Human rights defenders started the investigation of the circumstances of apprehension of a man with a mental disorder


02 June 2018

Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture started public investigation of the fact of apprehension of Pavel Vasiliev from Moscow who suffers a mental disorder. In the opinion of human rights defenders, the investigative authorities should evaluate not only the actions of the police officers, but also of the psychiatric team nurses, who picked up Pavel from the police department.

(Pavel Valsiliev and Tatyana Vasilieva)

The Vasiliev family applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. Tatyana and her son Pavel told how on 27 May of this year Pavel was detained in the street by the police officers and was held handcuffed at the police department for over three hours, after which he was handed over to the psychiatric team.

Pavel Vasiliev is 22, and since childhood he has been suffering from mental disorder, as a consequence of which he was declared disable. According to his mother, Tatyana Vasilieva, due to the disorder cannot always adequately evaluate some situations and respond to them. For various reasons he may start shout loudly, expressing his emotions.

On a Sunday afternoon of 27 May 2018, Pavel was riding a bicycle in Metrogorodok district of Moscow. According to the witnesses, Pavel “started to shout in his mobile phone, he shouted terribly. The passers-by avoided him, his behavior was abnormal, and no-one would stop near him. Then he tore apart his t-shirt, started to hit himself on the chest with a mobile phone He started shouting in the direction of the traffic way, at the public transport stop. No one was there around him. He started to shout in the direction of the accommodation building, he was shouting terribly. Apparently, someone called for the police”.

According to Pavel, a police vehicle came by, two police officers went out from it.

– The police officers did not introduce themselves or showed their IDs, instead they started to insult me using obscene language, – Vasiliev described.

Both police officers applied physical force against Pavel, put his hands behind his back and handcuffed him.

The witnesses say that the “police officers clearly saw that they were dealing with a sick person. When they handcuffed him and brought him in their vehicle, he started to shout even more loudly”.

Pavel was taken to the Department of the Interior of Russia for Metrogorodok district of Moscow. Later on, the police officers called for a psychiatric team there. For the three hours when Pavel was at the department, his hands were handcuffed behind his back: “Because my hands were attached with handcuffs, I was in pain, my shoulder muscles also hurt because my hands and wrists were positioned uncomfortably position due to fixation with handcuffs”.

That is how Vasiliev describes the actions of the psychiatric team: “One of the nurses held my throat with his right hand and bent me backwards; he was strangling me, saying that “my head should be chopped off”, that I should be “taken to the loony asylum”. They used obscene language talking about me, were holding me by my shoulders and tying me hands behind my back with belts in the area of wrists and elbows. I did not offer resistance. My feet in the area of my ankles were also attached. Having attached the belts on me, the nurses led me to the exit from the police department. I was walking slowly, it was hard to walk since my feet were tied with belts. I could not get in the ambulance on my own, both nurses told me to “move up my ass”, and one of them hit me with his ankle in the area of my tailbone”.

According to Pavel, there was no psychiatrist doctor in the arrived team, and the two nurses were acting on their own. Vasiliev was taken to Psychiatric Clinical Hospital # 4 named after Gannushkin, where he stayed till 29 May.

After the release, Pavel registered his injuries with a traumatologist-orthopedist: “Bruises of soft tissues of forearms, elbow joints areas up to 3.0х2.0 cm, as well as in the area of ankle joints along the front surface up to 7.0х5.0 cm”.

Due to massive public outcry, the Preobrazhensky Interdistrict Investigative Department of the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia for Moscow started pre-investigative check on the incident. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture also started their own public investigation.

“Many facts still have to established in this complicated story, for us to understand the whole picture of what happened, and we think that the investigators should check not only the actions of the police officers, but also the psychiatric team nurses. We will submit a notion about this to the investigative authorities. In addition, we will continue our own public investigation”, – emphasized lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Petr Khromov, representing the interests of Pavel Vasiiev.

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