 438,926.71 Russian roubles (RUB) (about 10,970 euros (EUR) at the time) in respect of pecuniary damage and RUB 6,000,000 (about EUR 150,000) in respect of non-pecuniary damage.

88. On 7 September 2010 the Oktyabrskiy District Court granted partly the applicant’s claims for pecuniary damage and awarded RUB 240,531.14 (about EUR 6,090). The amount covered the applicant’s legal fees and bail expenses in full. His claims for compensation for loss of salary and medical expenses incurred while in detention were granted in part.

89. On 28 April 2011 the Sovetskiy District Court granted the applicant’s non-pecuniary claims for unlawful prosecution and detention. The court found that his liberty had been unlawfully restricted between 28 April 2007 and 25 May 2007, between 25 December 2007 and 13 November 2008 and between 16 December and 17 March 2009, as a result of the applicant’s unlawful prosecution.

90. The court granted him RUB 120,000 (about EUR 2,950) as compensation in respect of non-pecuniary damage.

91. The applicant did not challenge the court decisions.

E. Vecherskiy v. Russa, application no. 31880/08

1. The events of 9 April 2007

92. On 9 April 2007 at around 3.30 p.m. police officers of the Kirovskiy District Police Department in Astrakhan arrested the applicant on suspicion of murder. The officers twisted his arms and put him in a police car.

93. The applicant was taken to the police station where, according to him, the officers handcuffed him and hit him on his head and body with rubber truncheons, and applied electric shocks, forcing him to confess. The applicant signed a confession statement (явка с повинной). According to his statements, he was beaten again later in the evening.

94. On 10 April 2007 during a reconstruction of the crime the applicant reiterated his statements in the presence of a lawyer.

95. According to medical notes drawn up at a temporary detention facility on 11 April 2007, the applicant had bruises on his back and legs, and hematomas around his eye and on his chest. The same injuries were recorded in medical notes drawn up at a remand prison on 11 April 2007. The applicant explained that he had fallen down stairs.

2. Inquiry into the alleged ill-treatment

(a) Refusal to open a criminal case

96. On 18 April 2007 the applicant complained to a prosecutor about the ill-treatment.

97. On 19 April 2007 the prosecutor refused to open a criminal case, referring to the applicant’s explanations that he had fallen down stairs.

98. The applicant did not appeal against the refusal before a higher prosecutor or a court.

(b) Correspondence with the trial court concerning his alleged ill-treatment

99. On 20 March 2008 the applicant complained to a presiding judge in his criminal case pending before the Kirovskiy District Court about the ill‑treatment.

100. On 11 April 2008 the applicant complained to the judge that his complaint about ill-treatment had not been properly addressed in his conviction judgment of 3 April 2008 (see below).

101. On 18 April 2008 the judge replied to the applicant that his complaint had been received after the pronouncement of the conviction judgment on 3 April 2008, and that he could raise his arguments in his appeal against the judgment.

3. The applicant’s trial

102. On 3 September 2007 the criminal court proceedings against the applicant started at the Kirovskiy District Court. The applicant pleaded not guilty.

103. On 1 November 2007 the court convicted the applicant of murder. It relied, among other things, on his confession statement of 9 April 2007 and the reconstruction records of 10 April 2007.

104. On 10 January 2008 the Astrakhan Regional Court quashed the conviction due to evidence assessment errors and remitted the case for a new examination.

105. On 3 April 2008 the Kirovskiy District Court examined the case afresh. The applicant pleaded not guilty. The court relied on his confession statement of 9 April 2007 and the reconstruction records of 10 April 2007. Regarding his allegations of police ill-treatment, the court referred to the refusal to open a criminal case of 19 April 2007 and his explanations that he had sustained injuries after he had fallen down stairs. It sentenced the applicant to eight years’ imprisonment.

106. The applicant appealed, arguing that he had confessed under duress.

107. On 22 May 2008 the Astrakhan Regional Court upheld the judgment and dismissed the applicant’s appeal as unfounded, similarly referring to the refusal to open a criminal case and his explanations about the origin of the injuries.

F. Petrov v. Russia, application no. 15362/12

1. Alleged ill-treatment on 22 February 2011

108. On 22 February 2011 at about 2 a.m. police officers of the Road Patrol Service (патрульно-постовая служба) in Saratov apprehended the applicant while he was robbing an ATM. They took the applicant to the Leninskiy Police Department (OVD).

109. At about 7 a.m. the officers of the Patrol Service took the applicant to another police department. According to the applicant, at that department police officers suggested that he confess to several crimes. The applicant refused. The officers beat him, applied electric shocks and put a gas mask on him. The applicant signed a statement confessing to crimes (явка с повинной). He was held at the station until the following morning.

110. On 23 February 2011 the applicant was taken back to Leninskiy OVD. The applicant confessed during an interview as a suspect in the presence of state-appointed counsel.

111. On 25 February 2011 he was taken to a temporary detention facility. A doctor on duty recorded the applicant’s injuries. According to medical certificate no. 149, he had abrasions on his left cheekbone, eyes, nose, ears, right temple, and bruises on his shoulders, legs, hands, buttocks, abdominal wall and breast. He was diagnosed with a closed brain injury. The applicant explained that he had been beaten by police officers.

2. Criminal proceedings against the applicant

112. On 11 July 2011 the Leninskiy District Court convicted the applicant of several incidents of robbery. He pleaded not guilty and stated that he had signed confession statements under duress.

113. The court relied, among other evidence, on the applicant’s confession statement and records of his interview as a suspect of 22 February 2011. The court heard police officers, who had denied any use of force against the applicant between 22 and 23 February 2011. It found the applicant’s allegations of ill-treatment unfounded. The interview record was admitted as evidence since he had been questioned in the presence of a lawyer, which ruled out any duress.

114. On 1 December 2011 the Saratov Regional Court upheld the conviction. It dismissed the applicant’s appeal about the use of his confession statement allegedly obtained under duress, noting that he had been represented by a lawyer during the interview.

3. Inquiry into the alleged ill-treatment

115. On an unspecified date the applicant complained to an investigator about the ill-treatment.

116. On 31 March, 20 May and 1 July 2011 the investigator refused to open a criminal case. The investigator referred to the explanations of police officers that no force had been used against the applicant, and to the explanations of the state-appointed lawyer that the applicant had given his confession statements voluntarily.

117. On 19 July 2011 the Frunzenskiy District Court dismissed the applicant’s complaint against the refusal of 20 May 2011 as unfounded.

118. On 10 August 2012 the investigator opened a criminal case into abuse of power by police officers. On 3 December 2012 the applicant was granted victim status.

119. It follows from the case file that on 5 March 2013 the applicant underwent a forensic medical examination. According to report no. 1119, the applicant’s injuries recorded on 25 February 2011 had been inflicted between 2 and 10 days before the examination.

120. On 23 July 2013 the applicant underwent another forensic medical examination, which confirmed his injuries recorded on 25 February 2011. According to act no. 226, it was impossible to determine the mechanism of infliction of injuries and its timeframe due to the lack of information.

121. It follows from the case file that on 6 November 2013 the applicant underwent additional forensic medical examination. According to report no. 140-ОКиКЭ, the applicant’s injuries on his face and forearms were unlikely to have been inflicted on 22 February 2011. The infliction of hematomas on his shoulders, buttocks, chest and abdominal wall on 22 February 2011 was ruled out. The injuries had possibly been inflicted before 22 February 2011.

122. On 10 November 2013 the investigator discontinued the investigation. The investigator referred to the statements of the applicant, police officers, and to the applicant’s medical documents concluding that he had sustained injuries prior to his arrest. He also referred to the conviction of 11 July 2011 that following the applicant’s arrest no breaches of criminal procedure had been established.

G. Zabiyaka v. Russia, application no. 71716/14

123. On 25 October 2012 the applicant was arrested in the city of Kholmsk of the Sakhalin Region on suspicion of a crime.

1. Alleged ill-treatment between 21 and 28 December 2012

124. On 21 December 2012 the applicant was transferred from a remand prison to a temporary detention facility in Kholmsk.

125. Between 21 and 28 December 2012 the officers of the temporary detention facility handcuffed the applicant to his bed every night from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. According to the applicant, he was tightly handcuffed by both hands to a metal grid of the bed. Throughout the nights his hands and fingers were freezing and he felt acute pain. He submitted that the officers had laughed at him. He could not sleep because the cell was unheated and he could not cover himself with a blanket. When he asked for water, the officers would tell him to wait until morning. He had to wait a long time for the officers to unfasten him when he needed to go to the toilet.

2. Inquiry into the alleged ill-treatment

126. On 13 January 2013 the applicant complained to an investigator about the excessive use of handcuffs, alleging that it amounted to ill‑treatment.

127. On 18 February 2013 the investigator issued a decision refusing to open a criminal case. He referred to the explanations of the temporary detention facility officers that on 9 November 2012 the applicant had injured himself. He had been examined by a psychologist. The investigator referred to the conclusions of a report drawn up by a psychologist at the remand prison that the applicant presented a risk of suicide and self-harm and that he had attempted suicide in the past. The investigator concluded that the use of handcuffs had been lawful and justified.

128. On 1 April 2013 the investigator issued another refusal to open a criminal case with similar reasoning.

129. On 22 May 2014 the Kholmskiy Town Court dismissed the applicant’s appeal against the refusal of 18 February 2013 as unfounded. On 7 July 2014 the Sakhalin Regional Court upheld the court decision in this respect.

3. The applicant’s detention on remand

130. On 26 October 2012 the Kholmskiy Town Court ordered the applicant’s detention on remand, which was extended until 12 August 2014, the date of his conviction.

H. Sitdikov v. Russia, application no. 23379/13

131. On 13 January 2012 police officers of the Ministry of the Interior in Tatarstan arrested the applicant on suspicion of a crime. The applicant was placed in custody.

1. Alleged ill-treatment on 2 March 2012

132. On 2 March 2012 he was taken from a temporary detention facility to the office of the Centre against Extremism of the Republic of Tatarstan (ЦПЭ МВД по РТ).

133. According to the applicant, the officers handcuffed him, hit his head against a metal safe, twisted his arms and put him on the floor. One of the officers pushed him in the back, causing acute pain. The officers insulted him and threatened to kill his relatives.

134. At about 6.30 p.m. the applicant was taken to hospital. According to his medical card no. 125499, he had bruises on his forehead, temples, an abrasion on his left shoulder and pain in the spine area.

135. At 9.20 p.m. the applicant was taken to a remand prison. He was examined by a nurse. According to her report no. 4/22, he had a deep abrasion of 2-3 mm on his forehead, hematomas over his eyebrows, an abrasion on his left shoulder and linear marks on both wrists.

136. On 13 March 2012 the applicant underwent a forensic medical examination. According to report no. 1765/1611 he had bruises and abrasions on his forehead and right elbow, inflicted by a hard, blunt object within ten days before the examination.

2. Inquiry into the alleged ill-treatment

137. On an unspecified date the applicant complained to an investigator about the ill-treatment.

138. On 13 April 2012 the investigator refused to open a criminal case, mainly referring to the explanations of police officers that the applicant had injured himself. They explained that in the office the applicant had hit himself against a metal safe and resisted their orders to calm down. They had to put him to the floor and handcuff him to overcome his resistance. After an incident he had been taken to hospital. The investigator referred to the forensic report and concluded that it confirmed the police officers’ explanations about the applicant’s self-inflicted injuries.

139. On 10 August 2012 the Vakhitovskiy District Court dismissed the applicant’s appeal against the refusal as unfounded.

140. On 2 October 2012 the Supreme Court of Tatarstan upheld the court decision.

RELEVANT LEGAL FRAMEWORK AND PRACTICE

141. For the relevant provisions of domestic law on the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment and the procedure for examining a criminal complaint, see Lyapin v. Russia, no. 46956/09, §§ 96-102, 24 July 2014, and Ryabtsev v. Russia, no. 13642/06, §§ 48‑52, 14 November 2013.

THE LAW

I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

142. Having regard to the similar subject matter of the applications, the Court finds it appropriate to examine them jointly in a single judgment.

II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLES 3 AND 13 OF THE CONVENTION

143. The applicants complained under Article 3 of the Convention that they had been subjected to ill‑treatment by State officials and that the State had failed to conduct an effective domestic investigation into those incidents. Mr Vecherskiy complained only under the substantive limb of Article 3 of the Convention that he had been ill-treated. Mr Matyushin and Mr Sitdikov also complained under Article 13 of the Convention that they had no effective remedy in respect of their complaints of ill-treatment. The relevant parts of the Convention provisions read as follows:

Article 3

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment …”

Article 13

“Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in [the] Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority …”

A. Admissibility

1. The parties’ submissions

144. Regarding Mr Mansurov, the Government submitted that it could not be established “beyond reasonable doubt” that on 25 and 26 May 2005 he had been subjected to police ill-treatment. They submitted that the applicant had been apprehended by the victim’s relatives on the street and that he had had injuries by the time the police had arrived. The applicant complained only in September 2005, four months after the alleged ill‑treatment, which cast doubt on the credibility of his allegations. The Government stated that the applicant’s allegation was manifestly ill‑founded.

145. In the case of Mr Gavshin, the Government submitted that the applicant had failed to exhaust domestic remedies by the time he lodged his application before the Court. They pointed out that the applicant had challenged the refusal to open a criminal case before the court about two years after lodging an application.

146. Regarding Mr Burobin, the Government submitted that the applicant had failed to challenge the latest refusal of 22 August 2008. He had therefore failed to exhaust domestic remedies.

147. In the case of Mr Vecherskiy, in answering the Court’s question as to whether the applicant had exhausted domestic remedies in respect of his complaint about ill-treatment, the Government submitted that the applicant had not appealed against the refusal of 19 April 2007. However, he raised the arguments before the trial and appellate courts, and the courts dismissed them. The Government considered that the investigative authorities and domestic courts had thoroughly examined his allegations of ill‑treatment. The applicant therefore exhausted domestic remedies in respect of his complaint of ill-treatment. The Government did not raise any objections concerning the admissibility of the complaint.

148. Mr Mansurov, Mr Gavshin and Mr Burobin maintained their complaints.

2. The Court’s assessment

(a) Mr Mansurov

149. The Court observes that between 9 p.m. on 25 May 2005 and 4.30 a.m. on 26 May 2005 the applicant sustained injuries to his face. His allegation that he had lost several teeth was not confirmed (see paragraph 6 above).

150. Four months later the applicant complained that he had been ill‑treated by the police following his arrest (see paragraph 10 above). The applicant did not explain why he had not complained about the ill‑treatment earlier.

151. During the inquiry into the alleged ill-treatment and the criminal court proceedings against the applicant, the police officers consistently claimed that on 25 May 2005 he had been apprehended by Ms G.G.’s relatives following the robbery and that he already had injuries to his face when they arrived at the scene (see paragraphs 13 and 25 above). Ms G.G., Mr R.G. and Mr O. corroborated the officers’ statements. Ms G.G. also submitted that she had seen blood on the applicant’s face when he was held by her son and husband (see paragraphs 13 and 24 above).

152. In these circumstances, it is clear that the whole set of events did not “lie wholly, or in large part, within the exclusive knowledge of the authorities” (see Pihoni v. Albania, no. 74389/13, § 81, 13 February 2018). Although the applicant’s injuries were well‑documented following his arrest without a significant delay, it could not be established “beyond reasonable doubt” that he had sustained injuries due to police ill‑treatment. There were strong indications in the case materials that the injuries sustained by the applicant might have been caused as a consequence of his being apprehended by Ms G.G.’s relatives before the police intervention.

153. In such circumstances, the Court finds that the applicant’s complaint about police ill-treatment on 25 and 26 May 2005 is manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 3 of the Convention. The Court finds that the applicant’s complaint about the alleged ill-treatment on 28 June 2005 is neither manifestly ill‑founded nor inadmissible on any other grounds listed in Article 35 of the Convention. It must therefore be declared admissible.

(b) Mr Gavshin

154. The Court notes the Government’s argument that the applicant failed to exhaust domestic remedies by the time he lodged his application before the Court.

155. In this regard, the Court observes that, following the applicant’s complaint about ill-treatment lodged with the domestic authorities in July 2003, the proceedings relating to the inquiry into the alleged ill‑treatment were pending until 2006, when the authorities issued their fourth refusal to open a criminal case. In 2008, after the applicant had lodged his application with the Court, he challenged the latest refusal in the court (see paragraph 43 above). The Court notes that, despite the two‑year delay, the merits of his complaint were examined in three rounds of domestic court proceedings and eventually dismissed as unfounded (see paragraph 47 above).

156. The Court considers that the domestic authorities were thereby made sufficiently aware of the applicant’s alleged ill-treatment and provided with the opportunity to address the issue properly. The Court therefore rejects the Government’s plea of non-exhaustion of domestic remedies.

(c) Mr Burobin

157. Regarding the Government’s objection as to non-exhaustion of domestic remedies, the Court notes that the applicant challenged before the court four refusals to open a criminal case issued between 20 February 2008 and 6 June 2008 (see paragraph 84 above), save for the last one issued on 22 August 2008 (see paragraph 85 above).

158. The Court is not convinced that an appeal to a court against the decision of 22 August 2008 would have been effective in the circumstances of the present case. The investigator’s decisions were quashed every time as incomplete because he had failed to establish the origin of the applicant’s injuries. The deficiency was not corrected despite multiple courts’ orders (see paragraph 84 above).

159. It considers, therefore, that such an appeal in the particular circumstances of the present case would have been devoid of any purpose (see, for example, Vanfuli v. Russia, no. 24885/05, §§ 72-75, 3 November2011, and Gordiyenko v. Russia, no. 21462/06, § 58, 6 March 2014). The Court finds that the applicant was not obliged to pursue that remedy and that the Government’s objection should therefore be dismissed.

(d) Mr Matyushin

160. Although the Government did not raise the issue of admissibility of the applicant’s allegation of ill-treatment on 26 August 2005, the Court considers it nonetheless necessary to address the issue.

161. The Court observes that the applicant’s allegation of ill-treatment on 26 August 2005 was not supported by any medical evidence enabling the Court to find that he had been subjected to the alleged ill-treatment by police officers (see paragraph 55 above). His complaint concerning the events of 26 August 2005 is therefore manifestly ill‑founded and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 3 of the Convention. The Court notes that the applicant’s complaint regarding alleged ill-treatment on 14 October 2005 is neither manifestly ill‑founded nor inadmissible on any other grounds listed in Article 35 of the Convention. It must therefore be declared admissible.

(e) Other complaints

162. The Court notes that the remaining complaints by all applicants are neither manifestly ill‑founded nor inadmissible on any other grounds listed in Article 35 of the Convention. They must therefore be declared admissible.

B. Merits

1. The parties’ submissions

163. In the case of Mr Zabiyaka, the Government acknowledged that the applicant had been handcuffed every night between 20 and 28 December2012 from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. due to an incident when the applicant had injured himself on 9 November 2012. The handcuffs were used because it was impossible to monitor the applicant constantly during the night. They considered that the handcuffing did not attain a “minimum level of severity” required to constitute a violation of Article 3 of the Convention.

164. In other applications, the Government maintained the conclusions of the domestic inquiries.

165. The applicants maintained their complaints.

2. The Court’s assessment

(a) Credibility of the applicants’ allegations of ill-treatment

166. The Court observes that all the applicants were arrested by the police on suspicion of their having committed various crimes. After spending different periods of time at the hands of State officers, the applicants were found to have sustained injuries of various degrees, as recorded by forensic medical experts, detention facilities or medical institutions (see paragraphs 6, 8, 31, 34, 57, 81, 95, 111, 134, 135 and 136 above).

167. In the case of Mr Zabiyaka, it was not disputed that he had been handcuffed every night between 21 and 28 December 2012 from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. (see paragraph 163 above).

168. The above factors are sufficient to give rise to a presumption in favour of the applicants’ accounts of events and to satisfy the Court that the applicants’ allegations of ill-treatment in police custody were credible.

(b) Effectiveness of the investigation into the alleged ill-treatment

169. The Court observes that the applicants’ credible allegations of their injuries being the result of police violence were dismissed by the investigating authorities as unfounded, based mainly on the statements of police officers denying the applicants’ ill-treatment (see paragraphs 20, 40, 42, 59, 83, 116 and 138 above).

170. In the cases of Mr Mansurov, Mr Gavshin, Mr Matyushin and Mr Burobin, the investigators’ decisions refusing to open a criminal case were each time quashed by the superior authorities for having been based on an incomplete inquiry and a fresh inquiry was ordered (see paragraphs 19, 41, 59 and 84 above). The investigators’ most recent refusals to open a criminal case were upheld by the domestic courts.

171. In the case of Mr Matyushin and Mr Burobin, in reviewing the refusals to open a criminal case, the domestic courts indicated that the investigators had not established the origins of the applicants’ injuries. However, the investigators issued new refusals without addressing this point (see paragraphs 61 and 84 above). In the case of Mr Petrov, following three refusals, a criminal case was eventually opened but subsequently discontinued for the lack of evidence of a crime (see paragraph 122 above). Regarding Mr Vecherskiy, the authorities and the courts only relied on the applicant’s explanations that he had fallen down stairs without even questioning the police officers (see paragraphs 97, 105 and 107 above).

172. As regards the quality of the forensic expert examinations, the Court reiterates that proper medical examinations are essential safeguards against ill-treatment (see Akkoç v. Turkey, nos. 22947/93 and 22948/93, §§ 55 and 118, ECHR 2000‑X). In this regard the Court notes that Mr Matyushin and Mr Burobin did not undergo forensic medical examinations at all. Mr Sitdikov underwent an examination more than ten days after his arrest, although he had visible injuries on his head (see paragraph 136 above). Mr Mansurov underwent an examination only within the criminal proceedings against him, despite the fact that he had sustained visible injuries while being under the control of the authorities for more than a month by that time (see paragraph 17 above). Three forensic examinations had been carried out in the case of Mr Petrov. All of them, however, gave different conclusions on the timeframe of the infliction of injuries (see paragraphs 119, 120 and 121 above). The investigator did not explain the discrepancies but simply referred to the latest examination report, which ruled out the possibility of the infliction of injuries on the day of the applicant’s arrest (see paragraph 122 above). No forensic examinations were carried out in respect of Mr Gavshin and Mr Vecherskiy.

173. The Court reiterates its finding that the mere carrying out of a pre‑investigation inquiry under Article 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation is insufficient if the authorities are to comply with the standards established under Article 3 of the Convention for an effective investigation into credible allegations of ill‑treatment in police custody. It is incumbent on the authorities to institute criminal proceedings and conduct a proper criminal investigation in which a full range of investigative measures are carried out (see Lyapin v. Russia, no. 46956/09, §§ 129 and 132‑36, 24 July 2014).

174. The Court has no reason to hold otherwise in the present cases, which involve credible allegations of treatment proscribed by Article 3 of the Convention. It finds that the State has failed to carry out an effective investigation into the applicants’ allegations of police violence.

(c) The Government’s explanations

(i) Mr Zabiyaka

175. In the case of Mr Zabiyaka, the Government submitted that the applicant’s handcuffing to his bed did not attain a “minimum level of severity” required by Article 3 of the Convention (see paragraph 163 above).

176. In this regard the Court notes that handcuffing does not normally give rise to an issue under Article 3 of the Convention where the measure has been imposed in connection with lawful detention and does not entail the use of force, or public exposure, exceeding what is reasonably considered necessary (see Henaf v. France, no. 65436/01, § 48, ECHR 2003‑XI). The Court must nevertheless satisfy itself that the medical necessity has been convincingly shown to exist (see Herczegfalvy v. Austria, judgment of 24 September 1992, Series A no. 244, § 83) and that the manner in which the applicant is subjected to the measure in issue should not go beyond the threshold of a minimum level of severity envisaged by the Court’s case-law under Article 3 of the Convention (see Kucheruk v. Ukraine, no. 2570/04, § 139, 6 September 2007).

177. The Court notes that the materials in the applicant’s case do not indicate that he suffered from mental or any other illness. In the decisions not to open a criminal case, the investigator referred to an incident of the applicant self-harming dated 9 November 2012, which had taken place more than a month before the first night of his confinement to bed (see paragraph 127 above). The decision did not contain any details of the incident, in particular, how exactly and how seriously the applicant had injured himself, how the applicant had behaved after the incident and prior to his handcuffing.

178. The decision referred mainly to a psychologist’s report that the applicant presented a risk of suicide and self-harm (see paragraph 127 above). The Government did not provide a copy of this report. It is unclear when the report was drawn up and on what factual grounds the psychologist concluded that the applicant was a suicide risk.

179. It does not appear that the authorities have addressed in any manner the applicant’s allegations that he had been handcuffed too tightly, or about the night cold in the cell.

180. The Court observes that the applicant was handcuffed for twelve hours for eight nights in a row. It is unclear why it was impossible to monitor the applicant during the night without handcuffing him in this way. The Government’s submission in that regard (see paragraph 163 above) only corroborates the applicant’s allegation that he had difficulties to go to the toilet and obtain water during the night, since apparently there were no officers nearby to unfasten him in case of necessity (see paragraph 125 above).

181. In view of these facts, the Court considers that such treatment attained a “minimum level of severity” required under Article 3 of the Convention.

(ii) Other applications

182. The Government maintained the conclusions of the investigating authorities to the effect that the applicants’ injuries had not been attributable to the conduct of the police officers (see paragraph 164 above).

183. Given that the Government’s explanations were provided as a result of superficial domestic inquiries falling short of the requirements of Article 3 of the Convention, the Court finds that they cannot be considered satisfactory or convincing. It holds that the Government have failed to discharge their burden of proof and produce evidence capable of casting doubt on the applicants’ account of events, which it therefore finds established (see Olisov and Others v. Russia, nos. 10825/09 and 2 others, §§ 83-85, 2 May 2017, and Ksenz and Others v. Russia, nos. 45044/06 and 5 others, §§ 102‑04, 12 December 2017).

(d) Legal classification of the treatment

184. The applicants alleged that they had been subjected to torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.

185. Having regard to the applicants’ injuries confirmed by medical evidence, the Court finds that the police subjected Mr Mansurov, Mr Gavshin and Mr Sitdikov to inhuman and degrading treatment.

186. Having regard to the Court’s findings in the case of Mr Zabiyaka (see paragraph 180 above), the Court considers that the handcuffing of the applicant to his bed every night between 21 and 28 December 2012 was disproportionate and amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment.

187. The Court notes Mr Matyushin’s injuries, in particular, a closed fracture of his nose (see paragraph 57 above). It considers that the ill‑treatment was inflicted on the applicant with a view to extracting a confession statement, causing severe physical and mental suffering. The Court concludes that the ill-treatment at issue amounted to torture (see Tigran Ayrapetyan v. Russia, no. 75472/01, §§ 13 and 77, 16 September2010, and Chenchevik v. Ukraine, no. 56920/10, § 79, 18 July 2019).

188. The Court further observes that Mr Burobin, Mr Vecherskiy and Mr Petrov alleged that they had been subjected to ill-treatment by electric shocks. Mr Burobin had multiple spots on his thighs, a skin rash and contact dermatitis (see paragraph 81 above). Mr Vecherskiy had bruises and hematomas on his chest, back and legs (see paragraph 95 above). Mr Petrov had multiple abrasions on his face and bruises on his body (see paragraph 111 above). The Court finds that the existence of the applicants’ physical pain and suffering is attested by the medical reports and the applicants’ statements regarding their ill-treatment at police stations, in particular with electric shocks, which were not refuted by the Government. The sequence of events also demonstrates that the pain and suffering was inflicted on them intentionally, namely with a view to extracting confessions to having committed crimes (see Samoylov v. Russia, no. 64398/01, § 53, 2 October2008, and Lolayev v. Russia, no. 58040/08, § 79, 15 January 2015).

189. In such circumstances, the Court concludes that, taken as whole and having regard to its purpose and severity, the ill-treatment of Mr Burobin, Mr Vecherskiy and Mr Petrov amounted to torture within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention.

(e) Conclusion

190. There has accordingly been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention under its substantive limb in respect of all applicants and under the procedural limb in respect of Mr Mansurov, Mr Gavshin, Mr Matyushin, Mr Burobin, Mr Petrov, Mr Sitdikov and Mr Zabiyaka. In the light of this finding, the Court considers that it is not necessary to examine whether there has also been a violation of Article 13 of the Convention in respect of Mr Matyushin and Mr Sitdikov.

III. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS UNDER WELL-ESTABLISHED CASE-LAW

A. Alleged violation of Article 3 of the Convention

191. Mr Mansurov (no. 4336/06) complained of the inadequate conditions of his detention between 26 May 2005 and 11 December 2007 in remand prison no. 18/1 in Izhevsk (see paragraph 27 above). He relied on Article 3 of the Convention, which reads as follows:

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

1. Period between 20 June 2005 and 11 December 2007

192. The Government submitted a unilateral declaration with a view to resolving the issue raised by that complaint. They acknowledged that the applicant had been detained between 20 June 2005 and 11 December 2007 in remand prison no. 18/1 in Izhevsk in inadequate conditions, offered to pay 9,500 euros (EUR), to cover any pecuniary and non‑pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses and invited the Court to strike the application in this part out of the list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention. The amount would be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable on the date of payment, and would be payable within three months from the date of notification of the Court’s decision. In the event of failure to pay that amount within the above‑mentioned three-month period, the Government undertook to pay simple interest on it, from the expiry of that period until settlement, at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.

193. The payment would constitute the final resolution of the case in the part related to the applicant’s complaint about the conditions of his detention in remand prison no. 18/1 in Izhevsk between 20 June 2005 and 11 December 2007.

194. The applicant did not comment on the Government’s unilateral declaration.

195. The Court observes that Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention enables it to strike a case out of its list if:

“… for any other reason established by the Court, it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application.”

196. Thus, it may strike out an application under Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention on the basis of a unilateral declaration by a respondent Government even if an applicant wishes the examination of the cases to be continued (see, in particular, Tahsin Acar v. Turkey (preliminary objections) [GC], no. 26307/95, §§ 75‑77, ECHR 2003-VI).

197. The Court has established clear and extensive case-law concerning complaints relating to inadequate conditions of detention (see Ananyev and Others v. Russia, nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08, 10 January 2012).

198. Noting the admissions contained in the Government’s declaration, as well as the amount of compensation proposed – which is consistent with the amounts awarded in similar cases – the Court considers that it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application in the part covered by the unilateral declaration (Article 37 § 1 (c)).

199. In the light of the above considerations, the Court is satisfied that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto does not require it to continue the examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine).

200. Finally, the Court emphasises that, should the Government fail to comply with the terms of their unilateral declaration, the application may be restored to the list in accordance with Article 37 § 2 of the Convention (Josipović v. Serbia (dec.), no. 18369/07, 4 March 2008).

201. In view of the above, it is appropriate to strike the case out of the list as regards the complaint concerning the inadequate conditions of detention during the period between 20 June 2005 and 11 December 2007 in remand prison no. 18/1 in Izhevsk.

2. Period between 26 May and 19 June 2005

202. The Government did not comment on the issue of the applicant’s conditions of detention between 26 May and 19 June 2005 in remand prison no. 18/1 in Izhevsk.

203. In the leading case of Ananyev and Others (cited above), the Court found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.

204. Having examined all the material submitted to it (see paragraph 27 above), the Court has not found any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion on the merits of this complaint. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the applicant’s conditions of detention between 26 May and 19 June2005 in remand prison no. 18/1 in Izhevsk were inadequate. This complaint, therefore, discloses a breach of Article 3 of the Convention.

B. Alleged violation of Article 5 of the Convention

205. Mr Burobin (no. 17418/08) complained that his detention on remand between 16 and 22 September 2008 had been unlawful and that his detention on remand between December 2007 and November 2008 had not been based on relevant and sufficient reasons. He also complained that he had not had an enforceable right to compensation for his detention, which had been effected in breach of the requirements of Article 5 §§ 1 and 3 of the Convention. He relied on Article 5 § 5 of the Convention. Mr Zabiyaka (no. 71716/14) complained that his detention on remand had been excessively long, in breach of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention. Article 5 of the Convention, as so far as relevant, reads as follows:

“1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:

3. Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 (c) of this Article shall be … entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.

5. Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in contravention of the provisions of this Article shall have an enforceable right to compensation.”

1. Mr Burobin, application no. 17418/08

206. The Government acknowledged that the applicant’s detention on remand between 16 and 22 September 2008 had not been based on a court decision. They argued that, after the national courts had granted the applicant’s claims for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage following his acquittal, he could no longer claim to be the victim of a violation of Article 5 of the Convention. They further argued, relying on the domestic courts’ findings, that there had been sufficient reasons for the applicant’s detention on remand.

(a) Admissibility

207. The Court reiterates that a decision or measure favourable to the applicant is not, in principle, sufficient to deprive him of his status as a “victim” unless the national authorities have acknowledged, either expressly or in substance, and then afforded redress for, the breach of the Convention (see Amuur v. France, 25 June 1996, § 36, Reports 1996-III, and Dalban v. Romania [GC], no. 28114/95, § 44, ECHR 1999-VI).

208. Furthermore, in recent judgments against Russia (see Shkarupa v. Russia, no. 36461/05, §§ 74-78, 15 January 2015, and Lyubushkin v. Russia, no. 6277/06, §§ 48-53, 22 October 2015)the Court found that in the “rehabilitation” proceedings, the Russian authorities did not have to examine, and still less acknowledge, at least in substance, that the applicant’s detention had been formally defective or that it had been based on insufficient reasons or exceeded a reasonable time and that the award of compensation was subject to fulfilment of specific conditions not required under Article 5 § 3, namely the applicant’s acquittal or discontinuation of the proceedings. The only ground for awarding the applicant compensation was the termination of the criminal proceedings against him rather than any alleged procedural irregularity in his detention on remand. This ground for compensation did not correspond to the basis of the applicant’s complaint under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention and the alleged violation could not therefore be redressed in these proceedings (see also, mutatis mutandis, Mekiye Demirci v. Turkey, no. 17722/02, § 70, 23 April 2013).

209. The Court finds that the same reasoning applies in the present case. In its judgment of 28 April 2011 the Sovetskiy District Court found the applicant’s detention unlawful not because of the irregularity of his detention on remand, but because he had been acquitted (see paragraph 89 above).

210. The Court notes that the domestic courts did not acknowledge the unlawfulness of the applicant’s detention on remand between 16 and 22 September 2008 (see paragraph 76 above). It also discerns nothing in the materials of the present case that would allow it to conclude that the authorities acknowledged, either expressly or implicitly, that the decisions ordering his continued detention had not been based on relevant and sufficient reasoning.

211. Accordingly, the Court considers that in the absence of any acknowledgement the applicant can still claim to be the “victim” of a violation of Article 5 of the Convention.

212. The Court notes that these complaints are not manifestly ill‑founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention or inadmissible on any other grounds. They must therefore be declared admissible.

(b) Merits

(i) Article 5 § 1 of the Convention

213. The Government acknowledged that from 16 to 22 September 2008 the applicant was detained without a judicial decision (see paragraph 206 above).

214. The Court reiterates that detention without a court order or other clear legal ground, regardless of the maximum length that might be established by national law, is incompatible with the standard of “lawfulness” enshrined in Article 5 § 1 of the Convention, since during the time of unauthorised detention an individual would be kept in a legal vacuum not covered by any domestic legal provision (see Khudoyorov v. Russia, no. 6847/02, § 149, ECHR 2005‑X (extracts); and Lebedev v. Russia, no. 4493/04, § 57, 25 October 2007).

215. The Court concludes that the applicant’s detention between 16 and 22 September 2008 lacked a legal basis and was therefore “unlawful”. Consequently, there has been a breach of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention in this respect.

(ii) Article 5 § 3 of the Convention

216. The Court observes that the applicant’s detention on remand lasted from 25 December 2007, the date of the court order, to 13 November 2008, the date of his release on bail (see paragraph 77 above).

217. The Court has already, on a large number of occasions, examined applications against Russia raising similar complaints under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention and found a violation of that Article on the grounds that the domestic courts extended an applicant’s detention relying essentially on the gravity of the charges and using stereotyped formulae without addressing his or her specific situation or considering alternative preventive measures (see, among many others, Romanova v. Russia, no. 23215/02, 11 October2011; Valeriy Samoylov v. Russia, no. 57541/09, 24 January 2012; and Fortalnov and Others v. Russia, nos. 7077/06 and 12 others, § 91, 26 June 2018). The domestic court’s reference to the attempt to interfere with a witness lacked details and analysis on that account (see paragraph 72 above).

218. In the present case there is no reason to depart from the above conclusion as the domestic courts failed to address the applicant’s personal situation and based their decisions on stereotyped formulae.

219. Accordingly, the Court finds that there has been a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention.

(iii) Article 5 § 5 of the Convention

220. The Court reiterates that Article 5 § 5 of the Convention is complied with where it is possible to apply for compensation in respect of a deprivation of liberty effected in conditions contrary to paragraphs 1, 2, 3 or 4. The right to compensation set forth in paragraph 5 therefore presupposes that a violation of one of the preceding paragraphs of Article 5 of the Convention has been established, either by a domestic authority or by the Court (see Korshunov v. Russia, no. 38971/06, § 59, 25 October 2007).

221. In the present case the Court has found a violation of Article 5 §§ 1 and 3 in that the applicant’s deprivation of liberty between 16 and 22 September 2008 was unlawful and that his detention on remand was not based on “relevant and sufficient” reasons.

222. The Court has already established that in none of the domestic proceedings had the courts acknowledged the defects of the applicant’s detention (see paragraph 210 above). It appears, therefore, that in the absence of an explicit and formal acknowledgement by the domestic courts of the irregularity of the applicant’s detention, the applicant did not have an enforceable right to compensation for such defects, which have been found to have been in violation of Article 5 §§ 1 and 3 of the Convention (see Chuprikov v. Russia, no. 17504/07, § 100, 12 June 2014).

223. There has therefore been a violation of Article 5 § 5 of the Convention.

2. Mr Zabiyaka, application no. 71716/14

224. The Court notes that the applicant’s detention on remand lasted from 26 October 2012, the date of the court’s order, to 12 August 2014, the date of his conviction (see paragraph 130 above). It lasted therefore one year, nine months and nineteen days.

225. In the leading case of Dirdizov v. Russia, no. 41461/10, 27 November2012, the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.

226. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court has not found any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion on the merits of this complaint. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the length of the applicant’s detention on remand was excessive.

227. There has accordingly been a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention.

C. Alleged violation of Article 6 of the Convention

228. Mr Gavshin (no. 49683/06), Mr Vecherskiy (no. 31880/08) and Mr Petrov (no. 15362/12) complained that their respective conviction judgments had been based on confession statements made as a result of their ill-treatment and that the trial courts had failed to give due regard to their allegations of ill-treatment. They relied on Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, which read as follows:

“In the determination of … any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair … hearing … by [a] … tribunal …”

229. The Government argued that, in addition to the applicants’ written confession statements, their conviction judgments had been based on a plethora of evidence obtained by the investigation. The trial courts had examined the applicants’ allegations of ill-treatment and had dismissed them as unsubstantiated.

230. The Court notes that these complaints are not manifestly ill‑founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention. It further notes that they are not inadmissible on any other grounds. They must therefore be declared admissible.

231. The Court reiterates that the admission of confession statements obtained in violation of Article 3 of the Convention renders the criminal proceedings as a whole automatically unfair, irrespective of the probative value of those statements and irrespective of whether their use was decisive in securing the defendant’s conviction (see Gäfgen v. Germany [GC], no. 22978/05, § 166, ECHR 2010, and Turbylev v. Russia, no. 4722/09, § 90, 6 October 2015).

232. The Court has already found that the applicants’ confession statements were obtained as a result of inhuman and degrading treatment and torture, to which they had been subjected in police custody (see paragraphs 185 and 189 above). The trial and appeal courts did not exclude the confession statements as inadmissible evidence and referred to them when convicting the applicants of crimes to which they had confessed in those statements (see paragraph 113 above).

233. In such circumstances, the Court concludes that the domestic courts’ use of the applicants’ confessions obtained in violation of Article 3 of the Convention, regardless of their impact on the outcome of the criminal proceedings, rendered the whole trial unfair.

234. Accordingly, there has been a violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention in respect of Mr Gavshin, Mr Vecherskiy and Mr Petrov.

IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

235. Article 41 of the Convention provides:

“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”

236. The amounts claimed by the applicants under the head of pecuniary and non‑pecuniary damage and costs and expenses are indicated in the appended table.

237. The Government submitted that Article 41 of the Convention should be applied in accordance with the established case-law.

A. Damage

238. Mr Burobin claimed compensation for pecuniary damage amounting to EUR 4,611.58, including loss of salary in 2009, expenses for medical treatment and bail service.

239. Mr Gavshin and Mr Vecherskiy did not provide evidence supporting their pecuniary claims.

B. Costs and expenses

240. The Court granted legal aid to Mr Petrov amounting to 850 euros (EUR) in compensation for costs and expenses. The applicant submitted receipts and a contract with his representative in support of the remaining claim for costs and expenses.

241. Mr Sitdikov submitted receipts amounting to 54,756 Russian roubles (RUB) in support of his claim for costs and expenses.

242. Mr Matyushin claimed EUR 4,300 and GBP 3,740.08 (EUR 4,284.05), of which EUR 2,130 constituting translation fees, allegedly incurred for his representation before the Court. The applicant did not provide a contract with his lawyer. He provided receipts in support of his claim for translation fees.

243. Mr Gavshin claimed EUR 2,475 for his lawyer’s fees. He did not provide a contract for the legal services of his lawyer. He provided receipts for translation and postal services amounting to EUR 80, incurred by his lawyer.

244. Mr Mansurov, Mr Burobin and Mr Zabiyaka did not claim compensation under the head of costs and expenses.

C. The Court’s assessment

245. Wherever the Court finds a violation of the Convention, it may accept that the applicants have suffered non-pecuniary damage which cannot be compensated for solely by the finding of a violation, and make a financial award.

246. As to costs and expenses, the Court has to establish whether they were actually incurred and whether they were necessary and reasonable as to quantum (seeMcCann and Others v. the United Kingdom, 27 September1995, § 220, Series A no. 324).

247. In respect of Mr Burobin, the Court dismisses his pecuniary claims, since the expenses that he had actually incurred during his detention were granted by the domestic court (see paragraph 88 above). The applicant did not provide evidence in support of his remaining claims for pecuniary damage. The Court notes, in particular, that the applicant did not demonstrate that he could not work after 13 November 2008, the date when he had been released on bail. In the same vein, the Court dismisses the pecuniary claims of Mr Gavshin and Mr Vecherskiy, since they failed to substantiate their claims.

248. As to the amount for translation fees in the case of Mr Matyushin, although the applicant provided receipts, the Court does not consider that the expenses of EUR 2,130 for translation of the applicant’s case file were necessary. It therefore awards EUR 1,000 in respect of translation fees, to be paid to the applicant’s representative.

249. Having regard to the conclusions and principles set out above and the parties’ submissions, and taking into account legal aid granted to Mr Petrov, the Court awards the applicants the amounts detailed in the appended table, plus any tax that may be chargeable to them on those amounts.

250. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,

1. Decides to join the applications;

2. Declares Mr Mansurov’s complaint concerning his alleged ill‑treatment on 25 and 26 May 2005 and Mr Matyushin’s complaint concerning his alleged ill-treatment on 26 August 2005 inadmissible;

3. Dismisses the Government’s plea of non-exhaustion in the cases of Mr Gavshin and Mr Burobin;

4. Declares the remainder of the applications admissible;

5. Decides to strike the complaint of Mr Mansurov in the part covered by the Government’s unilateral declaration out of its list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention;

6. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention under its substantive limb in that Mr Matyushin, Mr Burobin, Mr Vecherskiy and Mr Petrov were subjected to torture in police custody and that Mr Mansurov, Mr Gavshin, Mr Sitdikov and Mr Zabiyaka were subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, and a violation of Article 3 of the Convention under its procedural limb in respect of Mr Mansurov, Mr Gavshin, Mr Matyushin, Mr Burobin, Mr Petrov, Mr Sitdikov and Mr Zabiyaka in that no effective investigation into their complaints was carried out by the authorities;

7. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention in respect of Mr Mansurov on account of inadequate conditions of detention in remand prison no. 18/1 in Izhevsk between 26 May and 19 June 2005;

8. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 5 §§ 1, 3 and 5 of the Convention in respect of Mr Burobin;

9. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention in respect of Mr Zabiyaka;

10. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 6 of the Convention in respect of Mr Gavshin, Mr Vecherskiy and Mr Petrov;

11. Holdsthat there is no need to examine Mr Matyushin’s and Mr Sitdikov’s complaints under Article 13 of the Convention;

12. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts indicated in the appended table, plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;

(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the amounts indicated in the appended table at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;

13. Dismisses the remainder of the applicants’ claim for just satisfaction.

Done in English, and notified in writing on 16 February 2021, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Olga Chernishova                                    Darian Pavli
Deputy Registrar                                       President

______________

APPENDIX

No.
 
Case name
Application no.
Lodged on
Applicant
Date of Birth
Place of Residence
Nationality
Represented by
Non-pecuniary damage Pecuniary damage Costs and expenses
1 Mansurov v. Russia
4336/06
08/12/2005
Aydyn Shukyur Ogly MANSUROV
1966
Reutov
Russian
Sought by the applicant
EUR 30,000,000
Awarded by the Court
EUR 24,300 (twenty-four thousand three hundred euros), plus the amount awarded by the unilateral declaration of the Government – EUR 9,500 (nine thousand five hundred euros)
2 Gavshin v. Russia
49683/06
23/10/2006
Andrey Yuryevich GAVSHIN
1961
Kharp
Tyumen Region
Russian
Svetlana Igorevna DOBROVOLSKAYA
Sought by the applicant
EUR 500,000 EUR 1,000,000 EUR 2,475 and EUR 80
Awarded by the Court
EUR 33,800
(thirty-three thousand eight hundred euros)
EUR 80[1]
(eighty euros)
3 Matyushin v. Russia
47794/06
30/10/2006
Aleksandr Vasilyevich MATYUSHIN
1981
Ryazan
Russian
MEMORIAL HUMAN RIGHTS CENTRE
Sought by the applicant
At the Court’s discretion EUR 4,300 and GBP 3,740.08
(EUR 4,284.05)
Awarded by the Court
EUR 67,600
(sixty-seven thousand six hundred euros)
EUR 1,000[2]
(one thousand euros)
4 Burobin v. Russia
17418/08
28/02/2008
Igor Vladimirovich
BUROBIN
1970
Ryazan
Russian
Andrey Vladimirovich
POMINOV
Sought by the applicant
EUR 95,000 EUR 4,611.58
Awarded by the Court
EUR 67,600
(sixty-seven thousand six hundred euros)
5 Vecherskiy v. Russia
31880/08
03/06/2008
Konstantin Ivanovich VECHERSKIY
1975
Astrakhan
Russian
Sought by the applicant
EUR 100,000 EUR 43,475
Awarded by the Court
EUR 67,600
(sixty-seven thousand six hundred euros)
6 Petrov v. Russia
15362/12
10/02/2012
Mikhail Eduardovich PETROV
1973
Saratov Region
Russian
Aleksey Nikolayevich LAPTEV
Sought by the applicant
EUR 100,000 EUR 5,000
Awarded by the Court
EUR 67,600
(sixty-seven thousand six hundred euros)
EUR 2,150[3]
(two thousand one hundred and fifty euros)
7 Sitdikov v. Russia
23379/13
10/03/2013
Rauf Rafailovich SITDIKOV
1974
Kazan
Russian
Anzhela Zakiyevna AKHKIYAMOVA
Sought by the applicant
EUR 60,000 RUB 54,756 (EUR 676)
Awarded by the Court
EUR 33,800
(thirty-three thousand eight hundred euros)
EUR 676[4]
(six hundred and seventy-six euros)
8 Zabiyaka v. Russia
71716/14
Anton Viktorovich ZABIYAKA
1975
Amursk
Russian
Sergey Aleksandrovich KNYAZKIN
Sought by the applicant
EUR 65,000
Awarded by the Court
EUR 33,800
(thirty-three thousand eight hundred euros)

[1] The amount is to be paid to the bank account of the applicant’s representative.
[2] The amount is to be paid to the bank account of the applicant’s representative.
[3] The amount is to be paid to the bank account of the applicant’s representative.
[4] The amount is to be paid to the bank account of the applicant’s representative.

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