A criminal case against the policemen who had violently beaten a citizen of Yoshkar-Ola was opened


09 January 2008

The Investigative Committee under the Prosecution Service of Russia opened a criminal case under Article 286 para. 3 (a) of the Russian Criminal Code (Exceeding official powers associated with the use of violence). Ivan Kozlov, a citizen of Yoshkar-Ola beaten by policemen, was declared a victim in this criminal case. Now the pretrial investigation is being carried out.

    You may remember that on 3 July 2007 the Mari-El human rights NGO “Man and Law” received an application from Ivan Kozlov who asked to grant him legal aid. He told experts of the of the Public Investigations Department of the INGO Committee Against Torture in Mari-El that on 26 June 2007 policemen of the Zarechny police station of Yoshkar-Ola tried to extort a “confession” from him to the murder of a certain girl whom he barely knew. Mr Kozlov has never killed any girl and he definitely refused to be responsible for someone’s crime. The policemen were not happy with it. They began torturing him for hours – beating him, putting a gas mask on him and stretching him in the “swallow” position. They threatened him, including with the rape. The policemen were inventing new and new methods to achieve their goal. According to Ivan the torturers were drunk. Being unable to withstand the torture the young man confessed to the murder and was released from the police station.

    Ivan was taken to hospital in an ambulance called by his lawyer. He had very serious injuries. And some time later the true killer of the girl was detained.

    Human rights defenders from the Public Investigations Department in the Republic of Mari-El carried out an independent inquiry in respect of Ivan’s application and concluded that the policemen had violated Article 3 of the European Convention, after that the Committee made the prosecution service open a criminal case against the policemen who had ill-treated Ivan Kozlov.  

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