Citizen from Krasnodar reported of having been tortured for six hours in the woods


27 July 2017

Aram Gambaryan from Krasnodar claimed that on 21 March of this year armed people in masks, shouting “FSB is working!” grabbed him out of his car right in the center of the city, after that they took him to the woods, where they tortured him for six hours demanding that he provided evidence on the case of attempted assassination of a local entrepreneur.  At the present time Mr Gambaryan is under treatment in Moscow, and the investigator, who conducted a check of Gambaryan relatives’ complaint about his abduction, have already issued three refusals to initiate criminal proceedings.


On 30 May 2017 Aram Gambaryan applied to the Krasnodar branch of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture for legal assistance. He reported that on 21 March of this year at about 10 a.m. his car was blocked in the busy street by two other vehicles, out of which several armed masked men rushed out shouting “FSB is working!”, grabbed him out of his car, handcuffed him and put him in their mini-van.    

– In the mini-van they put a knitted cap or a bag on my head and started to beat me up all over. In response to my questions on who are they and what they want these people answered that they were FSB and Moscow Criminal Police officers, – Aram remembered.

According to Mr Gambaryan, in about fifty minutes he was taken to the woods where the battery continued: “I was thrown on my back and they started to kick against all the parts of my body, specifically targeting the area of thighs and knees, as well as the right shoulder. They took my pants and underwear off me. A man sat on my chest and started to question me. He was very heavy and I had troubles to breath under his weight. Besides, they were continuously pouring water on my face, which made me gasp and gave trouble speaking”.       

According to Aram, he was also beaten up by electric shocker in the genital area, armpits, under his jaw, he was threatened with murder – they even threw him in the pit and started to put soil over him; several times they brought the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger, after that they shot at his ear. According to his feeling, tortures lasted for about six hours.  

Aram explained to human rights defenders that after the tortures he was taken to the Investigative Committee, where he was forced to sign the record of interrogation with the “required” explanations, which he agreed to provide to his torturers in the woods.   

According to Gambaryan, he spent the night at one of the Krasnodar police departments, and on the next day the Seversky District Court of the Krasnodar Territory declared him guilty of administrative crime – allegedly, on 22 March Aram was “in the public place in the presence of citizens and groundlessly used curse words and strong language”. He was imposed a punishment in the form of ten days of administrative arrest.   

At first Aram was kept under arrest first in the Temporary Detention Facility of the Department of the Ministry of the Interior of the Seversky District, and then he was moved to the detention room of the administratively arrested of the Ust-Labinsky District. During this time emergency ambulance was called three times due to Gambaryan’s feeling unwell: according to him, during his arrest he practically did not eat, did not drink and was constantly vomiting and felt sharp pain in the stomach.    

In the log of the medical examinations of the persons, kept in the Temporary Detention Facility of the of the Department of the Ministry of the Interior of the Seversky District there is a record in which it is indicated that on 25 March 2017, after the emergency ambulance medics examined Gambaryan, they diagnosed him with the closed craniocerebral injury, brain concussion, concussion of chest, lumbar region and the left thigh.   

On 1 April Aram’s father took him from the detention room in Ust-Labinsk and took him to Krasnodar. On that day Aram was transported in grave condition by the medical emergency team to Krasnodar Regional Hospital No.1. During the admission the doctors diagnosed him with: “acute renal insufficiency, acute interstitial (post-traumatic) nephritis, complicated by acute kidneys damage of 3 degree, mild brain concussion, multiple contusions, bruises of the body, massive hemorrhaging of lower limbs”. Aram was taken to intensive care unit for hemodialysis.

On 7 April Aram was taken on the intensive care vehicle to one of the Moscow clinics for subsequent treatment. At the present time his treatment is on-going and he is apprehensive about returning to Krasnodar.   

– I still have a numb feeling in my head and both hands, pain in kidneys during abrupt movements, headaches, problems with blood pressure, general weakness. I am forced to lead almost lying-down way of life, since I have troubles to move around. In addition, I have problems with my internals functioning: kidneys, liver, stomach, – that is how Aram describes his condition today.   

As Gambaryan’s relatives reported to human rights defenders, they started to worry about his disappearance starting from lunch time on 21 March. On the morning of the next day his wife applied to the police and reported her husband’s missing. Afterwards this application was handed over to the Investigative Department on the Karasunsky District of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Krasnodar Territory.  

As of today three refusals to initiate criminal proceedings have been issued already, the latest of which is dated 16 July of this year. Investigator Vladimir Sorokin came to clear conclusion that Aram Gambaryan was not abducted and that he was not subjected to violence by the law-enforcement officers.    

“We are highly dissatisfied with the quality of the conducted investigative check, since the investigator did not perform even the elementary activities in order to confirm or disprove Aram Gambaryan’s version of events, – lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Sergey Romanov, representing his interests, comments. – We have already appealed against this refusal to the Prosecutor’s Office, asked the supervisory authority to take control of conducting new check as well as to initiate bringing investigator Sorokin and his superior to disciplinary responsibility”.

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