High Commissioner helped render justice for mother of missing son

13 March 2017

With the assistance of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation competent authorities initiated a criminal case related to disappearance of a person and allegedly violent death.

The  Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Tatarstan petitioned the High Commissioner in the interests of Ms G. who disagreed with the investigating bodies’ actions related to discovery of a dead body of presumably her son.

In January 2013 her son left for Moscow. In a few days his family lost communication with him and filed a missing person report with the police.

In March 2013 a man’s body with the Ms G.'s son’s documents was found in a pond in Moscow. In May 2013 the corpse was buried in a Moscow cemetery, but the alleged relatives were noticed only two weeks later.

On arrival in Moscow brothers of citizen G. were issued the death certificate which lacked information about birthplace and nationality of the dead man. Moreover, the autopsy report read that the death was caused by asphyxiation while drowning and the circumstances of the death were not criminal.

G.’s relatives received a copy of the competent body's ruling to refuse to initiate criminal proceedings, based on the death certificate.

According to Ms G. investigating bodies assessed the autopsy report incorrectly and also failed to hold a DNA examination. Furthermore, Ms G. pointed out sufficient differences in anthropological characteristics of the corpse and her son. This fact shows that the corpse was probably misidentified.

The High Commissioner carefully studied the situation and sent a petition to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.

As a result of the check carried out by the Investigative Committee the refusal to open a criminal case was revoked. Currently, within the framework of an additional investigation the corpse has been exhumed and DNA test are being held.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation is following up on the course of the investigation.

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