The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on the 2006 case of torture of a Yoshkar-Ola resident. Drug control officers forced him to admit selling drugs under torture. The Committee Against Torture brought this verdict to notice on December 3.
In March 2006, Alexei Konakov, a resident of Yoshkar-Ola, was detained by the staff of the (now abolished) office of the Federal Drug Control Service in Mari El. The victim said that the drug police had beaten him for three hours and blocked the air access with a gas mask, demanding to admit purchasing and selling drugs. Konakov did not do that. No drugs or illegal items were found in his apartment.
When the man was taken to a temporary detention center, he complained of pain. Physical examination revealed abrasions and bruises on his cheeks and ears, extravasation on the shoulders and neck, abrasions on the wrists. On March 14, he was released from the detention center.
Konakov applied for a crime against him in the investigative authorities of Russia, but the case against the drug police was not opened. In November 2006, human rights activists from the Committee Against Torture and the Man and the Law Organizations filed a complaint with the ECHR.
The Strasbourg court found that the third article of the Convention on Human Rights had been violated: materially (the applicant had been tortured) and there had been no effective investigation into the statement of torture.
The ECHR awarded Alexei Konakov compensation for moral injury in the amount of 25 thousand euros.
Human rights activist from the Man and the Law Organization Sergei Poduzov commented on this decision on his Facebook page:
"The resident of Yoshkar-Ola waited for justice for 13 years <...>. The office of the Federal Drug Control Service in Mari El no longer exists, and traces of it still stretch. This is about those who dream of violating human rights and wish to stop our activities in Mari El."
In 2017, human rights activists from Man and the Law complained to the ECHR about numerous inspections of the Ministry of Justice because of the status of foreign agents.
Irina Protasova, the head of the organization, told 7x7 about this status in a special interview.
Denis Dolgopolov, «7х7»