Russia
19.04.12
Urgent Interventions

Fear for the safety of Mr. Zubajr Isaevich Zubajraev

Case RUS 190209.5

Follow-up of cases RUS 190209, RUS 190209.1, RUS190209.2, RUS 190209.3 and RUS 190209.4

Persistentallegations of torture and ill-treatment/ Harsh conditions of detention/ Lackof adequate medical care/ Fear for safety

TheInternational Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) has received new information and requestsyour URGENT intervention in the following situation in the Russian Federation.

New information

The International Secretariatof OMCT has been informed by the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS), amember of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about persistent allegations of torture andother forms of ill-treatment suffered by Mr. Zubajr Isaevich Zubajraev, a 33-year-old Chechen, whois currently detained under strict regime in penitentiary colony of Minusinsk, FKU UP -288/T, in the region ofKrasnojarsk. He would be in poor health due to torture, harsh prison conditionsand denial of adequate medical care.

According to the informationreceived, after the court ruling in May 2009 (see below), Mr. Zubajr Isaevich Zubajraev was transferred toseveral prisons, including to SIZO-1 prison in Krasnojarsk city, where he wasdetained from July 2011 to September 2011. There, he was regularly beaten up byfour guards. In September 2011, Mr. Zubajr Isaevich Zubajraev was transferredby train from SIZO-1 in Krasnojarsk to the penitentiary colony in Minusinsk. Duringthe transfer, he was allegedly beaten by the guards.

According to the most recentinformation, Mr. Zubajr Isaevich Zubajraev is very skinny and unable to walk orsit because of the pain. Mr. Zubajr Isaevich Zubajraev would be also regularlybeaten by the guards of Minusinsk penitentiary colony and detained in a veryhumid cell with lack of fresh air. OMCT has also been informed that his lawyerswere denied access to him mid-April on the ground that “he did not want to seethem”.

TheOMCT International Secretariat is seriously concerned about the physical andpsychological integrity of Mr. Zubajr Isaevich Zubajraev and about the persistentallegations of torture and other forms of ill-treatment (see background information)[1].

OMCTtherefore reiterates its calls on the competent Russian authorities toguarantee his safety at all times, and to ensure that he is promptly examinedby independent doctors and receives adequate medical care, in accordance, inter alia, with the recommendations ofthe European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or DegradingTreatment or Punishment and the UN Body of Principlesfor the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.

OMCT recalls thatthe Russian Federation is legally bound to effectively ensure the physical andpsychological integrity of all persons deprived of liberty in accordance withregional and international human rights law, and in particular, the EuropeanConvention on Human Rights, the recommendations of the European Committee forthe Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, theConvention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment orPunishment, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UNBody of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form ofDetention or Imprisonment. In line with their obligations under theaforementioned treaties, it is also incumbent on the Russian authorities toconsider seriously any allegations of torture and ill-treatment, and toundertake a thorough and impartial investigation in this regard.

Background information

InAugust 2007, Mr. Zubajr Isaevich Zubajraev wassentenced to five years in prison and sent to prison colony IAR- 154/25 inFrolovo, Volgograd region, where he was allegedly tortured by prison colony officersthroughout the period he was held there. The acts of torture included severebeatings, also with full plastic bottles, electroshocks, injection of unknownsubstances, nailing to the ground and having to stand in the snow with bearfeet. On several occasions he was also placed in a punishment cell.

Followingcomplaints about Mr. Zubajr Isaevich Zubajraev’s situation, he was reportedlyadmitted to the prison hospital (penitentiary colonyЯР-154/15 also knownas LIU-125 prison hospital) in February 2008. However, according to theinformation submitted, instead of receiving adequate medical care andtreatment, he was again subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment,including beatings, allegedly by the chief of the penitentiary colony and his deputy. Mr. ZubajrIsaevich Zubajraev was also reportedly threatened with psychiatric internment.

InNovember 2008, the Volgograd regional prosecutor inspected the prison hospital but reportedly foundno fault with the prison authorities.

Accordingto the same information received, on 23 April 2009, Mr. Zubajr Isaevich Zubajraev’slawyer saw numerous signs of beatings on his body whenhe came to visit him, including numerous bruises in the area of the chest, onthe shoulders and on the low part of the back. The lawyer stated that heimmediately demanded that a doctor and a chief of the LIU-15 be called, whichwas refused by the penitentiary administration. Mr. Zubajraev said he had been beaten twice, on 10 and 12 April 2009.

Subsequently, a closed court hearing tookplace on 12 May 2009 at the request ofthe prison administration in order to consider whether to place Mr. ZubajrIsaevich Zubajraev in stricter conditions of imprisonment. The prison administration justified this hearing on the basis of twoclaims: firstly, Mr. Zubajraev was accused of having kept “banned”pain-killers, which is contested by Mr. Zubajraev’s lawyer,and secondly, he would have quarrelled with another inmate, although the latterdid not file any report or complaint about the alleged quarrel. Furthermore,OMCT recalls that this hearing occurred on the same day as the hearing of oneof Mr. Zubajraev’s lawyer, Ms. ElenaMaglevannaya, who was being prosecuted by the administration ofVolgograd prison colony LIU-15 for “honour and business reputation protection”(Article 152 of the Russian Civil Code)[2].

Following the court ruling, Mr.Zubajr Isaevich Zubajraev was reportedly taken fromLIU-15 prison hospital in Volgograd, tovarious detention places. On 21 May 2009, he was reportedlybrought to the hospital ward of SIZO-1 in Ekaterinburg (which is located on theway to Krasnojarsk) after he was allegedlyseverely beaten in the train convoy.

Actionrequested

Pleasewrite to the authorities in Russiaurging them to:

i. Guarantee, in allcircumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Zubajr IsaevichZubajraev as well as of his family;

ii. Guarantee full access to hislawyers and his family, as well as guarantee that Mr. Zubajr Isaevich Zubajraevis examined by independent doctors and receives adequate medical care, inaccordance, inter alia, with therecommendations of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture andInhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the UNBody of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form ofDetention or Imprisonment;

iii. Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough,independent and impartial investigation into thereports of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, the result of which must be made public, in orderto bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartialtribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided bylaw;

iv. Order his immediate releasein the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with internationallegal standards, or if such charges exist, bring himbefore an impartial and competent tribunal and guarantee his procedural rightsat all times;

v. Ensure that adequate, effective and prompt reparation,including adequate compensation and rehabilitation, is granted to the victimconcerned;

vi. Ensure the respect of humanrights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance withnational laws and international human rights standards.

Addresses

  • Mr. Dmitry AnatolyevichMedvedev, President of the Russian Federation, Kremlin, Moscow, Russia,Faxes:+ 7 495 206 5173 / 230 2408, Email: president@gov.ru;
  • Mr. Yurii YakovlevichChaika, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, Prosecutor General’s office, Moskva K-31, Ul. B. Dimitrovka, d15a, Russian Federation, Fax: + 7 495692-17-25 / +7 495 692-96-00;
  • Chairwoman of thePresidential Human Rights Commission of the Russian Federation, Ms. EllaPamfilova, 103132 g. Moskva, Staraya ploshchad, d 8/5,pod 3, RussianFederation, Fax: +7 495 20 64 855;
  • Mr. Vladimir Lukin, Russian Federal Ombudsman for Human Rights, Ul.Miasnitskaia, 47, 107084, Moscow, RussianFederation. Fax: +7 495 207-74-70 /39 69 / +7 495 207-53-37;
  • Mr. Alexander Ivanovich Bastrykin,Chairman of the Investigations Committee of the Russian Federation,Building 28, house 15, Naberezhnaya Akademika Tupoleva, Moscow, 105005,Russia, Tel: + 7 495 640 10 48;
  • Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. RashidNurgaliev, ul. Zhitnaya, 16, 117049 Moscow, Russian Federation, Telegram: Rossiia, 117049, Moskva, Fax: + 7 495 237 49 25;
  • Minister of ForeignAffairs, Sergey Lavrov, Smolenskaya-Sennaya pl, 32/34, 121200 Moscow,RussianFederation,Telegram: Fax:+ 7 495 230 21 30 / + 7 095 244 2203;
  • Permanent Mission ofthe Russian Federation to the United Nations in Geneva Av. de la Paix 15,CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland, e-mail: mission.russian@vtxnet.ch, fax: +4122 734 40 44;

Please also write to thediplomatic representations of the Russian Federation in your respective countries.

***

Geneva, 19 April 2012.

Kindly inform OMCT of any action undertakenquoting the code number of this appeal in your reply.

[1] Alsosee the urgent appeal issued by the Observatory for the Protection of HumanRights Defenders, OMCT-FIDH joint programme - RUS 003 / 0309 / OBS 052.1 on 18 May 2009.

[2] The administration of Volgograd prison colony accused her of spreading information on Mr. Zubayr Isaevich Zubayraev in order to destroytheir reputation. See Urgent Appeal RUS 003/0309/OBS 052 of the Observatory forthe Protection of Human Rights Defenders, issued on 24 March 2009.

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