Bashkiria: Criminal proceedings on the allegations of Anna Mikhailova’s battery by the police have been initiated


25 May 2009

On 22 May 2009 the Oktyabrsky Interdistrict Investigation Department of the Investigation Administration of the Investigation Committee under the RF Prosecutor’s office in Bashkiria opened a criminal case under art. 286 of the RF Criminal Code (abuse of office) against officers of the Oktyabrsky medical detoxification centre under the Department of the Interior upon the fact of Anna Mikhailova’s battery.

On 4 May 2009 Ms. Anna Mikhailova from Oktyabrsky applied to the Bashkirian representation of the Committee against Torture stating that on 19 April 2009, around 9 p.m., she had been unlawfully detained by the police, forced to get into the police car and taken to a medical detoxification centre. Her nine-year old daughter was left in the street in a district she did not know. On 19 May 2009 the Oktyabrsky district court of Bashkiria sustained Ms. Mikhailova’s claim and ruled the actions of the Oktyabrsky medical detoxification centre staff unlawful.

At the same time, although criminal proceedings have already been opened, the police put pressure on Ms. Mikhailova and her nine-year old daughter Elizaveta. On 22 may 2009, i.e. on the day when the criminal case was started, two policemen from the Minors Inspection visited the girl in school.  They withdrew her from a class when all children were writing tests and questioned her about the events of 19 April 2009 in the absence of a legal representative (only in presence of a teacher). In addition, they explained to the girl that people are taken to a detoxification centre when they need help. The police inquired how often the mother drank alcohol and paid visits to her friends. And when the police did not like the girl’s answers they claimed that she was lying to them.

The same day intermediaries offered Anna Mikhailova money urging her to withdraw her application and threatening that otherwise she would be deprived of parental rights and the police would plant drugs either on her or her relatives.  

In its turn the Committee against Torture intends to make competent authorities check the fact of putting pressure on Ms. Mikhailova.  

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