In Bashkiria, a criminal case on police torture is initiated


14 October 2020

The Investigative Committee investigators initiated a criminal case against unidentified police officer with regard to the fact of abuse of office using violence against Ivan Yakovlev from Sterlitamak. According to Ivan, the police officers were forcing him to confess of beef cattle theft, as well as threatened of raping with a push broom and “bring him in” for drugs if he refuses to acknowledge his guilt. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, to whom Ivan applied, started a public investigation.

On 10 September 2020, Ivan Yakolvev from Sterlitamak applied for legal assistance. According to him, on 15 July 2020 he was apprehended by the police officers at Pomryaskino settlement. During the check of the personal belongings and the Ivan’s vehicle, the police officers found and seized a shot-gun and three polyethylene bags with narcotic substance.

According to Ivan, he immediately informed the police officers that he found the shot-gun and during all this time it was stored at his place. However, Yakovlev insisted that the drugs did not belong to him but were planted during the search.

After the apprehension, the police officers took Ivan to the first-aid station of the Sterlitamak City Hospital, and then he was brought to District Police Office No.10 with the Zagorodny village Department of the Interior of Russia for the Sterlitamak District.

There, according to Ivan, the police officers started to beat his head and body with fists and feet, demanding that he confessed of a series of thefts of cattle beef, as well as threatened that if he refuses to sign a confession he will be brought in for drugs.

“After about forty minutes, the police officer brought a yellow towing rope for the car. One of the police officers made me sit on a table, intercrossed my legs and tied them up with a towing rope. They pulled the other end of the rope through my back and shoulder, they started to pull the rope from the back upwards, thus pulling my body to the legs. I experienced very strong pain. I was tied up with a rope for about 20 minutes, after that they gave me some time to rest, and then tied me up again. This repeated several times. During this moment, many police officers were drinking. They kept on beating me up. At some moment, when I was lying on the floor, my nose bled and there was some blood on the office floor. At some moment, one of the police officers took an electrical shocker, came up to me and started to hit my feet below my knees and my buttocks. I refused to acknowledge my guilt. I was lying on the floor. A police officer came up to me, pulled off my shorts and trousers, pressed a push broom against my buttocks and asked the police officers if any of them had a “rubber” (meaning a condom, author’s comment). The police officers placed a push broom by my side and started to make photos with their phones”, – Ivan Yakovlev commented. – In addition, one of the police officers told me they were going to rape me and then it will go on at the prison camp”.

According to Ivan, the battery continued through the night, and in the morning of 16 July he was taken to the river not far from Sterlitamak. There, the police officers told Ivan that were going to drown him. The police officers again demanded that he confessed of beef cattle thefts, but Ivan insisted that he was not involved in these crimes. After several hours, the police officers took Ivan Yakovlev to the building of the Department of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for the Sterlitamaksky District.

“I could not either stand or sit because of the pain in my back. The police officers brought me inside one of the officers on the first floor of the police department. There I lay on the floor and was lying for several hours. I asked to be taken to toilet, but the police officers told me they won’t carry me. They brought me a metal can and I had to ease oneself in it. At some point one of the police officers told me to sign a document in which it was written that I did not have any claims against the police officers and that I received my bodily injuries on my own as a result of falling from the roof of my house. He told me that if I sign it the police officers would take me to hospital and will not bring me to criminal responsibility. I agreed and signed”, – Yakovlev remembers.

After that the police officers took Ivan to the City Clinical Hospital No.1 of Sterlitamak, where he was diagnosed with: “Closed craniocerebal injury, brain concussion (tentative), contusions of the soft tissues of the head, body, upper limbs, damage of the ligaments of the right knee joint, closed fracture of the spine of vertebra on the left”.

According to Yakovlev, he refused from hospitalization, the police officers brought him from the hospital to the Sterlitamak police department, and then brought him home on a police vehicle.
On 22 July, a criminal case was initiated with regard to Ivan Yakovlev under part 2, Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“illegal purchase, storage, transportation, processing of narcotic substances on a large scale”). Now he is under travel restrictions.

On 10 September, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the Committee Against Torture on behalf of Yakovlev with a crime report.

On 12 October, Senior Investigator with the Sterlitamak Interdistrict Investigative Department with the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Republic of Bashkortostan Oleg Petrov initiated a criminal case against unidentified police officers with regard to the elements of crime provided in item 3, Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office using violence”).

Today, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture received a copy of this ruling.

“We are satisfied with opening of the criminal case and hope that the investigators will promptly perform necessary investigative activities to establish all the circumstances of the police battery of Ivan Yakovlev, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Denis Iskhakov comments. – In the nearest future, Ivan will be questioned by the investigator and declared a victim in the case, after that we shall submit motions to perform identity line-ups, face-to-face confrontations and other investigative activities”.

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