The Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against unidentified Drug Law Enforcement officers with regard to the battery of Igor Kraynov from Nizhny Novgorod. As we have previously reported, Mr Kraynov claims that the police officers beat him up during the apprehension and put a bag with drugs into the back pocket of his jeans. The described events were recorded by the video surveillance camera, which the police officers did not know of. So far there has been no feedback from the investigator as to the victim’s complaint on drugs having been planted on him.
On 1 October 2019, Igor Kraynov from Nizhny Novgorod applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. According to him, in the evening of 12 September, at about 20:50, after a meeting his friends, he was getting back to his place of work at Nizhpoligraph in order to collect the personal belongings. Returning home via the dark inner court, Igor saw two men in civilian clothes approaching at him fast, and when they got near they shouted: “Halt, police!” As the attackers did not seem to be the police officers to him, Mr Kraynov ran in the direction of the lightened area. The two men ran after him, one of them stumbled and fell, the second started to shoot in the air, shouting “Halt, or I will shoot!”
After the shooting, Igor realized these men were the police officers, however, he was concerned about possible illegal actions against himself in absence of any witnesses, so he intentionally ran inside the building where video surveillance cameras were installed and where he might also meet some strangers.
Having ran inside the building, Kraynov proceeded to the lifts – that’s where the police officers seized him.
“At that moment, a police officer seized my neck and back with both hands, hit me with right knee in the stomach area, having stretched me on the ground, immediately put on the handcuffs and then hit my groin area with his right foot“, – Kraynov recalls.
According to Igor, the police officers hit him periodically in the ribs area, keeping asking him: “Where? Where?”. According to the applicant, he received no less than 10-15 hits within 10 minutes that he spent lying on the floor near the lift. While Kraynov was laying on the ground, some officers were constantly searching through the contents of his pockets, others, who came running with flash lights, checked the premises, as the applicant realized, to search for drugs. There were phrases like: “Check everything here. He could get rid of it”.
Later on, as Kraynov explained, he was lifted and taken to the exit from the court of the building, where one of the officers once again checked the contents of the back left pocket of his jeans, and that’s when Kraynov realized something was planted on him there. After that Igor was put in the car and taken to the police department No.5 for the Department of the Interior of Russia for Nizhny Novgorod, where in one of the rooms his handcuffs were readjusted for the front position and put against the wall with hands up. According to Kraynov, he spent about three hours in this position. During this time, several police officers, who apprehended him previously, hit him in the area of kidneys, as well as insulted and humiliated him.
At about 10.30 p.m., Kraynov’s personal search was performed, during which, in the presence of attesting witnesses, a transparent plastic bag containing white powder was found in the back left pocket of his jeans, as it was identified later, it was a narcotic substance mephedrone in a large quantity (3.184 grams). Several hours later, at the place of Kraynov’s permanent residence a search was carried out, in the course of which nothing illegal was found.
The police officer who performed Kraynov’s apprehension and search at the police department, told him which legend he should be sticking to: allegedly, Kraynov saw a link to a telegram-channel written on a fence, ordered mephedrone via this channel, went to the address that was given to him, collected the package, went to work, near which he was detained by the police officers.
“I was warned that if I stick to this legend, they would provide the measure of restraint not involving arrest, otherwise I would be brought in under another more serious article of the Criminal Code”, – Igor told.
Kraynov spent one day at the temporary detention cell, and on 14 September travel and behavior restrictions were imposed on him, after that he went home.
Despite continuous dull pain in the right part of the ribs area and corresponding complaints, no medical assistance was rendered to Kraynov either at the police or at the temporary detention cell. Due to the fact that painful feeling lingered on, on 16 September he applied to the first aid station of health center No.50, where he was diagnosed with: “Contusion of the right half of the ribcage”. The applicant describes that for a long time he felt sharp pain in the right side of the ribs area, had difficulties with breathing, it was painful to breathe in deeply.
On 3 October, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the Investigative Committee on behalf of Igor Kraynov with a crime report.
On 8 October, Senior Investigator of the Investigative Department for the Nizhegorodsky District of Nizhny Novgorod of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Nizhny Novgorod region Karina Shilkova initiated criminal proceedings against unidentified police officers based on the fact of the committed crime under item “a” part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office using violence”). On the same day, Igor Kraynov was declared a victim in the case.
The ruling declaring him a victim , among other things, stated that: “Unidentified Drug Law Enforcement officers with the Department of Interior of Russia for Nizhny Novgorod…applied physical force against I.E.Kraynov, having no legal grounds provided by federal law “On Police”, to do that. The physical force was applied against Kraynov, lying near the lift with his hands cuffed, in the form of repeated hitting and kicking his body and limbs”.
“We are satisfied with the fact that the criminal case based on the battery of Igor Kraynov by the police officers is initiated, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Yuliya Osipova comments. – However, we are concerned with the fact that investigator Shilkova did not evaluate in any way the Kraynov’s complaint that drugs were planted on him – we will insist on a criminal case to be opened for this episode, too, since we think that the investigator has all the grounds to do so”.