For two years, the lawyers with the CAT have been trying to bring to justice the police officers who applied force against Ruslan Minasov. His apprehension was filmed with a dash camera. The man told human rights defenders that he was taken to the police department handcuffed, inside a car trunk.
Ruslan Minasov told the CAT lawyers that in the evening of July 10, 2020 he was beaten up by Patrol-Guard Service officers in Moscow. According to Ruslan, the police was called by witnesses of the conflict between him and his partner. As he recalls, at first the police officers talked with him composedly, and then one of them started to beat him up:
«He hit me in the nose with his fist. Then, the second police officer ran up to me and started to hit my body, legs and head».
The moment of Ruslan’s apprehension was recorded by the dash camera of a witness that was riding by. The video shows two police officers hitting his back and head for several minutes. According to Minasov, the officers pressed his loins and neck with their knees:
«At some moment, a police officer hit me in the area of the lumbar spine with his knee, I heard a rustle and a wave passed through my body, I collapsed and passed out».
The man came to his senses in the trunk of a police vehicle. According to him, his face was all covered with blood:
«It was difficult to breathe, my spine aches, as well as my nose, I felt giddiness and it was difficult to move. I managed to free my right hand, took my phone from the bag and called a friend of mine. After that the car stopped, and the police officers seized his phone, broke it against the asphalt and put it in my bag. They also hit my head and applied handcuffs, having pulled my arms very tightly behind my back».
Ruslan was taken to the Department of the Interior for Yakimanka District. There, according to the man, he was lying handcuffed for two hours on the pavement next to the police department, until he was taken to by the ambulance. According to the man, handcuffs were not removed from him, and he was handcuffed all the way to hospital.
Ruslan was taken to hospital, where MRT was done to him only after his friends demanded that. It showed a spinal fracture and a closed craniocerebral injury. He was hospitalized and for over five months was under treatment, as an in-patient, and then as an out-patient. It is worth noting that later on the expert examination did not confirm the spinal fracture of Minasov.
In October 2020, Minasov was brought to administrative responsibiliuty by the Tagansky District Court of Moscow under Article 19.3 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation on disobedience to the orders from the police officers.
Zamoskvoretsky Investigative Department performed the check in regard of the police officers with the District Department of the Interior for Yakimanka District. The investigator repeatedly issued dismissals of claims to open a criminal case. The last one issued on 27 August 2021 and declared legal by the court.
In parallel with the check, we applied to the Babushkinsky District Court with administrative court claim on declaring illegal applying physical force and special equipment during Minasov’s apprehension. In April 2022, the court partially satisfied the court claim and acknowledged that handcuffs were illegally applied on him only in the ambulance. On 1 February 2023, the Moscow City Court, having examined the appellate appeal of the Chief Directorate of the Interior for Moscow, quashed the ruling of the Babushkinsky District Court and dismissed the lawsuit completely. We intend to appeal against the ruling of the appellate instance under cassational procedure.
In December 2022, we submitted an application to the ECHR in the interests of Ruslan Minasov.
The comment by CAT lawyer Georgiy Ivanov:
«We think that the police officers acted unprofessionally during the apprehension, because they delivered random strokes and did not attempt to minimize the damage to health. The method that they chose for apprehension was not necessary in that situation. In addition, we think that the police officers did not have legal grounds for applying handcuffs in the ambulance».