On February 1, 2011 the Interregional Committee Against Torture received an application from Nikita Danishkin, born in 1985, kept in the Nizhny Novgorod remand prison.
In his application Nikita claims that on December 25, 2010 he was detained in his home by officers of the Anti-Extremism Centre under the Directorate of the Interior for Nizhny Novgorod region. He was taken to the headquarters of the Anti-Extremism Centre where officers, including AEC head Trifonov and police captain Shesteryakov, beat him in order to make him confess to preparation of a terrorist attack and dissemination of information smearing the honor and dignity of AEC staff. When Danishkin, despite tortures, refused to write a confession, law enforcers brought a towing cable, made Nikita sit with crossed legs, tied his legs up with the towing-cable and handcuffed his hands behind his back. Then they bound the towing-cable around his neck, made a knot at the level of his chest and after that pulled the rope through the handcuffs. Then Shesteryakov started lifting Nikita above the floor by pulling the towing-cable, the knot oppressed Danishkin’s throat, his body bent in two, after that the officer flung Danishkin on the floor. During such “investigative process” Nikita lost consciousness. When he came to himself, Anti-Extremism Centre staff spent two more hours trying to threaten the guy into confessing to a crime, however, he refused to yield to the pressure.
After that Anti-Extremism Centre officers took Danishkin to the remand prison under Police Department no.1 in Nizhny Novgorod, the remand prison head saw Nikita’s numerous injuries and sent him to hospital for an examination.
On December 27, 2010 Danishkin was admitted to remand prison 52/1, where he had the following injuries documented: a red-brown bruise on the right side of the abdominal area, a yellowish-green bruise in the axillary region on the left, multiple purple bruises on the face and neck.
Danishkin complained about ill-treatment to the head of the Kanavinsky District Investigation Department of Nizhny Novgorod. On February 4, 2011 Nikita was transferred to the Kanavinsky District Investigation Department to obtain his explanation in connection with the application. According to Nikita, he was accompanied by the officers he was complaining about – Shesteryakov and Chernyavsky. He claims that they were also present during the interrogation. One more detail characterizing the investigation process – after the interrogation the investigator copied Danishkin’s explanation to Shesteryakov’s memory stick. After that stage of an “independent investigation” was over, the officers took Nikita to the Anti-Extremism Centre where they told him that his complain about ill-treatment would bring no result. Anti-Extremism Centre staff started threatening Nikita with violence saying that they would place him in a cell with other in-mates where he would be abused as a former law enforcer upon their request. Nikita managed to apply to the ICAT through his lawyer.
The CAT has started investigating into the allegations. The Committee believes that only public involvement and attention to this case can ensure Nikita’s safety. Therefore, we urge mass media representatives and NGOs to help us. Together we can save Danishkin whom anti-extremism officers have already stigmatized as a “Russian fascist”!