Yesterday, on 23 November 2017, a criminal case was opened based on the fact of abuse of office with the use of violence by the police officers from Anapa. As we have previously reported, four citizens from Anapa are accusing the criminal police investigators of tortures, including with electricity, at the local police department in December 2015. One of the applicants claimed that the police officers raped him with a stick. The criminal case is opened after eleven refusals to initiate criminal proceedings were issued.
As we have previously reported, Artem Ponomarchuk, Aram Arustamyan, Karen and Erik Engoyan applied to human rights defenders for legal assistance in May of this year. The men reported that they were apprehended at various time in the period from 24-25 December 2015 – allegedly, all four of them refused to show their IDs. Later on, the protocols on administrative violation were drawn up with regard to all the apprehended persons, and on 26 December judge of the Anapa City Court Elena Kravtsova convicted everyone to 12 days of administrative arrest.
– Right after I was delivered to the police department the battery started, and then they started to apply electricity to my hands, and when I refused to confess of armed assault they put a stick in my rectum, – Artem Ponomarchuk describes.
Karen Engoyan tells about similar tortures: “The police officers handcuffed me, put me face down on the floor, put on the gas mask on me, periodically blocking the air access. They beat me at my heels, applied electric contacts to my hands, feet, buttocks, demanding that I confessed of armed assault. When I fainted, they dripped some liquid in my gas mask which made me regain consciousness. The police officers threatened me with a sexual violence with the use of an object looking like a stick. After that I yielded and signed the confession”.
Aram Arustamyan and Erik Engoyan provided similar explanations. As a result, all the apprehended persons confessed of armed assault.
Local forensic expert Emanuil Kopp registered various bodily injuries on all the four apprehended, including injuries on the bodies of Karen Engoyan and Artem Ponomarchuk, “which possibly became the result of the electricity impact”.
After the apprehended served the administrative arrest, the court selected a measure of restraint for Ponomarchuk, Arustamyan and Karen Engoyan in the form of house arrest, and Erik Engoyan was taken into custody.
Only on 2 February 2016, after the repeated complaints of Aram Arustamyan’s relatives addressed to the local Prosecutor’s Office and the territorial investigative department, the investigative department for Anapa started the check of the crime report.
In May 2016, the material of the check was handed over to the first department for major crimes investigation of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee for the Krasnodar Territory. For over one and a half years the investigators issued eleven refusals to initiate criminal proceedings. The last refusal to initiate criminal proceedings was issued on 19 October 2017.
In response to the complaint of human rights defenders, representing the interests of the applicants, about the red tape during the pre-investigation check Deputy Prosecutor of the Krasnodar Territory Valery Ryabokonev replied that the arguments of human rights defenders were fair, pointing out that the Prosecutor’s Office had already four times demanded from the superiors of the local Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee to take measures in order to stop the red tape.
On 13 November of this year Artem Ponomarchuk’s mother, Anna Zavgorodnaya, and lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Sergey Romanov had a personal appointment with Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Boris Karnaukhov. In the course of the meeting the human rights defender informed Mr Karnaukhov about the inaction and red tape of the Krasnodar investigators during checking the four complaints against illegal apprehensions and tortures in the Anapa police department in December, 2015.
Today, the first deputy head of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee for the Russian Federation for the Krasnodar Territory Andrey Maslov informed the lawyers of the Committee Against Torture that yesterday the criminal case under item “a” part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was initiated (“abuse of office using violence”).
“We are satisfied that the criminal case is at last initiated and that a different investigator will be in charge of its investigation, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Sergey Romanov, representing the interests of the four applicants, comments. – At the present time we are preparing a number of motions for certain investigative activities to be performed, which are aimed at establishing the objective picture and identifying the suspects”.