• From 23 January until 25 January 2017, the Moscow-based human rights organization Public Verdict Foundation ran a campaign to mark the 30th anniversary of the ratification of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ●
As Public Verdict Foundation points out on its website, in 2012 Russia reported to the UN Committee Against Torture and received a detailed list of recommendations from the Committee. Public Verdict Foundation considers that if these recommendations are carried out, torture in Russia will be reduced to a minimum. Public Verdict Foundation has prepared a list of the most important of these recommendations which can be read in Russian HERE.
In the course of the three-day campaign, Public Verdict Foundation reminded the Russian authorities about the need to implement these measures, in particular: making torture a crime under the Russian Criminal Code; making international standards of investigation compulsory for investigative bodies; establishment of a government programme for the rehabilitation for victims of torture; the introduction of the Istanbul Protocol in the practice of investigators and doctors; and the rejection of evidence obtained through torture by the courts.
On 25 January 2017 Caucasian Knot reported on the case of Mardiros Demerchyan which has been taken up by Public Verdict Foundation as an egregious example of Russia’s failure to observe the recommendations of the UN Committee against Torture [quoted as published]:
‘The “Public Verdict” Foundation has included the case against Sochi builder Mardiros Demerchyan, accused of false denunciation for his report of torture at police, in the list of trials, proving that Russia has not solved the problem of torture and failed to observe the UN recommendations issued in 2012. The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on June 12, 2013, Mardiros Demerchyan, a builder of Olympic facilities, was detained, and the other day, he was brought from police station to a hospital. Mardiros Demerchyan claims that law enforcers brutally tortured him, including putting a bar into his anus. At the recent court session, proctologist Marina Strabylina reported that her signature under the protocol had been forged.
According to Oleg Novikov, a staff member of the “Public Verdict” Foundation, the Russian side was to present to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) the information on the Mardiros Demerchyan’s case till January 2017, and the deadline already expired. Today, the court has held a regular session on the Mardiros Demerchyan’s case, and it has been attended by Ilya Shatin, a staff member of the “Public Verdict” Foundation. He has reported that the Foundation carries out an action devoted to the 30th anniversary of the ratification of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.’
Public Verdict Foundation, 23 January 2017; ‘Public Verdict associates Mardiros Demerchyan’s case with Russia’s failure to observe recommendations of UN Committee against Torture, Caucasian Knot, 25 January 2017