In the Kuban Territory, the claim to open a criminal case on police torture is dismissed for the sixth time


07 October 2020
Evgeny Skidanov

For the sixth time in a row, the investigators in the Krasnodar Territory have dismissed a claim to open a criminal case based on a complaint of local citizen Evgeny Skidanov about the police torture: according to him, in November of last year several police officers tortured him with electricity, beat him up and hanged him on the bar, forcing to confess of a murder of a woman. The district investigator has illegally refused to initiate the criminal case on torture – now the investigators on major cases with the regional department will deal with checking of this complaint.

In November 2019, Evgeny Skidanov from Vyselki settlement in the Krasnodar Territory applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. He told human rights defenders that Natalya Grozina, who worked for him as a menial at his farm, disappeared without a trace in January 2014. With this regard he was numerously questioned by the criminal investigations officers but no official charges by law-enforcement authorities were raised.

However, on 14 November 2019, the police officers apprehended him at his workplace and took him to the Department of Interior for the Vyselki District. There, according to Skidanov, he was taken to the basement and the police officers started to torture him, demanding that he not only confessed of murder of Natalya Grozina, but also indicated the place where she was buried. According to Evgeny, he was hanged on the bar between two tables, the wire was connected to his toes and electrical current was switched on, the police officers were choking him with a plastic bag, hitting his face at the same time. Despite this, he did not confess.

On 15 November, Evgeny Skidanov was apprehended as suspected of murder of Natalya Grozina. On the next day he applied to the Investigative Committee with a complaint about the police torture.

According to medical forensic examination which was performed a week after Evgeny Skidanov’s apprehension, he was diagnosed with the following bodily injuries: “A bruise in the area of lower jaw on the right, extravasation of the front surface of the middle third of the left shoulder. The prescription of these injuries is no less than 7 days”.

Senior investigator of the Investigative Department for the Vyselki District of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Krasnodar Territory Roman Nazarov three times refused to initiate a criminal case on tortures. These rulings were immediately quashed by the department superiors.

After repeated applications of lawyers with the Committee Against Torture to the superiors of the regional Investigative Department, starting from 26 February 2020, the investigators of the first department for major cases of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Krasnodar Territory became involved with checking the Skidanov’s complaint.

By the present time, the investigators of this department have three times dismissed the claim to open a criminal case. Today, human rights defenders received a copy of the last dismissal, issued on 24 September 2020.

“We hoped that after Skidanov’s application is transferred to the department for major cases investigation, there will be progress in the case, however, our hopes were in vain, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Sergey Romanov comments. – For eight months of work only two expert examination conclusions were obtained, as well as the results of lie detector test of the police officers. Investigator Ilya Ilyenko did not perform a number of necessary checking activities, for example: the ambulance doctor and Skidanov’s lawyer have not been questioned. We shall certainly appeal against this investigator’s ruling at court as illegal one, and we also apply to the management of the Territorial Investigative Department with a request to conduct an internal check with regard to the red tape”. 

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