Today the Blagoveschensk District Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan holds a preliminary trial in respect of the ill-famous case of police “mopping-up” operations in Blagoveschensk. It should be mentioned that the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan divided the criminal case against law enforcement officers into two parts and remitted it for a new trial to be conducted by another composition of the court. Today top officials of the special police force (OMON) will appear on the dock. The victims will be represented by Ms. Irina Borkova, a lawyer of the NN Committee Against Torture.
You may remember that experts of the NN Committee Against Torture together with their colleagues from the Public Verdict Foundation and Kazan Human Rights Center created a combined mobile group of Russian human rights activists which carried out a thorough public investigation into the tragic events in Blagoveschensk, a small town in Bashkortostan, which had taken place in December 2004.
Human rights defenders are now representing the victims before the court.
Furthermore, lawyers of the NN Committee Against Torture are still insisting on criminal prosecution of the former prosecutor of Blagoveschensk, Mr. Ismagilov, who in fact authorized mass beatings of people by police in 2004 and then was refusing to accept citizens’ complaints during three days.