A driver from Nizhny Novgorod attacks the traffic police?


19 June 2008

Photo: Ms. Elena Belan in hospital where she was taken after meeting the traffic police. While on the 8th of March traffic police officers give flowers to women, on the 9th of June they presented Elena with a concussion, multiple contusions and a neck vertebra dislocation.

    Yesterday the Committee against Torture received an application of Ms. Elena Belan who asked to render her legal assistance and conduct a public investigation of the events of June 9 when she had been battered by the Sovietskiy district traffic police officers. According to Elena, around 13:20 on the 9th of June she and her husband got lost in the side-streets of the Sovietskiy district and decided to ask the traffic police crew located in Shishkova street in Nizhny Novgorod for help. 

Elena stopped her car (Subaru Forrester) in front of the police car and immediately a police officer approached her with a request to show her license. Ms.Belan claims that she started explaining that they had got lost and needed help, and, according to her words, she got an eloquent reply: “I’m not a f…ing inquiry office”, and after that the police officer made the woman enter the police car.

Being inside the police car, Ms. Belan found out that she had allegedly violated traffic rules by driving along the road designed for oncoming traffic. Elena tried to explain to the officers that it was some kind of misunderstanding because she had come up to them to ask for help. But, as she claims, she heard only curses. She could not stand that abusive language, went out of the car and went to her vehicle. There her husband told her that one of the offices had tried to get a bribe from him. According to Elena’s husband, he managed to call Mr.Gorshenin, head of the Nizhny Novgorod Security Service Administration (SSA) under the Department of Internal Affairs, and tell him about the incident. The latter advised him to mention the bribe in the protocol, then go to the SSA with a copy and file a claim. To her misfortune Ms.Belan followed the advice of the high-standing security officer.

  When the traffic police officer saw what the lady was writing in the protocol he snatched the paper from her. Then the police detained her by twisting her arms behind the back and kicking her down. She fell down and struck her head on the asphalt. But it did not seem enough to one of the police officers, he jumped and landed with his knee on the lady’s waist.  After that they handcuffed her, placed into the patrol car and took to the Sovietskiy district SSA.

The same evening she was released. She immediately files two claims, one to the SSA and the other to the Prosecutor’s office.

Later she went to the trauma station and the doctors there documented multiple bruises and contusions on Elena’s body, neck and wrists.  

On June 10 Ms.Belan felt worse and on the 11th she was taken to hospital #33 to the trauma department where she is still undergoes treatment.

According to the police, Ms. Belan’s injury resulted from her malicious disobedience to perform the traffic police requests. Apparently, the police think that Ms. Belan approached the traffic police vehicle in her own car to attack them.

The Committee against Torture started an investigation under Ms.Belan’s application, later we will notify our readers of the results.

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