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The right to access to justice

03 May 2017

The most terrible thing that can happen to anyone is the loss of a child. In some tragic cases the intolerable situation is aggravated by people indifference.

M. approached me with a complaint on improper conduct of the procedural audition on the death of her son. According to the woman, in November last year her son N. participated in illegal competitions on underwater hunting on the Smirnovka River in Krasnodar Territory.

The organizers of the tournament deceived the participants, ensuring compliance with all necessary security measures. However, no instructors, no insurance, no special equipment for the organization of rescue operations were provided. A doctor on duty on the day of the tragedy was not on the shore.

Underwater hunting is considered a dangerous sport. According to the case materials, one of the organizers sent N. into the water, despite the lack of professional skills of the young man, and fixed the equipment without ensuring a safe dropping of the cargo. During the swim in the middle of the river, N. drowned.

In the application, M. complained about prolonged bureaucracy and formalism on the part of law enforcement agencies, the lack of a procedural assessment of the actions of the organizers of the competition, the lack of notification by the investigator about the results of the inspection, which entailed the violation of her rights to access to justice. In addition, M. applied for interviews with witnesses and information on the investigation materials, but always received refusals. For several months the woman was completely helpless.

Having familiarized myself with the materials of the complaint, I sent a request to the Investigative Directorate of the Investigation Committee of Russia in Krasnodar Territory.

Based on the results of the additional inspection, the investigating authorities initiated a criminal case on causing death by negligence. The applicant was recognized as a victim.

The cynicism of officials in this matter causes outrage. Unfortunately, the young man can not be returned, but I did everything within my powers to defend his mother’s right to justice.

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