Постановление Европейского суда по правам человека от 22.10.2009 «Дело Исаев (isayev) против России» [англ.]

Город принятия

(Application No. 20756/04)
(Strasbourg, 22.X.2009)
*This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Isayev v. Russia,

The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:

Christos Rozakis, President,

Nina {Vajic}*,

*Здесь и далее по тексту слова на национальном языке набраны латинским шрифтом и выделены фигурными скобками.

Anatoly Kovler,

Elisabeth Steiner,

Khanlar Hajiyev,

Giorgio Malinverni,

George Nicolaou, judges,

and {Soren} Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 1 October 2009,

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

1. The case originated in an application (No. 20756/04) 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 a Russian national, Mr Sergey Viktorovich Isayev ("the applicant"), on 19 April 2004.

2. The applicant was represented by lawyers of the Human Rights Centre Memorial. The Russian Government ("the Government") were represented by Mr P. Laptev and Mrs V. Milinchuk, former Representatives of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.

3. The applicant alleged, in particular, that he had been subjected to torture by the police, that the prosecution authorities had not carried out an effective investigation into the incident, that his detention on remand had been unlawful and excessively long and that his applications for release had not been examined speedily.

4. On 21 November 2006 the President of the First Section decided to give notice of the application to the Government. It was also decided to examine the merits of the application at the same time as its admissibility (Article 29 § 3).

5. The Government objected to the joint examination of the admissibility and merits of the application. Having examined the Government's objection, the Court dismissed it.

I. The circumstances of the case
6. The applicant was born in 1955 and lived until his arrest in the town of Astrakhan.

A. Arrest and alleged ill-treatment by the police
7. On 2 March 2003 the office of the Chernoyarskiy District Prosecutor of Astrakhan opened a criminal investigation into the murder of Ms P.

1. Events between 6 and 15 March 2003
8. On 6 March 2003 the applicant was arrested and taken to the Chernoyarskiy District Police Department. According to the applicant, police officers severely beat him up to ferret out information and elicit a confession to the murder. Being unable to bear the beatings, on 8 March 2003 he wrote a statement confessing to having fired his rifle at a window of Ms P's house. He claimed that he had not intended to kill anyone.

9. On 8 March 2003 an investigator drew up a report restating the applicant's confession. The applicant signed the report and filed a written request for provision of assistance by a lawyer, Mr C. He noted that he had confessed under duress and that the investigator had not informed him of his rights as an accused, in violation of Article 51 of the Russian Constitution.

10. On the same day a deputy Chernoyarskiy District Prosecutor filed an application with the Chernoyarskiy District Court, seeking authorisation of the applicant's detention for an additional forty-eight hours. The applicant's lawyer, Mr C., disputed the necessity to detain the applicant. In addition, he drew the District Court's attention to the applicant's appearance, arguing that the police officers had maltreated the applicant to force him to confess to the murder. While accepting the deputy prosecutor's request, the District Court held, inter alia, that the applicant had left the crime scene and had hidden the crime weapon and that therefore he was liable to abscond and pervert the course of justice.

11. On 11 March 2003 the Chernoyarskiy District Court authorised the applicant's further detention on remand, holding as follows:

"At the same time the court considers that the materials presented by the investigating authorities - records of investigative actions and operative measures - make it sufficiently clear that the arrest of [the applicant], that is the person who may have taken part in the above-mentioned criminal offence, was well-founded and taking into account the particular dangerousness of that criminal offence committed in grave circumstances, belonging to the category of particularly serious criminal offences, the court concludes that it is impossible to apply another, more lenient, preventive measure to [the applicant]."
The applicant and his lawyer, Mr C., attended the hearing. The decision was upheld on appeal on 20 March 2003.

12. As shown by an extract from the registration log drawn up in the detention unit of the Chernoyarskiy District Police Department and presented by the Government, on 9 March 2003, at approximately 7.25 p.m., an ambulance was called to the applicant, who was complaining about a headache. The ambulance was called again at 11.55 a.m. and 9.30 p.m. on 12 March 2003. In response to the morning call an emergency doctor noted in the registration log that the applicant was suffering from neurasthenia syndrome and high blood pressure. On the latter occasion, a doctor made an entry in the registration log, noting that the applicant had refused a medical examination and assistance. According to the applicant, an emergency doctor did not want to record his head injury out of fear of reprisal.

13. On 13 March 2003 a police officer working in the detention unit of the Chernoyarskiy District Police Department reported to the head of the police department as follows:

"... during my duty in the detention unit of the Chernoyarskiy District Police Department from 6.00 p.m. on 12 March 2003 to 9.00 a.m. on 13 March 2003 [the applicant] was in cell No. 1; [he] started hitting his head against a wall; [he] did not respond to orders [prompting him] to stop his actions. I reported to the officer on duty in the [police department] about [the applicant's] actions; after that [the applicant] was transferred to a cell for administrative arrestees. On 13 March 2003, at 8.50 a.m., during the replacement of duty officers, [the applicant] started hitting his head against the metal bar in the cell for administrative arrestees, thus causing a head injury.

I, together with a staff sergeant, police officer, Mr L., and police officer, Mr M., stopped his actions and applied special means, handcuffs. [The applicant] was provided with first aid. After that an ambulance was called."
14. On the same day an escorting police officer, Mr M., wrote a report addressed to the head of the Chernoyarskiy District Police Department. The report read as follows:

"[I] hereby inform you that on 13 March 2003, after the transfer, at approximately 8.50 a.m., an arrestee, [the applicant], was in a cell for administrative arrestees. [He] started hitting his head against a metal bar, thus causing injuries to himself. After that special means, handcuffs, were applied to [the applicant] and first aid was provided."
Another escorting officer, Mr Po., submitted an identically worded report.

15. An officer on duty made an entry in the registration log, stating that an ambulance was called to the applicant on 13 March 2003, at 9.40 a.m., in response to "a fit of hysteria, injuries to the scalp, brain concussion".

16. According to the applicant, his brother, who is a resuscitation specialist, visited him on 14 March 2003 in the detention unit and saw his numerous injuries. The applicant complained to his brother that police officers had repeatedly hit him on the head with a small plastic bottle filled with water. On the same day the applicant was taken to the Chernoyarskiy District Central Hospital. His state of health was considered to be critical. On the following day he was transferred to the resuscitation unit of the neurosurgery department of Astrakhan Regional Hospital No. 2. The applicant was in a coma of the second degree. The relevant part of an extract from medical history No. 1069/298 drawn up in the neurosurgery department read as follows:

"A patient [the applicant], was undergoing in-patient treatment from 15 March to 10 April 2003. When admitted [to the hospital], he did not make any complaints because of his grave condition. According to the escorting persons, a week before his admission [to the hospital], while under arrest, the patient had hit his head against bars... During the treatment the patient stated that he had been beaten up by police officers.

Objectively: The general condition is grave... Locally: [there are] vast bruises, measuring from 3 to 5 centimetres, on the skin of the frontoparietal sphere; [the bruises] are covered with brown scab. There are subcutaneous yellow haematomas, measuring 4 centimetres [in width] and 5 centimetres [in length], in the middle one-third of the right forearm; in the middle one-third of the left shoulder there is a subcutaneous yellow haematoma, measuring 2 centimetres [in width] and 2 centimetres [in length]. [There is] a subcutaneous haematoma, measuring 4 centimetres [in width] and 5 centimetres [in length], on the chest (with hemosiderin). [The patient] does not control the functions of his pelvic organs, he urinates uncontrollably...

Diagnosis: A brain injury of medium severity. A subarachnoid haematoma. Injuries, bruises to the head and extremities."
On 19 April 2003 the applicant was transferred from the hospital back to the detention unit.

17. In the meantime, on 15 March 2003 the head of the duty shift of the duty unit in the Chernoyarskiy District Police Department issued a report which read as follows:

"[I] hereby inform you that on 15 March 2003 information was received from the duty unit of the Chernoyarskiy District Police Department that [the applicant] had been arrested on suspicion of having committed a criminal offence proscribed by Article 105 of the Russian Criminal Code; [he], in the detention unit of the police department, had injured himself, having hit his head against the walls; after that [he] had been admitted to Chernoyarskiy District Central Hospital, from which, within a day, he had been transferred to a medical institution in Astrakhan - hospital No. 2; [he had been escorted] by two armed police officers... [The applicant's] preliminary diagnosis is a craniocerebral injury".

18. On the same day an investigator of the Chernoyarskiy District Prosecutor's office, in the presence of two attesting witnesses and an expert criminologist, examined the premises of the detention unit of the Chernoyarskiy District Police Department. The examination record contained a lengthy description of the corridors, duty offices and cells. The relevant part of the record read as follows:

"...the entrance to [the cell for administrative detainees] is through a metal lattice door which is built from metal reinforcement bars welded together. The cell is a room with concrete walls... During the examination of the cell entrance door a fallow stain, looking like blood [and] measuring 0.7 centimetre, was discovered on the door at a height of 1.30 metre from the floor, 0.85 metre from the upper part of the door and 1.15 metre from the right wall. During the examination of the metal bars of that cell a fallow stain, looking like blood and measuring 2 centimetres in width and 2.5 centimetres in length, was discovered at a height of 1.30 metre from the floor and 1.15 metre from the adjacent right wall... blood was collected from the scene and bagged.


During the examination of cell No. 1, fallow stains looking like blood and measuring 1 centimetre to 1 centimetre, 3 centimetres to 3 centimetres were discovered in the far right corner of the cell, on the right wall, 2.5 centimetres from the wall, facing the entrance, and 25 centimetres from the wooden bunk. Those stains are located 5 centimetres from each other. That substance was collected from the scene and bagged."
2. Investigation into complaints of ill-treatment
19. On 8 March 2003 the applicant's lawyer, Mr C., filed a complaint with the prosecution authorities, alleging that the applicant had been severely beaten up in the police station after his arrest and asking for the identification of the police officers who had participated in the beatings.

(a) Decision of 17 March 2003 and subsequent court proceedings
20. On 17 March 2003 an investigator of the Chernoyarskiy District prosecutor's office dismissed the complaint about the beatings as unsubstantiated. The investigator based his decision on the following evidence:

- Statements by the police officers who had claimed that on 12 March 2003 the applicant, who had been detained in cell No. 1, had begun hitting his head against a wall. He had ignored policemen's orders to discontinue the unlawful behaviour and had been transferred to a special cell for administrative detainees, so that the police officers could observe him and prevent him from hurting himself. In the cell for administrative detainees the applicant had once again begun hitting his head against metal bars. Handcuffs had been applied to him and he had been provided with medical assistance.

- Testimony by the applicant's fellow inmate, Mr I., who testified that on 12 March 2003 he had been detained in cell No. 1 together with the applicant. At approximately 10 p.m. the applicant had begun hitting his head against a wall. Mr I. had called the officer on duty and the applicant had been transferred to another cell. Mr I. noted that he had not seen or heard whether the policemen had beaten the applicant up.

- Testimony by an emergency doctor, Mr B., who stated that on 12 March 2003, at approximately 10.20 p.m., he had arrived at the Chernoyarkiy District Police Department. The officer on duty had asked him and his colleagues to provide the applicant with medical assistance. According to the officer on duty, the applicant had not felt well. Mr B. had attempted to examine the applicant, but the latter had refused any examination. During the visual examination of the applicant's head, Mr B. had not noticed any injuries. The applicant had been very agitated.

- Statements by an emergency doctor, Ms K., who stated that on 13 March 2003, at approximately 9.30 a.m., she had received a call from the Chernoyarskiy District Police