Human rights defenders complained against the investigator's actions


28 March 2016

Lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture submitted an application to the Prosecutor’s Office, complaining against refusal to open a criminal case based on the materials of the check concerning the apprehension and subsequent long-term custodial restraint of the participants of unauthorized meeting in Nizhny Novgorod in March 2012. Human rights defenders also applied to the regional Investigative Committee asking to subject the investigator, who conducted the check, to disciplinary action. Human rights defenders once again highlighted the actions of the investigator who failed to follow the orders of his own superior to the full extent, but issued another refusal.

As we have previously reported, on 13 March 2012 the Committee Against Torture received a collective application of the participants of unauthorized meeting «For fair elections», which had taken place three days before in Nizhny Novgorod. It was a complaint concerning the fact of their apprehension and long-term custodial restraint by the police officers.

According to one of the applicants, Artem Sokolov, he and other participants of the unauthorized meeting were kept in the cell for administratively detained persons of the police department No.5 and then in the non-heated bus near the building of the Nizhny Novgorod regional court for over 15 hours. During this time period they were not provided with either food or drink, and not allowed to visit the toilet.
On 31 March 2012 lawyers of the Committee Against Torture submitted a crime report to the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF, basing on the facts, described by the applicants. As a result the investigator issued a refusal to initiate criminal proceedings. This refusal, together with the two ones that followed, were in the end quashed, since human rights defenders appealed against them in the Prosecutor’s Office and in court.

«For four years the officials of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Nizhny Novgorod region failed to provide for an adequate check of the crime report. Refusals to initiate criminal proceedings, issued by the investigator, which were subsequently quashed based on our complaints, repeatedly copied each other word for word, – lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Sergey Shounin emphasizes. – The investigator ignores the orders of his own superiors to conduct specific checking activities, for example, questioning the police officers and at the same time does not take into account the explanations of the detained persons. We hope that after our complaints are reviewed, another refusal will be quashed as unlawful, and the superiors of the Investigative Department will be ordered by the court to stop the red tape, and the culprits will be punished by the superiors of the regional Investigative Committee».

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