Human rights defenders complained to the Prosecutor's Office about the red-tape during the investigation of the criminal case against an unidentified police officer


20 February 2016

Lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture submitted a complaint to the Gorodetskiy City Prosecutor’s Office for the Nizhny Novgorod about the red-tape during the investigation of the criminal case based on infliction of bodily injury to local citizen Dmitry Raszhivin. For four months of investigation the necessary investigative actions have not been performed and the suspects have not been identified.

(Dmitry Raszhivin)

According to the applicant Dmitry Raszhivin from Nizhny Novgorod region, in the evening of 25 September of this year he was drinking beer in a company of friends at his place. Having decided to call it a day the friends went out for a smoke in the yard. 

«GAZelle police vehicle stopped nearby, and several police officers went out and came to us. Without introducing themselves or specifying any requirements they started to seize us one after another. They twisted my left arm so hard that I felt pain in the area of the left joint, – Dmitry told us. – After that they lay me on the floor of the police vehicle, and one of the officers started to choke me so that I started to pass out, and noticing it, he let me free».

According to Raszhivin, after the Gorodetsky Police Department he was taken to the Central District Hospital for medical examination in order to check his condition of alcoholic intoxication, there he was diagnosed with a fracture of the left arm in the area of the elbow joint and it was put in plaster. 

After that the detainee was again taken to the local police department where a report on administrative violation was drawn up in relation to his being in the state of alcoholic intoxication in a public place. Because of the fractured arm Dmitry was not capable of signing a document, so his mother did it for him, leaving a comment that she did not agree to the report. As the victim emphasized, he was never given the copy of the report.

In her turn, Raszhivin’s wife Anastasia told the human rights defenders that when she arrived at the hospital she saw bruises under her husband’s left brow and noticed that his arm was swollen. When she asked the police officers what had happened, they answered that Dmitry fell and damaged his arm. 

«However, after the fact of the fracture was established by the doctors, the police officers told me they applied physical force to him. They never explained why they used force, only mentioned that «such things happen…», – Anastasia Raszhivina reported.

Based on Dmitry Raszhivin’s application the lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture questioned four witnesses of the incident, and together with the applicant submitted a crime report to the Gorodetskiy Interdistrict Investigative Department on 29 September.

As a result on 29 October of last year the investigative authorities initiated a criminal case based on the crime under paet 1 Article 286 of the Russian Criminal Code («Abuse of office»). Among other things, the ruling stated that: «in the course of apprehension and delivering D.V.Raszhivin to the Interdistrict Department of the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation «Gorodetskiy» on September 25, 2015, an unidentified police officer, clearly abusing his authority, incurred the following bodily injuries to D.V.Raszhivin: closed fractures of the coronoid process of the left elbow bone, bruises on the right lower leg, which taken together inflicted moderately severe health damage».

Despite of such an active start the criminal case investigation stalled – to this day no suspects have been identified.  Human rights defenders from the Committee for Prevention of Torture, representing the interests of Dmitry Raszhivin, dissatisfied with the progress of the investigation, applied to the Prosecutor’s Office about this. 

«For four months of the investigation four investigators have changed already, and still not a single police officer is charged, despite the fact that Dmitry identifies concrete police officers who took part in his apprehension. The fact that the case still has not been reclassified to «Abuse of office with the use of violence» also causes some bewilderment, – emphasized lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Sergey Romanov. – In relation to this we applied to the Prosecutor’s Office asking to check the legality of the investigation. We hope that the Prosecutor’s Office will react and provide the necessary instructions on conducting fast and efficient investigation of this criminal case. So far there have not been even a sign of this».

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