A criminal case against two police officers from Nizhny Novgorod who beat up a man in the forest has been taken to court


06 August 2015

The criminal case against two criminal investigators of the Department of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs for Balakhninsky District who are charged with the battery of Laziz Niyazov from Bolshoye Kozino settlement of the Nizhny Novgorod region has been taken to court.  The criminal case will be examined per special procedure. The court hearing will take place at the Balakhninsky City Court on 12 August 2015 at 9:00.  

(According to Laziz Niyazov, this vehicle was used to take him to the forest)

As we have previously reported, in May of this year Laziz Niyazov from Nizhny Novgorod applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. According to the applicant, late in the evening of 21 May of this year four police officers demanded to go with them to the police department, but instead they took him to the forest and beat him up. Notably, in a few days one of the visitors came to Laziz again. This time he wanted to apologize.

Laziz Niyazov lives in Bolshoye Kozino settlement in the Nizhny Novgorod region with his wife, elderly mother and two kids. In his application to the human rights organization Niyazov reported that late at night on 21 May 2015 four men came up to his house, in one of them the applicant recognized a district police officer. They demanded that Niyazov goes with them to the police department.

According to Laziz, instead of that the unbidden guests took him to the forest near his house, where they beat him up demanding that he confessed of theft and provided false witness against his colleagues. As Niyazov recollects, threats continued in the police dispatch center of the Department of the Interior of Russia for Balakhninsky district, where he was taken after execution in the forest, however, he had not confessed. After midnight Niyazov was released, he applied to the first-aid station right away, where he was diagnosed with cerebral concussion, and a lot of bruises all over his body were registered.

On 25 May Laziz Niyazov applied to the Committee Against Torture. In the course of public investigation human rights defenders questioned witnesses, conducted additional medical examination of the applicant, submitted a crime report to the Investigative Committee, filed a number of motions on including the data obtained in the course of public investigation to the materials of the official check, for example, medical documentation, as well as video and audio records related to pressure which Niyazov was subjected to.

One of the police officers, whom Laziz identified as one of his offenders, came to the applicant’s house on 2 June this year and apologized for «that case», saying that Laziz was «framed». This meeting was recorded with a video surveillance camera that was installed by the Committee Against Torture members in order to provide the applicant’s safety. The content of the conversation was also recorded by Niyazov on his dictaphone recorder.

On 18 June 2015 it has become known about a criminal case initiated based on the fact of violence by the officers of the Department of the Interior for the Balakhninsky District used against Laziz Niyazov from Bolshoye Kozino settlement, who is declared the affected party in the criminal case. On 26 June the human rights defenders who are taking part in the court proceedings in the capacity of Mr.Niyaziov’s representatives, received copies of confessions of two police officers in which they confessed of unlawful violence that they used against Laziz and of abuse of office. 

«Initially four policemen were involved in the criminal case, however two of them  reported for voluntary leave right after the incident, that is why their status was changed to witnesses. In their reports they described that it was their colleagues who were beating up Niyazov, and they had to stop this. The defendants were dismissed as early as on 18 June of this year based on the results of an agency check, now they are charged with crime under part 3 of Article 286 of the Russian Criminal Code (abuse of office with the use of violence). The criminal case will be examined per special procedure since both of the officers filed appropriate requests and victim Laziz Niyazov is not against it», – comments lawyer of the Committee on Prevention of Torture Sergey Shounin.

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