A criminal case into the crime under item “a” Part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of Russia (“abuse of office using violence”) is initiated in Ingushetia. It concerns Albert Khamkhoev from Yandare settlement, who accuses the local police officers of battery and electricity torture.
In December 2017 Aza Khamkhoeva from Yandare settlement in Ingushetia applied to the Committee Against Torture. She reported that on 14 November 2017 at about 3 p.m. several masked people in black and camouflage uniform, armed with automatic rifles, stormed the apartment where she lived. Three persons in civilian clothes armed with pistols accompanied them. According to Aza, unidentified masked people captured her son Albert Khamkhoev, tied his hands up, made him stand against the wall and put a pistol in his hand, after that they put the pistol in this belt.
“After that they brought Albert to the yard and again made him stand against the wall, took out the magazine from the pistol (where two cartridges were left) and made him lay on the ground. The put these actions on record in the presence of two attesting witness, who came together with the armed masked men. Then the masked people together with the people in civilian clothes performed a search of our household. The search itself lasted for about two hours. Nothing illegal was found, and it made an impression that this was done in order to compliance with formalities”, – Aza Khamkhoeva described.
Further developments were described by Albert Khamkhoev to defense lawyer Aleksandr Karavaev, provided by the Committee Against Torture: “I was put into Priora, there were five men inside together with me. Right away they put a black plastic bag on me, braided it with Scotch tape and were beating him up all the way non-stop without explaining the reasons, poked a barrel of a machine gun at him. After that I was taken to some building (as I was, in a plastic bag and handcuffed). They brought me to the second floor, put me on my knees and continued to beat me up. They were beating me up with a plastic bottle filled with water. Then they put some pins on my fingers and started to electrocute me so that I passed out a couple of times. They took the wires off my fingers, attached them in the area of the earlap, and electrocuted me again”.
According to Albert, after the tortures he was taken out of the building and one of the law-enforcement officers told him that they were in the Center for counteraction of extremist activity of the Republic of Ingushetia. Albert also explained to the defense lawyer that the firearm that was seized from him was received from illegal armed groups.
A criminal case was initiated with regard to Albert Khamkhoev under part 1 Article 222 of the Criminal Code of Russia (“illegal purchase, transfer, sales, weapons transportation or bearing, or its main parts, as well as ammunition”). On 16 November 2017 he was taken in custody for two months.
“On 17 November at about eight in the evening he was taken from Temporary Detention Facility to the FSB building in Magas. In that building I was again tortured with electricity”, – Albert Khamkhoev comments.
On 21 November human-rights ombudsman of the Republic of Ingushetia Djambulat Ozdoev visited Albert at the Pre-Trial Detention Center of Karabulak. The ombudsman confirmed that he saw numerous signs of physical violence on Khamkhoev’s body.
Due to Albert’s complaint about torture and forgery of evidence, on 20 November the Investigative Committee started a pre-trial check. In the course of conducting medical forensic examination medics found numerous bruises on Khamkhoev: in occipital region, on the chest, in the abdominal region, right and left shoulder, thighs, as well as in the area of the right knee joint and a lower leg. Khamkhoev’s body also featured bruises in the area of the right and the left forearms.
On 20 December, based on the results of pre-trial check, the ruling on dismissal of initiating the criminal case was passed; however, the material of the torture complaint check was severed and additional check was conducted with regard to it.
On 22 January 2018 investigator of the Nazran Interdistrict Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Republic of Ingushetia Gandaloev passed a ruling on initiating a criminal case based on the crime under item “a” Part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of Russia (“abuse of office with the use of violence”).
“We are satisfied by the fact that Albert Khamkhoev’s torture case was initiated, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Magomed Alamov commented. – Unfortunately, in this criminal case there are no specific suspects yet, so let us hope it is a matter of the nearest future. We, from our side, will continue to represent Khamkhoev’s interests in the framework of the already initiated criminal proceedings and will try to assist the investigation so that the culprits are brought to responsibility”.