Photo is published with consent of Zarifzhon Mirzonazarov
Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted an application to the ECHR on behalf of Zarifzhon Mirzonazarov — a citizen of Uzbekistan, who was beaten up by the police officers and security officers of the Immigration Center in the Orenburg region. It is stated in the document, that law-enforcement officers violated Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms which prohibits tortures.
Zarifzhon applied to the Committee in June 2020. He told human rights defenders that the officers of the Immigration Center where he was staying, stopped issuing telephones with Internet access. The foreign citizens became outraged, because they were deprived of communication with relatives who are abroad. In protest, they started to put wet paper on the video cameras lenses in their rooms. The police officers removed the paper several times and asked not to do that again. After another conflict, the police and security officers beat up the foreign citizens.
— One of the guards in the black uniform hit my feet 4-5 times with a truncheon for no reason at all. I told them that they had no right to beat me up, that this is unlawful. The guard officer, major from Orenburg and police officer who worked in the Center, started to pull my arms behind my back and put handcuffs on me. At that time, I fell and when I was on the floor I was hit twice with a police truncheon at my back”, — Zarifzhon recalled.
After the beating, the Center’s residents were forced to lie on the floor of the gym for more than an hour, and then – to stand facing the wall for about an hour. Later on, Zarifzhon was registered with a soft tissues contusion and a hematoma.
Lawyers of the Committee reported the crime to the Investigative Committee, but subsequently received four dismissals of claims to open a criminal case. According to the investigators, the actions of the police and security officers were legal. Later on, the courts of several instances refused to satisfy the lawyers’ applications against the illegal dismissal. That is why the lawyers decided to apply to the ECHR.
Lawyer Timur Rakhmatulin emphasized that law-enforcement bodies did not perform an effective investigation. For example, the investigator did not establish the names of the persons who were beating up Zarifzhon, did not request the reports of the police and security officers on applying physical force by them, and did not seize the records from the cameras which were supposed to register the battery process.
— Our applicant suffered from violence the objective of which was humiliation, imposing fear, inflicting severe mental and physical suffering, although they did not result in long-term health damage. The police and security officers were acting being absolutely sure of their impunity, because they knew that foreign citizens, including Zarifzhon, are to be deported, — added lawyer Elza Valiyeva.