Bashkirian policemen apologized to a woman for battery


29 August 2013

At the beginning of August 2013 lawyers of the Bashkirian regional branch of the Committee Against Torture sent a request to the Ministry Of the Interior Directorate for the Republic of Bashkortostan demanding an official apology to Veronika Rozkulieva who in February 2010 was beaten up by police captain Azat Shunkarov. Yesterday, on 28 August 2013, Veronika received a letter signed by the Head of Alshaevskiy District Department of the Interior. In the letter he personally apologized for the unlawful acts of his former subordinate.

As we have previously reported, in the summer of 2010 Veronika Rozkulieva applied to the Bashkortostan regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» seeking legal assistance. She claimed that in February 2010 she was beaten up in the Alshaevskiy Department of the Interior. According to the applicant, police captain Azat Shunkarov attempted to make her responsible for theft of a cell phone belonging to the chief of the cafe she worked for as a waitress. The woman rejected any involvement in the crime. She stated that the policeman inflicted her numerous blows to the head and body with his hands and a truncheon. Medical examinations observed such injuries as acute closed craniocerebral injury, brain concussion, and numerous bruises on various parts of her body.

It must be noted that in a month after the aggressive interrogation the police discovered that the missing cell phone had been taken by another person.

On 29 March 2010 the Belebeevsk Interdistrict Investigating Department of the Investigative Committee for the Bashkortostan Republic instituted criminal proceedings concerning the battery of the young woman on the grounds of evidence of a crime under Article 286 (3) (a) of the Criminal Code of Russia (exceeding official powers with the use of violence). On 18 May 2011 the case was brought to trial before the Alshaevskiy District Court of the Bashkortostan Republic. The case was pending before the court for almost two years.

On March 21 the Alshaevskiy District Court found Azat Shunkarov guilty under Article 286 (3) (a) CC RF (exceeding official powers with the use of violence) and sentenced the policeman to 1 year of probation with a 3 year and 6 months suspended sentence, prohibited him to hold offices in the civil service for the term of 1 year and 6 months. The accused and his lawyer did not agree with the judgment and appealed against it.

On 18 July 2013 the Higher Court of the Bashkortostan Republic delivered an appellate decision in the case against police captain Azat Shunkarov. The Higher Court upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance that gave the officer three year and six month suspended sentence. In addition, the Higher Court held that the convicted must be prohibited to hold those offices in the civil service that imply representing public authorities.

A lawyer with the Bashkirian regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» Dmitriy Solodkiy represents Ms. Rozkulieva’s interests. He commented on the news as follows: «What we hope for is that our police officers are going to start implementing provisions of the Law on Police, which obliges them to make a public apology to an individual who became victim to unlawful acts of law enforcement officers, on their own initiative, and won’t need us to remind them about it».

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