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Freedom from torture, Issue 7, October 2016

This newsletter features interviews with six lawyers and psychologists from Central Asia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine about their experiences in assisting victims of torture and their families to obtain compensation.

Kyuri Idrisov (Psychiatrist, Chechnya, Russian Federation), Svetlana Chernikova (Psychologist, Kazakhstan), Gulchekhra Kholmatova (Lawyer,
Tajikistan), Elizaveta Akhmedova (Lawyer, Kazakhstan) and Sardorbek Abdukhalilov (Lawyer, Kyrgyzstan) discuss why compensation is a crucial
element in the struggle against torture; what they regard as the main achievements attained so far; and what the Central Asian governments should do to build on these precedents and achievements. Elena Volochay (psychologist, Ukraine), who has worked on cases involving compensation for torture
since 1995, shares her observations and experience and gives recommendations to lawyers and psychologists in Central Asia on how to build on
existing achievements and work toward achieving fair and adequate compensation for all victims of torture.

The interviews were conducted by Anne Sunder-Plassmann and Rachel Bugler of International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) on behalf of the NGO partners jointly engaged in the EU-funded project “Action for Freedom from Torture in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan”.

The newsletter concludes with descriptions of two cases from Kazakshtan. The first is Nikolay Sinyavin, who was subjected to torture by police in the Karaganda region of Kazakhstan. Elizaveta Akhmedova and Svetlana Chernikova worked for two years to secure compensation for him and on 17 March 2016 Karaganda Regional Court awarded him 1 000 000 tenge (approx. 2 600 EUR) for moral damages. The second is Ivan Rozhnov, a 21-year-old who was tortured by police officials in Yasnokov in North-Kazakhstan region. In early 2013 Ivan Rozhnov was awarded and paid state compensation for the torture he had suffered at the hands of law enforcement officials. However, in December 2013 a court overturned the compensation ruling and instructed him to pay back the money.

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