A Nizhny Novgorod citizen claims that his legs have grown numb as a result of police abuse


21 July 2010

The Interregional Committee Against Torture has received an application from Mr. Guryanov claiming that he was tortured by policemen in the Moskovsky district of Nizhny Novgorod. He said that on July 1, 2010 he had been detained by the police at home. Mr. Guryanov was taken to the police station without any explanation of the reason for his detention or any procedural documents prepared, i.e. unlawfully. According to the applicant, police officers started beating him on the head and the trunk, the beatings lasted for about 5 minutes. After that the police told him the reason for detaining him. One of the officers who introduced himself as Sergey Nikolayevich said that two weeks before, being heavily intoxicated,  he had lost his bag near one of the local bars. According to Sergey Nikolayevich, Guryanov should know where the precious bag was. In order to make the detainee tell them about the location of the bag as soon as possible, the police decided to use an “envelope” (a torture method used by officers of the Ministry of the Interior, when a person is seated on the floor with his arms and legs crossed, then they tie a rope to his legs and use it to pull the victim’s head down to the legs and fix it there.)

   Guryanov spent about an hour in such position. According to him, all that time there were two or three people in the room. Several times they lifted him by the rope and threw him of the floor. From time to time the officers asked the applicant if he had recollected where their colleague had lost his bag. Guryanov’s words that he could not know where a drunk officer had put his bag two weeks before made the police furious. They left him lying tied up in a envelope for three hours more. While Guryanov was tied up, the police hit him from time to time. They put a stool on his back, apparently, to encourage him to help them find the officer’s valuables. Then one of the policemen sat down on that stool. The stool’s legs left injuries on Guryanov’s back and shoulders.

   Besides, the victim claims that the torture was accompanied by constant threats of sexual violence.

   Four hours later Guryanov could not stand the tortures any more. He told the police that he was ready to confess to any crime and sign any documents, to tell the police not only about the location of their colleague’s bag, but also confess to killing  J.F. Kennedy, he only wanted to be untied. He was even ready to return the documents he did not have, the only problem was that he did not know what documents that Bacchus’ fan had lost. 

   When they untied Guryanov he could not feel his legs from knees to hills, they got numb and he could not stand up. The police released Guryanov at about 8 p.m by leaving him on the porch of a shop nearby the police department because he could not move on his own.  

   Guryanov spent three days in the traumatological department of Clinical Hospital no. 13 in the Sormovsky district. During those three days the police two times came to see him. They asked him why he had told the doctors about police abuse, warned him about some problems he might face and told him to write a typical explanation stating that he had fallen asleep in an inconvenient position being intoxicated which had made his legs numb. No one knows on what grounds the police had asked for an explanation at all. Who authorized them to conduct a check in respect of themselves?

   Guryanov left hospital with the following diagnosis: posttraumatic compressive-ischemic polyneuropathy of shinbone nerves of both lower extremities. Now Guryanov is taking a two-month course of treatment in his local hospital.  Unfortunately, the doctors’ forecast is unpromising – the left leg will hardly ever be functioning properly.

   After receiving Guryanov’s application the ICAT lawyers questioned witnesses, filed an application to the head of the Moskovsky District Investigation Department of the Investigation Administration of the Investigation Committee under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Nizhny Novgorod region.  On July 6, 2010 Guryanov underwent a forensic medical examination during which the signs of beating, tying up with a rope, using handcuffs and the stool were documented. On July 7, 2010 the investigation authorities started checking Guryanov’s application about the crime. Although the time limit allocated for such a check has expired, neither Mr. Guryanov nor the CAT have been notified about its outcome.

   The Interregional Committee Against Torture will do everything possible to force the authorities to open a criminal case and prosecute the perpetrators.

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