In the Nizhny Novgorod region, the investigators of the Investigative Committee have not been able to establish the police officers who applied violence against Kristina Morozova from Kstovo. As you may remember, the policemen used brutal force against her during the search when she refused to take off her underwear in the presence of men. Subsequently Kristina was diagnosed with closed craniocerebral injury, mild brain contusion, fissured fracture of yoke-bone, fracture of the alisphenoid bone from the left.
(Kristina Morozova, photo: Mikhail Solunin/Mediazona)
Kristina Morozova applied to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture for legal assistance on 25 October of last year. She reported that in the evening of 9 September she was walking her dog. At some point a police car came to the yard of the building, two police officers in uniforms got out of the car and started to talk to some young men. Based on fragments of phrases that she overheard, Kristina realized that the law-enforcement officers suspected them of something illegal. According to Morozova, after some time she also attracted the attention of the police officers:
– He asked me what I was doing there. I replied that I was walking the dog. At some point my badger-dog jumped on his foot and messed up his trousers. The police officer gave the dog a violent kick, saying: “Your cur has messed me up!”
The conversation that followed turned hostile, and in the end the police officers decided to take the woman, who had no passport on her, to the police department together with her dog.
There, according to Morozova, in the course of heated argument with the police officer, handcuffs were put on her. Sometime later it was decided to take to the cell, and in order to do that, a personal search was proposed to her.
– The policewoman ordered me to take off my bra and simultaneously started to pull my blouse upwards. I refused to do it in the presence of male strangers – a police officer and five detained persons, who could see me through the transparent door of the cell, – remembers Kristina.
Later on, according to Morozova, the policewoman pulled her hands behind her back, brought her to her knees and started to clip off her bra using some rusted scissors. However, tight straps did not yield, and the policewoman started to pull the bra upwards, after that she pushed herself up on me and violently pressed my head against the hard tiled floor with her knee.
– It hurt a lot and I heard a rustle in the left part of my face, where the policewoman pressed with her knee, – Kristina says.
In addition, according to the applicant, another police officer during this execution was sprinkling from the gas spray can in the foreface of her barking dog and in her face, as well.
Kristina spend the whole night in the cell for administratively detained, on the next day she was fined for disobeyance to lawful order of the police officer and for disorderly conduct, after that she was released home.
Morozova did not complain against the actions of the police officers right away – because of the poor state she was in. However, as early as on 14 September Kristina received a summon to Senior Investigator of the Investigative Department for Kstovo town of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Nizhny Novgorod region Ilya Chernikov, but it did not relate to the fact of receiving injuries in the police department. As it turned out, one of the police officers complained that during the apprehension Kristina was insulting him with rude explicit language.
The criminal case against Morozova under Article 319 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Insult of representative of authority”) was initiated as early as on the next day after her visit to the investigator. He performed a prompt investigation and now the case is in court.
In her turn, Morozova in the course of her interrogation by investigator Chernikov told about the circumstances of her stay at the police department, with regard to which the check was initiated. However, in this case the actions of the investigator turned out to be less prompt: twice he refused to initiate criminal proceedings against the police officers.
Only after petition of lawyers of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture to head of the Regional Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee Andrey Vinogradov about the red tape in the course of this check, on 11 January the criminal case with regard to abuse of office with the use of violence was initiated.
“The criminal case based on the fact of abuse of office by unidentified police officers, although it was initiated only three months after Kristina Morozova’s complaint, initially was investigated quite efficiently. In the most active period the investigative actions were conducted almost daily, – human rights defender Vladimir Smirnov, representing the interests of the applicant, says. – However, after the investigator who was in charge of this case from the very start retired, the investigation stopped: Kristina stopped receiving any answers or notifications from the Investigative Committee. Today she simply does not know at what stage the investigation of this criminal case is, and worries that it was dismissed altogether. We, in our turn, do not understand, how the investigators could fail to identify the specific police officers who applied physical force against Morozova when the applicant’s complaint was available, as well as video records from the police department and other objective evidence. We are not satisfied with such approach of Kstovo investigators to their work, that is why we will apply to head of the regional Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee Andrey Vinogradov asking him to follow up the case personally”.