A resident of Nizhny Novgorod complained that a policeman had broken his arm. A few days later, the victim became a defendant in the criminal case of insulting that officer


19 June 2023


In May 2023, some policemen approached Ivan Fomin, who was near a store in Nizhny Novgorod. According to Mr. Fomin, the police suspected him of drinking alcohol in a public place, although Ivan did not do it. As a result of the conflict, as Ivan claims, he was thrown to the ground and handcuffed. Later, the man was diagnosed with a fracture and he also learned that a criminal case had been opened against him for insulting an official.

Ivan Fomin, 42, works as an apartment renovation master. On the afternoon of 18 May 2023, he finished work in one of the apartments and drove home with his colleague. Ivan went to the nearest store and bought some alcohol. He opened the bottle on the street so that he could pour the substance into another container. Mr. Fomin says that he did not drink that alcohol and was going to get home. The whole scene was seen by a female police officer; she approached Ivan with questions about the contents of the bottle. A few minutes later, another officer appeared; that man did not introduce himself and demanded Ivan’s personal data, as Mr. Fomin told the CAT lawyers.

A conflict ensued between Mr. Fomin and that policeman: Ivan refused to go to the police station until he was explained the reason for the arrest. According to Ivan, the officer grabbed him by the arm and threw him to the ground.

«I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder. I shouted and asked to call an ambulance, but the policeman continued to twist my arms back and put on handcuffs», Ivan said.

Mr. Fomin was put into a car and taken to police station no. 5 on the Nizhnevolzhskaya embankment. Ivan underlines that all his personal belongings were taken from him and he was placed in a cell. The man asked to call an ambulance, as well as to contact his wife, but his demands were rejected. After some time, Ivan was brought to the office and urged to sign documents, the contents of which he did not know. The man refused to sign the papers. He constantly complained of pain, and finally an ambulance was called for him. The medics examined Ivan and took him to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed «a closed comminuted fracture of parts of the right upper arm bone with displacement of fragments.» Subsequently, Mr. Fomin spent a week in the hospital.

On 22 May 2023, Mr. Fomin reported the incident to the hotline «112» and filed an oral complaint against the policeman. Ivan claims that after that he received a call from a man who introduced himself as the deputy commander of the regiment and asked him to «understand the current situation and enter into the position of that officer.» Similar requests, according to Ivan, were made to his friend, who witnessed the conflict.

A couple of days later, as the man recalls, an investigator came to the hospital and said that the policeman had lawfully used force. The investigator also showed Mr. Fomin a fragment of the video from the police chest registrar and said that Ivan had insulted the official. Ivan says that he indeed shouted some obscene words, as at that moment the officer had already knocked him to the ground and handcuffed his broken arm.

Despite the testimony of Mr. Fomin and two witnesses, who confirmed that Ivan did not swear at the policeman, a criminal case was opened against him for insulting a representative of the authorities (Article 319 of the Russian Criminal Code). Mr. Fomin, in turn, lodged a crime report with the Nizhegorodskiy district investigative department of the city of Nizhny Novgorod. However, the Investigative Committee did not initiate an own inquiry, but instead redirected the crime report to the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Nizhny Novgorod region.

The lawyers of the Crew Against Torture launched a public investigation into Mr. Fomin’s application: witness statements were obtained confirming Ivan’s words, but this is still not enough to make an unambiguous conclusion about the unlawfulness of the use of force by the policeman. The lawyers continue to collect evidence and plan to get a video from the police registrar in order to fully restore the picture of what happened.

Currently, Ivan is unable to work due to a broken shoulder, so he has to hire other workers to perform the contract on time. He also continues to support his family.

Подтвердите, что вам есть 18 лет