A Bashkirian student alleges cruel tortures by the police


12 December 2011

The Committee Against Torture has begun working with another application claiming tortures at one of Ufa police-stations.

The Bashkirian representation of the Committee Against Torture has received an application from Ufa residents – Oleg Belkov and his mother Svetlana Belkova. 

According to 20-year old Oleg, on November 17, 2011 he got a call from the police and was invited to police station no.2 for questioning. The questioning was caused by the theft of money from a cafe where a wedding had taken place and where Oleg had helped the bridegroom’s brother to drive guests home.

Oleg went to the police station in the afternoon when his classes were over, but was only able to leave it the following day. The applicant explained that he had been tortured by two police officers who had demanded a confession to the theft from him. Oleg said that the police had a whole set of tools for solving crimes: a pulling rope with a hook, gas mask, leather belt, jacket collar. According to Oleg, they handcuffed him and tied his legs with the belt. After that the police put the jacket collar on his neck, fixed one end of the rope to the belt, pulled the rope through the collar and fixed its other end to the handcuffs. Thus, Oleg’s legs were pressed to his body and his hands – to the neck (the so-called envelope torture). While Oleg was immobilized, the police beat him randomly on the head and back. According to Belkov, his tormentors were drunk.

The tortures lasted all through the night. Unable to stand the pain, the youngster told the police what they wanted to hear. However, later he was released because the crime report had been withdrawn.

When Oleg came back home, he felt unwell and summoned an ambulance. He was taken to hospital no.21 in Ufa where he was diagnosed with a closed craniocerebral injury, brain concussion, head and body contusions.

On November 21, 2011 Oleg applied to the Russian Investigation Committee, however the allegations are still being checked.

The Committee Against Torture has started a public investigation into the allegations of torture because the Belkovs’ and other witnesses’ explanations, as well as medical records suggest violations of Articles 3 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (prohibition of torture and right to liberty).

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