Gestapo tortures detainees in one of Bashkirian Investigative Directorate departments


29 March 2012

Gestapo is the nickname of one of Bashkirian law enforcers who together with his colleagues is using Kazan inquiry techniques in respect of detainees. Today the Bashkirian representation of the Committee Against Torture has finished checking two allegations of police abuse and undertaken to support these cases.

On February 22 the CAT received an application from Alexander Sidorenko. He claims that on December 4, 2011 around 5 p.m. he was detained by the police and taken to the 1st special investigation department of the Investigative Administration of the Russian Investigative Committee for the Republic of Bashkiria where he was ill-treated by unknown law enforcement agents. 

Alexander Sidorenko was taken to a room on the 2nd floor which looked like a gym (besides tables, there were barbells, kettlebells, a ping-pong table, and several half-dismantled fitness machines) where the police began torturing him. Fist an officer called Mikhalych hit him several times in the head, then he ordered other agents to start tortures and left the room. He also added that all possible complaints would flow through him, as he was the “boss”, and he used complaints “as toilette paper”.

Then Alexander was told that he would find himself “in the hands of Gestapo” (because the man who relieved Mikhalych was called Sergey Sergeyevich, which can be abbreviated as SS, and his another nickname was Gestapo). The latter tied Sidorenko up with a tow-rope, fixed his hands behind the back with handcuffs, put on a gasmask on the detainee and started shutting the air off. At the same time other officers fed current from a telephone to the detainee’s loins, neck and temples. Sidorenko fainted several times and as a result of tortures agreed to confess to his wife’s murder.  Meanwhile, other officers were sitting and watching the show consuming alcoholic beverages. The victim received detailed instructions about what he should tell the investigator regarding the facts of the murder.  Alexander Sidorenko who has given a self-incriminatory statement is currently on remand. 

Ruslan Khamatkhanov who applied to the CAT on March 9 has narrated about an even more brutal incident. According to Ruslan, on February 1 he was summoned for an interrogation as witness under an abduction and torture case to the unfortunate department (around a year ago Ruslan helped a man who had been beaten in the street and took him to hospital). In this case the grilling also took place in the “gym room”.  The tormentors used the same technique – tying up with a tow-rope, putting on a gas mask, shutting the air off, electrocution – but, apparently, found that it was not enough and in the end put a metal tube covered with a condom into the victim’s anus. Moreover, one of the onlookers said that he would film it with his cell phone.

As a result of tortures Khamatkhanov spent 32 days in hospital, his diagnosis upon admission was as follows: concussion, contusion of soft tissues of the face, contusion of the cervical and thoracic sections of the spine, abrasions on both wrists, etc.  

At present the Committee Against Torture is conducting a public investigation under these incidents, crime reports have been submitted to the Investigative Committee. 

You may remember that, unfortunately, these are not the only instances of torture in Gostapo’s department. The CAT is also dealing with cases of unlawful detention and ill-treatment in respect of Rudic Minibayev, Roman Mindibayev and Ivan Smirnov. 

The three men were detained in May 2006 and taken to the 1st special investigation department (earlier it was called the Department for investigation of intentional homicides and banditism under the Bashkirian Prosecutor’s Office), where, according to the applicants, they were tortured by investigators and unknown people during the night. The 2nd special investigation department of the Investigative Administration of the Russian Investigative Committee for Bashkiria has been conducting a preliminary check of these allegations for more than 5 (!) years. However, despite irrefutable evidence, the authorities do not prosecute the perpetrators.

We can see what such obstruction of the investigation leads to – people are tortured, no one is punished, neither perpetrators, nor investigators covering up for them.

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