Activist from Nalchik and his brother, previously complaining of the police officers, are detained


04 December 2017

Activist and head of the non-governmental organization “Volny aul” (Free Mountain Village) Aslan Iritov and his brother Beslan were detained yesterday and taken to the temporary isolation cell in Nalchik. Aslan Iritov, who is disabled and does not have the hands on both arms, claims that he, his brother, wife and two daughters were beaten up by the Nalchik police officers. However, the investigators of the Investigative Committee, where the victim applied for help, initiated criminal proceedings against Aslan himself and his brother Beslan regarding the attack on the police officers.     

(Aslan Iritov and Beslan Iritov)

On 16 November 2017 the Iritov family from the Kabardino-Balkar Republic applied to the Committee Against Torture: they reported that five members of their family were beaten up by the police officers.   

According to the Iritov family, on 31 October of this year, people in the police uniform and in civilian clothes came to the yard of their house and demanded to bring the head of household forward to them. The women, gathered in the yard, started to resent the unbidden guests and asked the officers to present their IDs or leave. Brother of the head of the household, Beslan Iritov, came out to the yard and expressed his outrage at the fact that the intruders were videotaping their yard with a video camera. He straddled his arms aside and said: “Stop making video! Get out of the yard! Who do you think you are?” At the same time he started to move towards the intruders, intending to get them out of the household yard.
According to the members of the family, head of the household, disabled Aslan Iritov, was still inside then. He does not have the hands on both arms, due to that he was dressing for a long time and came out in the yard the last. At that moment the armed masked people were already running in. Aslan was knocked down, his clothes were torn, he was stricken down to the ground, his head was pressed against the asphalt and his throat was squeezed. Aslan also hit his head against the edge stone when he was falling. The police officers hit his brother, Beslan, against the temple, and tied him up, as well. Then the brothers were taken out in the street and brought inside the mini-van. According to Aslan, while they were being carried, he was dropped and dragged along the ground several meters, and Beslan’s rib was broken during this operation.     

The brothers were delivered to the city police department. At the department Beslan felt bad and the police officers had to call the ambulance for him. The doctors, arrived after the call, diagnosed the bruises and assumption of the fracture and told to deliver the detained to the first-aid station. On the same day the brothers were released.

According to the witnesses of the incident at Iritov’s house, women caught it bad, as well.  For example, Aslan’s wife, Marina Iritova, had her finger broken, and his daughter Angelica, was hit with her face against the floor and her nose was damaged. Later on, the doctors diagnosed an assumption of closed craniocerebral injury, brain concussion. Her younger sister Liliya also has assumption of closed craniocerebral injury. She recorded the incident on her mobile phone. Both sisters are undergoing medical treatment, the final diagnosis has not been yet declared.  

That is how Angelica tells about the incident herself: “Over a dozen masked people, wearing camouflage uniform and armed with machine-guns ran into the yard. One of them hold me from behind and applied a combat technique and hip-threw me on the ground. During the fall I hit against the asphalt with the right side of the body and face and felt a sharp pain. Lying on the ground, I saw that my dad was stricken to the ground and was being beaten with a butt of machine-guns and feet. Dad’s clothes were torn. Having hit him several times, four police officers held him at various parts of the body and brought him from the yard beyond the wicket gate. I managed to stand and go inside the house. I saw in the mirror that I had nosebleed and bruises on my face”.

Based on the incident, the Iritov family applied to the Investigative Committee. However, the investigators initiated criminal proceedings against the Iritov brothers themselves under item 1 Article 318 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“applying violence against the police officer”).    

Sometime later Aslan and Beslan were placed under house arrest, and, according to the court’s ruling, special bracelets were put on their feet. On 23 November, investigator Marat Berkhamov unexpectedly cancelled the house arrest, however, only last week, on 30 November, the Iritov brothers learned about that from the Federal Penitentiary Service officers, who came to take the bracelets off.    

Yesterday, on 3  December, investigator Marat Berkhamov summoned Aslan and Beslan to the Nalchik Investigative Department for familiarization with the expert examination regarding the criminal case. However, when the brothers showed up, the investigator did not wait for the Iritov’s lawyer and formalized their apprehension in the presence of the other lawyer in accordance with Article 91 Criminal Procedural Code of the Russian Federation. At the present time Aslan and Beslan are placed in the temporary isolation cell. 

“The stance of investigator Marat Berkhamov causes extreme bewilderment. At first he insists in court on house arrest for the Iritov brothers, then he quashes his own ruling. Then the investigator summons Aslan and Beslan to the department, where they showed up immediately upon request, as it turned out, in order to apprehend them in accordance with Article 91 of the Criminal Procedural Code, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Magomed Alamov says. – We are also concerned by the fact that the check of the Iritov family about the battery by the police officers is performed by the same investigator Berkhamov, who initiated criminal proceedings against the Iritov brothers themselves. Now, together with the Iritov family’s lawyer, we are preparing to appeal against the illegal actions in court, as well as intend to bring this to the attention of the superiors of the Investigative Committee of Russia”.

It is worth noting that Iritov himself relates the incident to his public activity. For a very long time now he is dealing with the land dispute of the Volny aul members with the Nalchik city administration.

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