On 8 December 2008 the investigation authorities cancelled the refusal to start criminal proceedings under the application of Anna Gorbunova, a 20-year old student from Nizhny Novgorod, claiming she had been battered by the police in July 2008.
The girl applied to the Prosecutor’s office and to the Committee against Torture that has now finished the preliminary check and stared an investigation.
Ms. Gorbunova claims that on 23 July 2008 at 23:00 she was detained by workers of the Noviy Vek shop located in Vedenyapina street in Nizhny Novgorod on suspicion of shop-lifting. Then the shop administrator called the police. The police led Anna out of the shop and one of the officers put her hands behind the back, handcuffed her and started shoving her inside the police car. Ms. Gorbunova started shouting, the policeman hit her on the face first and then several times on the body. The girl claims that after the blow on the head she fainted and had an indistinct perception of everything that happened afterwards.
During the preliminary check the Committee against Torture obtained a medical examination report sating that Anna Gorbunova had injuries in the form of a bruise on the left eye and multiple contusions. She also had a concussion.
The fact was checked by the Investigation Department of the Avtozavodskiy district. According to the investigation authorities, there is no corpus delicti in the actions of the police and the officers applied force under the RF law “On police”. However, refusals to start criminal proceedings were three times cancelled as manifestedly ill-founded. At present, yet another check is being carried out under Ms. Gorbunova’s application, but the authorities have already instigated a criminal case against Ms. Gorbunova under articles 318, 319, 306 of the RF CC (assailing a police officer, insulting a police officer, false denunciation) that is in procedure of the Avtozavodskiy regional court.
It is not clear what false denunciation is meant if it is not determined yet whether the police acted in accordance with the law.
The “assault” Mr. Gorbunova is charged with amounts to the fact that she unintentionally scratched the officer who thrust her into the car with her hands cuffed behind her back.
Ms. Gorbunova claims that she was detained in the display area and was going to pay for the goods taken from the shelf. Eye-witnesses confirm her statement.
Candid camera videos were not requested by the investigation.
The Committee against Torture is going to appeal against the judgment of the magistrate who found Ms. Gorbunova guilty of committing an administrative offense. Specialists of the Committee against Torture also intent to press for initiation of criminal proceedings upon the fact of battery and will support the applicant in court.