Yesturday, the Nizhny Novgorod Regional NGO Committee Against Torture has held a rally devoted to the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. During the rally members of the Committee acquainted citizens of Nizhny Novgorod and representatives of mass media with the problem of torture and cruel treatment by law enforcement officers.
Aleksey Mikheev and Dmitry Gorbulya – victims of torture who took part in the rally – shared their stories of torture they had suffered in law enforcement agencies with other people. The participants underscored the lack effectiveness of the prosecution service in supervision of law enforcement agencies and investigation of citizens’ allegations of torture.
In the course of the rally we collected dozens of signatures of citizens under the appeal to Mr. Aleksandr Konovalov, the Plenipotentiary Representative of the RF President in Privolzhsky Federal District, requesting him to take the situation with torture in Privolzhsky Federal District under his personal control.
Local authorities by no means hampered in the rally. There were not even police patrols which are usual for such events.
One woman – a police sergeant – was the only representative of law enforcement agencies. Having meticulously put down in her notebook the content of the banners and having got copies of the books the Committee distributed, she calmly watched the event sitting on a bench.
The rally was organized with support of Open Society Institute, the Netherlands Embassy and International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims