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Russia
14.02.12
Urgent Interventions

Follow-up of case RUS 250711_Ongoing detention of Ms. Taisia Osipova

RUS 250711.1

Follow-up ofcase RUS 250711

Sentencing/ Judicial harassment/ Denialof medical care/ Ill-treatment/ Due process violations/ Lack of an effectiveinvestigation/ Fear for the safety

The International Secretariat of the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT) has receivednew information on the following situation in the RussianFederation.

Newinformation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has beeninformed by the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS), a memberorganisation of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the ongoing detention of Ms. Taisia Osipova, the 26-year-oldwife of Mr. Sergey Fomchenkov, one of the leaders of the opposition partyDrugaya Russia[1]. OMCT has beeninformed that, following her sentence, on 29December 2011, to 10 years in prison for “intent to distributeillegal drugs” by the Zadneprovskiydistrict court, Ms. Taisia Osipova appealed the sentence. The Smolensk RegionalCourt will reportedly give its verdict on the caseon 15 February 2012.

OMCT has also been informed that her health conditionhas deteriorated. She would be suffering from a kidney inflammation and aswollen pancreas. The judge has reportedly refused to consider her healthcondition on the grounds that no conclusive medical report was submitted.

The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravelyconcerned about the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Taisia Osipovaand the recent sentencing. OMCT fears that her arrest and conviction may havebeen intended only to sanction the political activities of her husband andherself.

Background information

OMCT had earlier been informed about the denial of adequate medical examination and treatment to Ms. Taisia Osipova, since her arbitrary arrest,on 23 November 2010, although she hasbeen suffering from multiple chronic diseases.

According to the information received, Ms. TaisiaOsipova was arrested at home, in Smolensk, by around 20policemen and officers from the Department to Combat Extremism of the RussianFederation, on 23 November 2010. The officersreportedly violently entered Ms. Taisia Osipova’s house and went from one roomto another turning everything upside down while forcing Ms. Taisia Osipova tostay with her 6-year-old daughter in one of the rooms.

Ms. Taisia Osipova was brought to the pre-trialdetention centre (SIZO) 1, in Smolensk, after the officers allegedly found fivepacks of greyish substance among her daughter's clothes and a marked 500-rublenote. During the arrest, Ms. Taisia Osipova sustained injuries on her arms. Thepolicemen also allegedly severely beat the family’s dog in front of Ms. TaisiaOsipova’s daughter, who then remained locked alone two hours in the bathroom.She was later taken to her aunt by the police.

According to the same information received, Ms. TaisiaOsipova was later charged with “intent to distribute illegal drugs” by the Zadneprovskyi district court, in Smolensk, and she was remanded in custody pendinginvestigation. After her arrest, Ms. Taisia Osipova reportedly sufferedpressure by officers of the Department to Combat Extremism in order to obtain aconfession to the alleged aforementioned crime and information about herhusband, who is a senior member of the political opposition party, Drugaya Russia. The pressure reportedly included threatsto remove her parental right over her daughter if she refused to collaborate,poor conditions of detention and denial of adequate medical examination andtreatment, although she has been suffering from sugar diabetes, pancreatitis,chronic pyelonephritis and chronic toxic-allergic hepatitis[2].

Since January 2011, Ms. Taisia Osipova's lawyers hadalso presented several requests for a complete medical check-up of Ms. TaisiaOsipova on the basis of Article 110, paragraph 1.1 of the Code of CriminalProcedures of the Russian Federation, which allows for the provisional releasefrom pre-trial detention of individuals with serious health conditions(including diabetes type 1), but to no avail. Ms. Taisia Osipova's lawyersubsequently filed a civil lawsuit before the Leninskiy district court of Smolensk. On 16 June 2011, the court reportedly ordered the prisonadministration to ensure a medical examination of Ms. Taisia Osipova.

On 6 July 2011, Ms. Taisia Osipova was reportedlytransferred to the regional hospital of Smolensk but without any prior announcement to herfamily and lawyer, or any explanation about this transfer. The prison authorities also refused to provide hermedical record to the hospital. She was kept two days alone in a hospital roomguarded by two security officers and handcuffed to her bed, including duringthe night (she was also handcuffed when she went to the toilets). She wasdenied some personal belongings too. On 7July 2011, Ms. Taisia Osipova was reportedly examined at theendocrinology department of the hospital. The medical conclusions, which weresubsequently presented to the court, reportedly only listed the results of theultrasound, urine and blood tests that were carried out. No diagnosis wasallegedly established by the doctors. It is feared that the examination was notthoroughly conducted and no diagnosis established to minimize her medicalcondition.

According to the same information received, while shewas at the hospital, Ms. Taisia Osipova's family and lawyers were not allowedto visit her, although these latter needed to consult her in order to prepare acourt session that had been fixed for 8 July 2011. Her lawyers reportedlyrequested a postponement of the court hearing which was granted, however onlyfor a few hours. The court hearing before the Smolensk Zadneprovskiy districtcourt eventually took place on 8 July 2011 at 2.p.m, during which the aforementionedmedical conclusions were presented. Her lawyers asked anew for an independentmedical examination, including a drug-addiction test after the prosecutorreportedly accused Ms. Taisia Osipova to be a drug addict. However, thisrequest was denied.

Ms. Taisia Ospivoa’s detention was extended until 11October 2011,decision that was upheld by the regional court on 21 July 2011. The pre-trial detention was anew extendedon 11 October 2011. On 29 December 2011, Ms. Osipova wassentenced to 10 years in prison for “intent to distribute illegal drugs” by theZadneprovskiy district court.

Actions requested

Please write to the authorities of the Russian Federation urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in allcircumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Taisia Osipova and of her family;

ii. Grant Ms. Taisia Osipovafull access to her lawyers and her family;

iii. Guarantee that she ispromptly examined by independent doctors and receives adequate and free medicalcare, in accordance with, inter alia, the UN Standard Minimum Rules for theTreatment of Prisoners;

iv. Carry out a prompt,effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into these events,in particular into the circumstance of her arrest, the alleged pressure by officers of theDepartment to Combat Extremism in order to obtain a confession, including the conditions of detention and the denial to grant her adequatemedical examination and treatment, the result of which must be made public, inorder to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartialtribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided bylaw;

v. Order her immediate release in the absenceof valid legal charges and judicial process consistent with internationallegal standards, or if such charges exist, bring herbefore an impartial and competent tribunal and guarantee her procedural rightsat all times;

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

vii. Guaranteethe respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the countryin accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

Addresses

ØPresident of the RussianFederation, Dmitry AnatolyevichMedvedev, Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, Fax:+ 7 495 2065173 / 230 2408, Email: president@gov.ru;

ØProsecutor General of the RussianFederation, YuriChayka, 125993, Moskva K-31, Ul. B. Dimitrovka, d 15a, RussianFederation, Fax: + 7 (495)692-17-25;

ØChairman of the PresidentialHuman Rights Commission of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Fedotov,103132 g. Moskva, Staraya ploshchad, d 8/5,pod 3, Russian Federation, Fax: +7495 20 64 855;

ØRussian FederalOmbudsman for Human Rights, Vladimir Lukin, Fax: +7495 207-74-70;

ØMinister of InternalAffairs, Rashid Nurgaliev, ul. Zhitnaya, 16, 117049 Moscow, RussianFederation, Telegram: Rossiia, 117049,Moskva, Fax: + 7 495 237 49 25;

ØPermanent Mission of theRussian Federation to the United Nations in Geneva Av. de la Paix 15, CH-1211,Geneva 20, Switzerland, E-mail : mission.russian@ties.itu.int, fax: +41 22 73440 44;

Pleasealso write to the embassies of the Russian Federation in your respective country.

*******

Geneva, 14 February 2012

Kindlyinform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in yourreply.

[1] Drugaya Russia is a non-registered party that was created on the basis of thecoalition under the same name after it fell apart. The coalition was the movingforce of Dissenters' Marches held in the period of 2006 to 2008.

[2] See OMCT Open letter to the President of the Russian Federation sent on 21 June 2011.

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