Artyomov v. Russia (Application no. 14146/02)

A selection of key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.


169. The Court does not discern any necessity which might have prompted the use of rubber truncheons against the applicant. On the contrary, the actions by the officers were grossly disproportionate to the applicant’s imputed transgressions and manifestly inconsistent with the goals they sought to achieve. Thus, it follows from the Government’s submissions (see paragraph 46 above) that a group of officers entered cell no. 3, where the applicant was detained, intending to search it. The applicant refused to leave the cell, insulted the officers and pulled their clothes. The Court accepts that in these circumstances the officers may have needed to resort to physical force in order to take the applicant out of the cell. However, the Court is not convinced that hitting a detainee with a truncheon was conducive to the desired result, namely facilitating the search. In the Court’s eyes, in that situation a truncheon blow was merely a form of reprisal or corporal punishment.

170. Furthermore, the Court notes that the applicant was beaten up not in the course of a random operation which might have given rise to unexpected developments to which the officers of the special-purpose unit might have been called upon to react without prior preparation. The Government did not dispute that the officers had planned their operations in advance and that they had had sufficient time to evaluate the possible risks and to take all necessary measures for carrying out their task. There were a group of officers involved and they clearly outnumbered the applicant, who, it appears, was alone in the cell at that time. Furthermore, the Court is not convinced that the applicant had resisted the officers’ orders in a manner which could have prompted the use of rubber truncheons.

172. As noted above, the use of rubber truncheons against the applicant was retaliatory in nature. It was not, and could not be, conducive to facilitating the execution of the tasks the officers had set out to achieve. The punitive violence to which the officers deliberately resorted was intended to arouse in the applicant feelings of fear and humiliation and to break his physical or moral resistance. The purpose of that treatment was to debase the applicant and drive him into submission. In addition, the truncheon blows must have caused him intense mental and physical suffering.


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