On 3 September 2019, in Orenburg, criminal case with regard to Aleksandr Belousov’s incitement to suicide at Penal Colony No.4. Previously, he complained that the colony officers abused him: hit him, did not provide medical assistance, dipped his head into the toilet pit.
On 5 August 2019, а man called to the Committee Against Torture and presented himself as Aleksandr Belousov. He told human rights defenders that he was serving sentence at Penal Colony No.4 of the Department of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the Orenburg region. Aleksandr reported that he and other convicts are regularly subjected to abuse and battery by the penal institution officers. According to Aleksandr, the convicts’ abuse and abasement of human dignity by the way of dipping their heads in the toilet pit is in common practice at the penal colony.
According to Aleksandr, he was inflicted serious sufferings due to the fact that the penal colony officers refused to provide him with appropriate medical assistance for asthma treatment.
Due to all these reasons, as Aleksandr indicated, he committed suicide attempts — cut his hands. The person who called asked human rights defenders to hand the data he reported over to the Prosecutor’s Office, as well as distribute the information on what is going on in the social media or hand it over to mass media.
“I decided to commit suicide because I don’t have any more patience to endure all this lawlessness. They have this thing which they call “stretching”, it is when they hit your head against the wall and kick your feet – it’s supposed to be stretching. It was a common practice to apply it for failure to comply with anything. Another thing when the convicts were bent, brought to the toilet bowl and their heads were dipped into it. So they do all this in such a way that there is little beating as such. I submitted several complaints, as I understand they absolutely don’t go anywhere from here. I have nothing to fear anymore. My head was dipped into the toilet pit, I was beaten up”, — Aleksandr Belousov told over the phone.
On the next day, lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin handed over the data submitted by Belousov to the Prosecutor’s Office providing supervision of legal compliance at penal institutions.
On 12 August some man called human rights defenders office, this time some unknown man called who reported that Aleksandr Belousov hanged himself. On the same day, the parents of the deceased, Tatyana Belousov and Sergey Belousov applied to the Committee Against Torture. In their statement they asked to conduct a public investigation and render legal assistance based on the fact of their son’s death. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the Investigative Committee with a crime report as well as submitted a number of motions to perform checking activities.
On 3 September, Senior Investigator of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Department for the Northern Administrative District of Orenburg of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Orenburg region Lyubov Dyekina opened a criminal case with regard to the crime committed against Aleksandr Belousov, provided by part 1 of Article 110 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“incitement to suicide”).
Today, human rights defenders received a copy of this ruling.
Among other things, it says that: “The persons, nonidentified by the investigative authorities, acting illegally and by intentional design, aiming at forcing suicide, systematically humiliating honour and dignity of convict A.S.Belousov…by the way of brutal treatment, threatening him,… systematically persuading A.S.Belousov to commit repeated self-mutilation, suicide attempts, incited A.S.Belousov to suicide”.
“We are satisfied with the fact that the criminal case is opened, now the investigator will have to thoroughly scrutinize all the circumstances that led to tragedy, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin, representing the interests of Tatyana Belousova, comments. – What could be done to a person to incite him to hang himself two months before his release? According to Aleksandr, he did not have conflicts with other convicts. He complained only against the actions of penal colony officers. At the present time we are conducting investigation. If, based on its results, we obtain sufficient data, confirming Belousov’s words, we will request to additionally qualify the committed crime as per appropriate part of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF, providing for responsibility of public servants for abuse of office”.