In Nizhny Novgorod, a criminal case against the police officer, who twisted arms of the apprehended woman, is closed


28 April 2020

The Investigative Committee investigators closed the criminal case on brutal treatment of the apprehended woman at the police department. The incident happened back on 22 May of last year and attracted public interest due to the published video record of what happened. It is seen in the video how the police officer is twisting the arms of the woman who is chained to the bench at the police department. Regardless the promptly initiated criminal proceedings, the investigators with the Investigative Committee failed le to raise any charges against the police officer for ten months, and then closed the criminal case altogether. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture will appeal against this ruling as illegal.

On 24 May 2019, Marina Bukhvalova from Nizhny Novgorod applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. She told human rights defenders that on 22 May a police officer detained her in the street and sent her for medical examination. It confirmed the fact of Bukhvalova’s alcoholic intoxication, after that she was transferred to different police officer Sergey Zemskov who delivered her to the police department of the Avtozavodskoy District to draw up an administrative violation report.

According to the victim’s words, in the department hall Zemskov at first handcuffed her, then removed the handcuffs a little later. Several times she came to him to ask when she will be released. After she did it once again, the police officer handcuffed Marina to the iron bench.

Ms. Bukhavalova did not like it, and started to move the bench. After that Zemskov came up to the apprehended woman and started to twist her right arm. At first, Bukhvalova fell on her knees, then, to the floor. In total, the police officer was applying violence against her for two minutes, and during this time the woman was shouting demanding that he stopped.

“I felt a sharp pain because of his actions, – the victim explains, – at the same time he was calling me names. The police officer sometimes softened his grip, but then, again, twisted my arm harder”.

After this incident, the victim was sent to the cell for administratively detained.

Due to the fact that the described events were recorded by the witness and the video record was broadcasted by the local TV-channel, on 24 May a criminal case was initiated with regard to Sergey Zemskov under item “a” part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abuse of office using violence”).

Investigators of the Investigative Department of the Avtozavodsky District of Nizhny Novgorod started the investigation, however, for ten months of the investigation none of the three investigators who were working on this case managed to produce charges against Sergey Zemskov.

Moreover, today, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture received a notification from investigator Damir Yalyshev stating that the criminal case was dismissed back on 24 March 2020. According to investigatorYalyshev, the police officer’s actions did not contain any element of crime.

“We think that when passing the ruling on closing the case, the investigator did not evaluate the feasibility and proportion of applying physical force by the police officers against Marina Bukhvalova. After studying the materials of the criminal case, we shall definitely appeal against this investigator’s ruling as illegal, and shall insist that the investigation is resumed and charges are brought against the police officer”, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Yuliya Balandina comments.

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