Human rights defenders ask Mr Bastrykin to subject the investigators of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Nizhny Novgorod region to disciplinary action


11 August 2016

Lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Sergey Shounin applied to the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the RF Aleksandr Basrtykin asking to perform a check with regards to Deputy Head of the Investigative Committee’s Investigative Department for the Sormovskiy District of Nizhny Novgorod Mariya Chuvstvina, as well as to head of this investigative body Andrey Kablov. The human rights defender’s application was caused by repeated illegal procedural rulings issued by the Investigative Committee’s officers and absence of appropriate control in the process of the check of the complaint of Dmitry Kamzolov and his partner Lubov’ Abramova from Nizhny Novgorod about having been beaten by extradepartmental security service officers in 2014.

(Photo: Lyubov Abramova, Dmitry Kamzolov)

As we have previously reported, in February 2014 Nizhny Novgorod Office of the Interregional NGO «Committee Against Torture» has received an application from Mr Dmitry Kamzolov and his partner Ms Lyubov Abramova. According to them, on 10 February, in their own flat, they were severely beaten by private security guards.

According to Lyubov Abramova, before the attack she had had a conflict with a woman who had parked her car on the lawn so that people could hardly walk by. The women had a fight, and Lyubov’s partner Mr Kamzolov stopped it. Then the driver threatened the couple with some problems, saying that her husband was a cop.

Lyubov and Dmitry state that at about 8 pm someone rang at their door. Lyubov opened it, and two police officers entered their flat. They neither introduced themselves nor explained the reason for the visit. They started shouting «where is your man!» Dmitry heard the noise and showed up near the door. Mr Kamzolov remembers an immediate blow in the face, so he had no time to say or understand anything, nor could he resist their actions. Then, according to the couple, the policemen were beating them with hands and rubber truncheons, and handcuffed them in the end. «They explained nothing», says Ms Abramova, «they were beating us silently, with smiles on their faces». After that Dmitry was brought to Police Department No 8. On the same day he was examined by a doctor in a local trauma center, who observed numerous bruises and abrasions. Ms Lyubov Abramova was as well examined and obtained a medical report.

Despite the fact that forensic investigation established impact marks from police truncheons on both Mr Dmitry Kamzolov and Ms Lyubov Abramova and their personal injuries as well, and the fact that the case has evidence from an eye-witness of his own parents’ battery – their grown-up son, none of that prevented the investigator and, subsequently, the judge from «not detecting» exceeding official authority in the actions of the police officers in terms of using physical force.  

«He tried to hide in the apartment», – that’s how the police officers explained in the court the necessity of using truncheons and handcuffs against the husband and the wife. A bit later, since such explanation looked unconvincing contrasted with the incurred injuries, another version appeared in the case: that the couple, allegedly, let their dogs loose on the police officers: a six-months old puppy and a blind, recently surgically operated and because of that inactive, dog.   

In the course of public inquiry lawyers of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» questioned the applicants and witnesses of the detention, obtained medical records which verify numerous injuries of both applicants. Human rights defenders also initiated psychophysiological study of Dmitry Kamzolov with the use of a lie detector. The results of this study verified that the version of events set forth by the victims, corresponds to the facts.

On 20 February 2014 human rights defenders applied to the Sormovsky District Investigative Department of Nizhny Novgorod region Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation with a report on crime against Dmitry Kamzolov and Lyubov Abramova. On 16 April the investigator refused to initiate criminal proceedings. 

Lawyers of the Committee Against Torture, representing the interests of the applicants, were dissatisfied with this decision and appealed against it in the Sormovsky District Court. However, the latter legitimized the issued ruling which refused to initiate criminal proceedings. Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court disagreed with this decision yesterday, presuming that the investigator did not answer to the main question in the course of pre-trial investigation: how exactly Kamzolov and Abramova got these numerous injuries. 

In half a year, on 27 June 2015 Deputy Head of the Investigative Department for the Sormovsky District of the Nizhny Novgorod region Mariya Chuvstvina issued a refusal to initiate criminal proceedings, which was also appealed against by human rights defenders in court.

The examination of this complaint in the Sormovskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod lasted for one year and one month. 

Om 26 July of this year judge Ilya Varlamov declared the “refusing” ruling in question to be illegal, having revealed seven violations committed by Ms Chuvstinova in the course of the crime report check. In his ruling judge Varlamov also pointed out the investigator, having conducted a check based on Lubov Abramova and Dmitry Kamzolov’s application, did not take into account the fact that the applicants had too many injuries. This circumstance contradicts to the explanations of the police officers who claimed that they applied force only to the level that would guarantee their safety.

«With regard to the fact that the court has once again declared the court ruling on refusal to initiate criminal proceedings to be illegal, we decided to apply to Head of the Investigative Committee of Russia Aleksandr Bastrykin asking to conduct a check of this investigative body’s officers and subject them to disciplinary action. Unfortunately, at the regional level the authorities often refuse us when we want to perform such checks with regard to the Investigative Committee’s officers, that is why we were forced to apply to Mr Bastrykin. We hope that his response will differ from the position of the Head of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region, who thinks that to conduct checks of his subordinates with regard to illegal rulings is his right but not a duty», – lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Sergey Shounin reported. 

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