A deputy chief of a police department in Nizhny Novgorod is arrested on suspicion of torturing detained


19 January 2013

«On January 18, 2013 the Soviet district court considered an application for selecting  taking into custody as a measure of restraint for citizen S., accused of committing a crime provided for by paragraph «а» of part 3 of article 286 CC RF, as reported by the press-service of Nizhegorodsky district court.

This man is Vladimir Samsonov, the deputy chief officer of PD №1 of Avtozavodsky district of Nizhny Novgorod, who had been accused of committing a crime provided for by paragraph «а» of part 3 of article 286 CC RF on 16 of January, 2013. He was arrested on the same day. Samsonov was interrogated as the accused in presence of his defender and refused to admit his guilt or give evidence in compliance with the regulations of article 51 of the Constitution of Russian Federation.

On considering the application the court ruled: select taking into custody for 1 month and 7 days that is till 23.02.2013, as a measure of restraint for Samsonov.

It is recalled that in April 2012 Nizami Gasanov and Elshan Zamanov appealed for help to Nizhegorodsky department of the Committee against torture – they claimed to be tortured by policemen. The applicants claim that on the evening of March 2, 2012 they were with their friends near Gasanovs’ house. Suddenly about ten plainclothes people stormed into the house and shouting “police” laid everybody down on the floor.

(The photo shows Nizami Gasanov and Elshan Zamanov)

Without showing their police ID cards, they started to search the house. In a few minutes one of them brought a plastic bag with two license plate numbers – it turned out that a car with such numbers was on the car theft list. Among the unwelcome guests Elshan Zamanov recognized Sergey Alimov, the chief officer of criminal investigation department of PD №1 of Avtozavodsky district of Nizhny Novgorod, who took Nizami Gasanov by the collar and lead him to the next room, where he demanded from the host not only to sign a consent for search, but also to confess in car theft. He backed his demands by twisting Nizami’s arm while another policeman slapped his ears and punched him in the breast.

Also the applicants told the human rights defenders, that in the course of the house search a large amount of money disappeared; Gasanov demanded the policemen to give them back, but their reply was that they hadn’t seen any money. Under the threat of going to the court the policemen started to search for the missing money. When Gasanov saw the bag with the money and stooped to it, they started to beat him, hitting the back of his head. Then he fell and they started to kick him. The money was registered as demonstrative evidence. After the search all the men who were in the house were taken to the police department №1 of Avtozavodsky district of Nizhny Novgorod. The policemen forced the detained to stand in the corridor all night long without sitting and only once let them go to the lavatory.

The detained were questioned within “the usual protocol”. As Nizami Gasanov told, he was lead to a room with 7 police operatives, seated on the floor, his hands locked with handcuffs behind his back. Eager to get his confession in car theft they put a plastic bag on his head three times, but twice the detained managed to tear it with his teeth. After two hours of suffocation and beating Nizami agreed to sign anything his torturers needed. On the next day he was questioned in attorney’s presence, but the attorney brushed aside Gasanov’s complaints of cruel treatment as he considered them fraud. However the applicant changed his evidence and told what really happened. After the questioning Gasanov was lead to another room and the deputy chief officer of PD came there soon. He threatened to beat and rape Gasanov if he wouldn’t tell how he had stolen the car. The deputy chief kicked the detained, grasped his hair and hit him on the face. As a final humiliation act he threatened with raping and tried to take his pants off. The detained couldn’t stand that and agreed to give evidence on the car theft.

The other detained person, Elshan Zamanov, was questioned in the same manner. He said that the deputy chief officer of PD told him, he wouldn’t let him go alive before he took the blame upon himself; he and another policeman knocked Zamanov down and beat unmercifully in support of their intentions. Then he said: “And now we will rape you and send the video to prison.” Zamanov was terrified so he wrote a confession.

On March 7 both applicants undertook medical examination in Nizhegorodsky district bureau of forensic medical examination. The examination registered, that Elshan Zamanov had one bruise in the left periocular area and eye retinal detachment; Nizam Gasanov had three bruises in the lumbar region and on his right shin. As soon as 10 of March Gasanov and Zamanov made an application to investigatory authorities for being tortured.

Alexey Matasov, the lawyer of the Committee against torture who represent the victims’ interests, comments on the court decision: “I should mention that after the criminal charge was brought, it was transferred to the department investigating cases of particular importance of the Investigative Department IC RF of Nizhegorodskaya region. Samsonov must have been arrested due to claims of Zamanov and Gasanov about repeated threats with demands to change their evidence. It’s still not clear, though, what are the conclusions of the investigation concerning other criminal participants that the victims have informed of. Apparently, the investigation verges to its close and when it finishes we are going to look through the case materials to clarify everything”.

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