After almost a year, a check with regard to a complaint of the football fan from Samara about a battery in Orenburg is resumed

News

12 May 2021

Yesterday, on 11 May 2021, First Deputy Prosecutor of the Leninsky District of Orenburg Vladimir Zenkin quashed the dismissal issued eleven months ago to initiate criminal proceedings with regard to a complaint of Denis Belyanin, a fan of the “Krylya Sovetov” football club from Samara, concerning battery in 2017 by law-enforcement officers. Previously, the representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office insisted that the investigators’ ruling was legal, however, after the court examination of the application filed by the Committee Against Torture lawyers, the Prosecutor’s Office changed its opinion. Now the investigators will have to conduct a pre-investigative check for the thirteenth time.

As we have previously reported, on 4 October 2017, a criminal case regarding the crime under item ‘a’, part 3, Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office using violence”) was initiated regarding the fact of the battery of “Krylya Sovetov” football club fans.

This criminal case was opened with regard to the following events. On 2 September 2017, in the framework of the 11th Tour of the National Football League in Orenburg a game between local team “Orenburg” and “Krylya Sovetov” from Samara took place. In the very end of the game, an incident between the visitant football fans and law-enforcement officers occurred in the guests sector.

Numerous videos of the indecent were loaded in the Internet, one of them features law-enforcement officers putting the football fans faces against the wall with feet spread apart and kick them and beat them with truncheons. It is seen in the video record that the football fans did not offer resistance and did not attempt to flee.

Denis Belyanin from Samara applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance on September 6. He reported on what happened to him on 2 September at the Orenburg stadium: “After the law enforcement officers brought me beyond the audience sector, they forced me to stand on my knees, press my head against the concrete wall and my arms behind my back. After some time, I was told to stand up. When I started standing, they hit me from two sides with truncheons and feet. I felt strong pain and my feet became numb as a result of the beating”.

According to Belyanin, he and several fans from Samara were taken to the City Police Department where they were forced to stand with their head pressing against the wall, feet spread apart and arms behind their backs. According to Denis, he was released only after he signed a document stating that he had no claims against the police officers.

When he returned to Samara, Denis applied to City Clinical Hospital No.1 named after Pirogov, where the doctors registered “a bruise, a hematoma of the left ankle-joint and foot”.

On 30 October 2017, investigator Sergey Novoselov issued a refusal to initiate criminal proceedings based on the fact of Denis Belyanin’s battery, which was quashed two months after by Deputy Head of the Investigative Department Aleksandr Morozov.

By the present time, the investigators issued twelve refusals to initiate criminal proceedings already, six of which were subsequently declared illegal and quashed. The last “refusal” was issued on 11 June 2020 by investigator of the Investigative Department for the Southern Administrative District of Orenburg of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Orenburg region Aleksandr Bespalov.

Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture appealed against this investigator’s ruling at court as late as on 28 January 2021, since the investigative body would not provide human rights defenders the material of the check for familiarization for a long time.

On 15 February 2021, judge of the Leninsky District Court Aleksey Konnov satisfied human rights’ defenders complaint and declared illegal the dismissal issued by investigator Aleksandr Bespalov. Prosecutor’s Office representative Denis Kostin asked the court to dismiss the application despite the fact that the investigator failed to execute the Prosecutor’s Office instructions.

After the court passed a ruling in the interests of Denis Belyanin, the representative of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Leninsky District appealed against this ruling.

On 22 April 2021, the Orenburg Regional Court quashed the ruling of the Leninsky District Court of Orenburg and returned the case for a new examination due to the fact that the representatives of the investigative authority and Rosgvardiya, whose officers were applying violence against the football fans, were not notified on the time and the place of the court hearing.

Yesterday, acting judge of the Leninsky District Court of Orenburg Vitaly Katerenin dismissed the proceedings on the complaint, and a ruling of Deputy Prosecutor of the Leninsky District Court of Orenburg Vladimir Zenkin was presented to court in which he declared illegal the ruling of investigator Aleksandr Bespalov, dismissing the claim to open a criminal case in June of last year. Now the Investigative Committee investigators will have to conduct a pre-investigative check on Denis Belyanin’s complaint for the thirteenth time.

“I suppose, the Prosecutor’s Office was forced to quash the investigator’s ruling, on legality of which the representatives of the supervisory authority were insisting for several months. It is perfectly clear that the check was performed only formally: out of over twenty football fans against whom force was applied and who was taken to the police department, no one apart from Denis Belyanin was questioned by the investigative authorities. We found some of the fans who were apprehended in 2017, and they confirmed that physical force was applied against them not only at the stadium but also at the police department. However, the investigators pretend they can’t find anyone, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin comments. – That is why we certainly continue to insist that the criminal case is opened and the effective investigation is performed”.

We would like to remind that on 12 March 2019, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the European Court of Human Rights with a complaint in the interests of Denis Belyanin, having indicated that at the national level he is virtually deprived of effective legal remedies due to the fact that starting from September 2017 it has appeared impossible to ensure opening of the criminal case based on the fact of illegal application of physical violence against him by the police officers.