Human rights defenders obtained a video record of violence applied against a resident of Krasnodar during the protest rally

Событие | Пресс центр

04 March 2021

Vladimir Plakhtiy from Krasnodar accuses the police officers of illegal applying violence against him at apprehension during the protest rally in Krasnodar on 31 January of this year. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture managed to obtain a video record confirming Vladimir’s words. Previously, the Investigative Committee refused to perform a check of Plakhtiy’s application, having forwarded it to the Ministry of the Interior.

On 31 January 2020, Vladimir Plakhtiy from Krasnodar applied to the Committee Against Torture.

Vladimir informed that at the very height of the rally several guys asked him to hold their poster for a while. He decided to fold it and put it on the flowerbed, when he felt that several men in civilian clothes grabbed him by both his hands.

“No one introduced themselves or explained the reasons of their apprehension. I assumed they were the police officers and demanded that they introduced themselves. No answer was given, – Vladimir recalls. – Since they started to twist my arms, I began to resist. I drew my arms up to my chest and did not give them an opportunity to grab them. At this moment someone pushed me on the tile near the flowerbed, as a result of which I seriously hit my back”.

At this moment two more persons in civilian clothes came up to Vladimir: “One of them came up to me from the head side. He held my shoulders with both his hands and attempted to lift me with a jerk. I felt pain due to that. He failed to lift me again. The second person went round the first one who was holding my shoulders and stood up on his knees in such a way that one knee of his was on the grass, and he pressed on my face with second one, having put all his weight on my nose. At that moment some of them told me to stay put. I felt sharp pain. At that moment I felt a click in my nose. I thought it was a nose bones fracture. Because of pain I shouted to the officer who was sitting on me to move his knee away from my nose. He did not react”.

As a result, Vladimir was put to the police van and taken to the police department where a protocol of administrative violation was drawn up with regard to him under part 5 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation (“violation of the rally procedure”). Next day the court declared him guilty and fined him for 10 000 rubles.

After Vladimir was released from the police station, he applied to the Krasnodar City Hospital where he was diagnosed with a contusion of the nose soft tissues, distortion of the cervical spine, chest contusion, contusion of soft tissues of the cervical spine, thoracic spine, numerous bruises, face contusions, right sided posttraumatic arthritis of the temporomandibular joint.

Several days later, Vladimir passed medical forensic examination, according to which the actions of unknown police officers in civilian clothes inflicted a mild damage to his health.

On 5 February, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied with a crime report on behalf of Vladimir Plakhtiy to the Investigative Committee, however, despite the legal requirements, this report was forwarded to the Chief Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior for the Krasnodar Territory. Human rights defenders appealed against the Investigative Committee representative’s ruling as illegal.

During the public investigation, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture received a confirmation from the Ministry of the Interior that the people who apprehended Vladimir Plakhtiy, were police officers. Journalists also handed over the video record of Vladimir’s apprehension to human rights defenders: it is seen on the video record that one of the police officers in civilian clothes who was holding him, presses several times with his knee on the neck, jaw and a nose of Plakhtiy who was lying on the ground.

“Definitely, the police officers have a right to use physical force and special equipment during apprehension, however, this should meet the criteria of proportion, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Ilya Platonov comments. – In our case, six specially trained police officers participated in the apprehension, each of the was physically stronger than Vladimir. The latter did not offer any physical resistance to the police officers. With this input data one can’t possibly say that applying one’s knee for holding the head and the neck is an adequate and proportionate use of force. In addition, poor coordination of the police officers’ actions is noticeable, when one is pressing against the neck and the others in this moment are pulling Vladimir’s legs, which might have caused more serious injuries with a danger to life. In my opinion, the intentional pressing the face with one’s knee does not have any practical purpose altogether apart from causing pain on purpose. The above-mentioned facts allow us to make a conclusion that the police officers’ actions have elements of abuse of office with the use of violence. Due to this we will be insisting on initiating criminal proceedings”.