Press Release No.111/1254
In spite of the total lack of funding, the Mother's Right Foundation continues to represent the interests of families of dead servicemen. The current tough situation has not changed our approach to work. We help families of dead soldiers for free. Lack of funds won't make us take their money or commissions, as paid lawyers do. Since November the Foundation employees work without pay like our first team did twenty years ago. More and more often, we hear the question, ‘What are you living on?' And we answer that we have some oatmeal and jam in store. These supplies will last for several months. We won't give up quickly. We are going to apply to the cafes nearest to our office - perhaps they could share their food with us for some time. We are trying to get some benefits from the Metropoliten - to get to our office for free. Municipal payments... things are bad here. Debts are growing. Both those of the employees and the Foundation.
Our lawyers arrive to courts thanks to the support rendered by some air companies that give us free tickets. Small donations give us the possibility to buy the cheapest tickets. Thanks to the publication in The Novaya Gazeta, we have a new volunteer, Anna. She is fond of driving. She proposed to transport our lawyers to courts if they are 4-8 hours from Moscow. The Foundation still needs stamps and envelopes: come and share them with us.
Today, November 24, we won the trial in favour of Elena Nikolayevna Karimova from the Orenburg Region. This case is unique because the court pleaded guilty not only the Military Unit where the deceased and the accused had served but also the Military Unit which had been responsible for escorting the military train.
Let us remind you that Artur Karimov (b. 1985) was called up to the Army on June 2, 2004, and served in Military Unit 42710, Rostov Region. After a training course in the unit, along with other servicemen he was transported by train, Krasnodar-Vladivostok. On November 22, 2004, Artur hanged himself with his belt in the train. The investigation established that he had been driven to suicide by the abuse and humiliation on the part of Dmitry Glazkov. In this trial, the Mother's Right Foundation presented the interests of the mother of the deceased; on November 5, 2008, Glazkov was pleaded guilty under article 335, s. 3, of the RF CC (abuse of authorities with grave consequences) and sentenced to 2,5 years of imprisonment. After winning the case, the Mother's Right Foundation filed another claim on behalf of Elena Nikolayevna Karimova - for compensation for moral damage caused by her son's death.
The Mother's Right Foundation lawyer, Tatiana Sladkova, stated our position: under article 1068, p. 1, of the RF Civil Code, a legal person compensates for the damage caused by its employees. This concerns Glazkov, serviceman of Military Unit 42710, as well as lieutenant Ryzhov, the serviceman of Military Unit 26381 who was responsible for escorting the soldiers and who violated articles 34 and 431 of the Internal Service Regulations of the RF. The Mother's Right Foundation lawyer reminded that in the course of the investigation of the case of Artur Karimov, the Office of Military Prosecutor of the Krasnoyarsk Garrison made the representation obliging Military Unit 26381 to eliminate the factors which had favoured the crime. According to the representation, one of the factors was the lack of control on the part of lieutenant D.V. Ryzhov, the serviceman of Military Unit 26381 responsible for carriage 11: he left the carriage several times and thus violated article 34 of the Internal Service Regulations. He did not reveal the abuse on the part of Glazkov in time and did not put a stop to the abuse which led to the accident. The Foundation lawyer, Tatiana Sladkova, stated that article 2 of the European Convention stipulates that it's the state's duty to protect the right to life. According to article 20 of the RF Constitution, every person has the right to life. According to articles 17 and 18 of the Constitution, the fundamental rights and freedoms cannot be alienated from a person. The death of her son doomed Elena Nikolayevna to mental and physical suffering. Her son could have become her support in her old age. As a result, her health has become and is becoming worse. She had to talk to a psychologist, who stated that she was in depression. The Mother's Right Foundation lawyer asked the court to satisfy the claim and oblige the two guilty units to pay the compensation for the moral damage.
It's good that private donations made it possible to send our lawyer to Orsk! No mother of a dead soldier could stand against the defendants arguing over the money matters and win her case.
The units did not send their representatives to court. Instead, they sent their objections to the claim. They both stated that they were not guilty and were not to pay for the crime. The representative of Military Unit 42710 even wrote that Karimov and Glazkov had not been the unit's servicemen (the Foundation lawyer responded that according to the court decision, Glazkov had been a serviceman of Military Unit 42710).
The work of the absent representatives of the guilty units was performed by the lawyer of the Orsk Military Commissariat which had sent Karimov to military service, Artem Valerievich Rusalovsky. His statements were funny:
‘It's good that the plaintiff informed us of the articles of the European Convention. But we have our own practice,' said the lawyer and reminded the court of the insurance recovery, which had nothing to do with the case. He must have been concentrated on insurance payments. He reiterated that Karimova's claim should not be satisfied because she had already received her insurance. Why should she expect more payments? In connection with the mother's health problems, Rusalovsky stated, ‘Your hospitalization has nothing to do with your son's death!'
The position of the representative of the Federal Treasury for the Orenburg Region, Natalia Pavlovna Sabinina, was interesting as well. She said, ‘This was a tragic accident. But it's not enough to blame state bodies. The sentence was passed against Glazkov, not state bodies. You should have filed the claim against Glazkov.' The Mother's Right Foundation lawyer responded that besides the criminal penalty there existed the civil legal responsibility. The parties came to court to determine the units' guilt and the extent of their responsibility. To be just, we should mention that Ms. Sabinina corrected her position at the end of the hearing. After the statement by prosecutor Belova (she supported our position and asked to partly satisfy the claim - to oblige the defendants to pay 500,000 roubles) Ms. Sabinina agreed with the prosecutor's position but asked to take into account that ‘the country's budget will suffer!'
After discussion, judge Natalia Alexeyevna Guk (she studied the case materials thoroughly) passed the decision obliging Military Unit 42710 and Military Unit 26381 to pay Elena Nikolayevna Karimova 700,000 roubles as compensation for moral damage caused by her son's death.
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We continue our struggle for the survival of the Mother's Right Foundation. We have no possibility to work as actively as before. In spite of all the difficulties, we do our best to receive calls and to protect the rights of parents of the deceased in court. Under the current situation, we can't do without your support.