After 10 months the criminal case on police torture is resumed in Bashkiria


15 January 2020
Aleksey Galiullin spent twenty-three days in hospital, and then for a long time was subjected to treatment at his home and had to wear a neck brace

For the third time the investigators in Bashkiria resumed the criminal case based on the fact of illegal applying of violence against Aleksey Galiullin – he accuses the Federal National Guard Troops Service officers of having inflicted numerous bodily injuries to him in February 2017 because he refused to undergo a dactyloscopy procedure. In order to resume the investigation, the Investigative Committee representatives had to apply to court to request that their last ruling on dismissing the criminal case is quashed.

As we have previously reported, Aleksey Galiullin applied to human rights defenders for legal assistance on 29 March 2017. In his explanation to the human rights defenders Aleksey Galiullin reported that on 22 February his friends and he were having a rest in the sauna in the city of Birsk. When the session was over they had a conflict with the employees of the sauna because of the mess that the guests had left. A district police officer and representatives of Federal National Guard Troops Service arrived to resolve the conflict. But the conflict was not resolved. On the contrary, the law enforcement representatives that had arrived turned out to be the third participant of this conflict. In the end, it was decided to take Aleksey to the police department of Birsk district. According to Galiullin, while they were taking him to the official car one of the representatives of Federal National Guard Troops Service pushed him on his back so that Aleksey fell and hit his head against the ice.

– I did not provide any personal data in the police department referring to Article 51 of the Constitution and I also refused to give my fingerprints, – said Aleksey. – I said that I had the right to an attorney, but they did not let me call for a lawyer.

According to Galiullin, the law enforcement representatives tried to make him give his fingerprints using force, as a result he was pushed to the floor, his arms were put behind his back and he was handcuffed.

– One of the officers pressed my neck with his knee, and I felt severe pain and started to groan unnaturally because I could not cry, – remembered Aleksey.

According to Aleksey, the noise they were making attracted another police officer who came from another room; he demanded to stop the violence against Aleksey and also requested to take off the handcuffs. After that Aleksey was allowed to write a report to the head of this police department about the events that had taken place.

Sometime later Galiullin felt severe pain and dizziness, so the ambulance was called for him and took him to the central city hospital of Birsk.

In the hospital Aleksey was diagnosed with: “Concomitant injury. Closed craniocerebral injury. Brain concussion. Brain contusion (light form). Rotatory subluxation of the second neck vertebra. Ring shoulder joint injury. Ligaments train, numerous hematomas of the right wrist joint”.

Aleksey spent in hospital twenty-three days; currently he is at home receiving treatment and wearing a neck brace. The forensic medical examination prescribed by the investigator determined that Aleksey’s injuries “are considered to be injuries that inflicted moderate damage to the person’s health”.

Galiullin’s report addressed to the head of the police department was redirected based on the consequences to Birsk interdistrict investigation department of the RF Investigation Office of Investigation Committee for the Republic of Bashkortostan. On 25 March 2017 investigator from this department Bulat Galiyev issued an order to refuse to open a criminal case due to the absence of criminal elements in the actions of the law enforcement representatives. He considered that they had rightfully used physical force.
Aleksey Galiullin’s lawyer Pavel Kiselev successfully insisted on quashing this refusal, after that additional check was assigned. Based on its results, on 26 April 2017 Deputy Head of the Investigative Department Vadil’ Nurmukhamedov initiated a criminal case on abuse of office.

In eight months, on 25 December 2017, investigator Bulat Galiyev issued a ruling on dismissing a criminal case due to absence of the element of crime. According to the investigator, “Galiullin’s claims about intentional pressing in the area of his neck by the police officer were not confirmed”.

It should be noted that in the course of the investigation investigator Galiyev assigned additional expert panel evidence with posing specific questions on the mechanism of how Galiullin obtained his bodily injuries. In particular, experts established that “the possibility of injuries in circumstances described by A.O.Galiullin, cannot be ruled out”. The experts also emphasized that “no medical evidence, which would allow speaking in favor of the theory of inflicting the injuries by the victim to himself, is available”.

However, in his ruling on dismissal of the criminal case investigator Galiyev concludes that Galiulllin’s injuries became a result of his fall, at the same time it is not said when and how exactly it happened. After eight months of the investigation the question of how exactly Aleksey got this serious neck wound that made him spend several weeks in hospital, is still unanswered.

Neither Aleksey Galiullin, nor lawyers with the Committee Against Torture were satisfied with such situation. Due to that they applied to the independent expert examination bureau with a request to answer a clear question which the Bashkirian experts failed to answer to: “Could the rotational incomplete dislocation of the second neck-bone develop during applying pressure by knee in the neck area of A.O.Galiullin at the moment when he was positioned face downward, hands behind his back, head turned to the side and cheek pressed against the floor?” The reply was: “Yes, it could”. In addition, the specialists examined the medical forensic expert examination, to conclusions of which investigator Bulat Galiev referred when he dismissed the criminal case. As a result, a number of objective drawbacks and violations of the federal legislation on expert activity were identified.

Having obtained the conclusion from the experts of the independent expert examination bureau, human right defenders applied to acting first deputy head of investigative department of Bashkiria Marsel Dulkarnaev, and during personal appointment described to him in detail why it is necessary to quash the dismissal of the criminal case.

On 28 June 2018, the answer from the investigative department was received: “In the course of examination of the arguments of our application the decision to dismiss the criminal case is quashed, the criminal case is sent back for additional investigation”.

On 10 October 2018, investigator Zhirnov issued a ruling on dismissal of this criminal case. The victim was notified about it only a month later.

Human rights defenders complained against this investigator’s ruling to the republican Investigative Department, which came back with an answer that on 19 December 2018 the ruling on dismissal was quashed, and the materials of the criminal case were submitted for additional investigation.

On 12 March 2019, investigator Ruslan Fazliyev issued third dismissal of the criminal case, with which human rights defenders managed to familiarize themselves only two months later. Once again, there was no single word in the ruling about the conclusion of the specialists from the independent bureau, and the criminal case was dismissed on the same grounds – it was considered that there was no element of crime in the law-enforcement officers’ actions.

On 14 November 2019, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, during the personal appointment applied directly to Head of the Investigative Department of Bashkiria Denis Chernyatyev, to whom they described the details of the current legal situation in the case and asked to resume the case investigation, and, during this investigation, to provide, at last, a legal assessment by an independent expert and conduct an additional expert examination.

As a result, on 23 December 2019, judge of the Birsky Interdistrict Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan Diana Latypova satisfied the motion of the Investigative Department representative and authorized quashing of the ruling dismissing the case, issued on 12 March of last year. The investigators had to apply to court because over a year passed since the moment of the first dismissal of this criminal case.

Today, human rights defenders received a copy of this court ruling.

“It is the third year already that we have been observing the Birsky Interdistrict Investigative Department, apparently, trying to starve the victim and his representatives to surrender, by putting them off bringing the case to its logical conclusion. The investigators already put the situation to such state that they themselves are now deprived of the authority to quash their own illegal rulings themselves, now the court’s authorization is required for that, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Evgeny Litvinov comments. – But we are not troubled by that in the least and intend to insist on conducting an expert panel evidence in this case which will enable to assess all the circumstances of how the victim got his bodily injuries”.

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