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Vladimir Lukin: Participation in the military insurgency can be established only in a court of law

Source: (info), 18/05/11
· Ombudsmen  · Victims of conflict

The practice of 'liquidating' people suspected of participating in unlawful military insurgency without an investigation or trial must not become a norm, Federal Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin stated as he presented his 2010 report in the State Duma.

Interfax press agency reports that Lukin told deputies how people detained in the North Caucasus are being killed. He gave examples of cases that had come to his attention through complaints received by his office. Lukin cited the case of a citizen who was detained by the police after he had left his house to obtain a birth certificate for his child. He managed to make a phone call to his family but the next day his body was discovered in a woodland area, with a gun next to it. According to an official announcement issued at the same time, an armed insurgent had been liquidated, Lukin said.

“Criminal proceedings relating to this citizen's participation in unlawful armed group are in effect immediately halted on the grounds of the suspect's death, and therefore neither his relatives nor anyone else, except the law enforcement agencies, have a chance to find out their actual nature,” the Ombudsman added.

The Ombudsman emphasized that while the state's right and obligation to liquidate an insurgent who resists arrest with armed force must not be questioned, it should not become the norm either, Rosbalt Information Agency reported.

“It is important that what is an extraordinary measure should not become a norm, enabling criminal cases to be so-to-speak ‘resolved’ in a simplified procedure, i.e. without investigation or trial. I emphasise the words ‘so-to-speak’,” Lukin said.

And at the same time the accountability of law enforcement agencies improves,” Ombudsman Lukin continued, “the statistics for the solving of crimes of this type get better ‘without any effort to establish proof’.”

“Participation in unlawful armed insurgency can be established only in a court of law. Of course, this would make for more complex proceedings; however, it would be a justifiable safeguard against possible abuses. After all, what we are talking about is the struggle between the law and lawlessness, and obviously here we cannot give any ground,” the Ombudsman stressed.
Rights in Russia,
24 May 2011, 12:03