A relaxing blow in the face is not a reason to open a criminal case

News

26 May 2021

Stanislav Kharitonov from the Orenburg region claims that the police officers were strangling him and beating him up in August of last year in a police vehicle, tried to rape him with a police truncheon, and continued the battery after he was delivered to the police department. The police officers openly admit they applied physical force against Kharitonov, including a relaxing blow in the face. According to them, they tried to counteract the criminal actions of Kharitonov who was drunk at the time and allegedly, hit one of the police officers. The Investigative Committee investigators dismissed the claim to open a criminal case with regard to the police officers for four times already.

On 24 August 2020, Stanislav Kharitonov from Mednogorsk of the Orenburg region applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. He told human rights defenders that on 11 August 2020 he had a conflict with neighbors who called the police. The arrived law-enforcement officers put Kharitonov, who was in the state of alcohol intoxication, inside the service vehicle, where, according to the applicant, they beat him up at first, and then started to strangle him till he was passing out, and in addition, they attempted to rape him with a police truncheon.

“Two police officers sat near me side by side and the car moved on. At the exit from the yard near the bushes the car stopped and the police officers started to insult me verbally, and then the two who were sitting next to me started to beat me up with fists and rubber truncheons. The one who was sitting on the left, pulled my head towards him, put it on his right foot and pressed my head with his left foot, blocking my breathing. At the same time, he was restraining my hands which were handcuffed. And the one who was sitting on the right was restraining my legs with his hands. I did not see which one of them pulled off my shorts and attempted to insert a rubber truncheon in my rectum, I did not see that and I cannot be certain. At that moment I passed out due to strangulation”, – Stanislav recalls.

According to Kharitonov, he came to his senses when he was brought to the police department. The applicant claims that there the police officers continue to beat him up, including when his hands were handcuffed behind his back and he could not protect himself from the blows.

Forensic medical expert diagnosed Stanislav with the following traumas: “Closed non-penetrating craniocerebral trauma: extravasation in the area of the upper and lower lid of the right eye, right cheek, right zygomatic region, conjunctival hemorrhage of the eye, brain concussion, which may have developed due to the impact (impacts) of a solid blunt object with a limited contact surface or during the impact with such objects, in the time period up to 24 hours before the examination by paramedic… A bruise in the area of the right lower leg lateral malleolus, a bruise in the right wrist joint area, left wrist joint area, a bruise in the lumbar region on the left, a bruise and an extravasation in the sacrum area, hematoma (extravasation) of the right third of the right thigh, which may have developed from impacts of solid blunt objects with limited contact surface or during impact against such, in the time period of up to 24 hours before the examination by paramedic”.

Forensic medical expert established that Stanislav was inflicted a mild health damage.

The police officers subsequently explained to the investigator that Stanislav Kharitonov inflicted almost all of his bodily injuries to himself: “When he went out of the entrance lobby he was trying to break loose and was hitting against the handrails… he was hitting against the vehicle and the protruding parts of the vehicle door opening…during the vehicle movement he attempted to stand up and was hitting against the car roof…”.

A criminal case was opened against Stanislav Kharitonov with regard to the fact of his committing the crime under Article 318 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“applying force against a power authority representative”), the case was sent to court less than a month after its opening.

During the court hearing on charges against Kharitonov, a complainant police officer was interrogated who reported that when Kharitonov was sitting at the police department with his hands cuffed behind his back, he kicked him in the area of the abdomen with his foot, to what he responded to Kharitonov with a relaxing blow in the face. At the present time, the court proceedings are still ongoing.

On 1 September of last year, Stanislav Kharitonov applied to the Investigative Committee with a crime report.

On 19 May 2021, investigator of the Investigative Department for Kuvandyk city of the Investigative Committee of the R for the Orenburg region Mikhail Goryunov issued the forth dismissal of the claim to open a criminal case. Today, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture received a copy of this ruling.

“The investigator’s approach causes bewilderment, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin comments. – For example, the police officers point out that they applied physical force in the form of wrestle techniques and applying relaxing blows, however, the investigator did not even clarify that when he was questioning the police officers, which one of them was delivering those relaxing blows and at what parts of the victim’s body. It is mentioned in the specialized literature that the relaxing blows are made in the least vulnerable parts of the body to prevent any health damage. However, the police officer acknowledged that he hit Kharitonov in the face. Definitely, we intend to insist that the dismissal of the claim to open a criminal case is quashed and an efficient check of Stanislav Kharitonov is performed”.