Investigators will have to examine the battery complaint of the football fan from Samara for the 13-th time


15 February 2021

Today, on 15 February 2021, judge of the Leninsky District Court of Orenburg Aleksey Konnov declared the 12-th dismissal of the claim to open a criminal case with regard to a complaint of Denis Belyanin, a fan of the “Krylya Sovetov” football club from Samara, concerning battery in 2017 by law-enforcement officers, to be illegal. After that, the Investigative Committee investigators will have to perform the pre-investigative check for the 13-th time.

 As we have previously reported, on 4 October 2017, a criminal case regarding the crime under item ‘a’, part 3, Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office using violence”) was initiated regarding the fact of the battery of “Krylya Sovetov” football club fans.

This criminal case was opened with regard to the following events. On 2 September 2017, in the framework of the 11th Tour of the National Football League in Orenburg a game between local team “Orenburg” and “Krylya Sovetov” from Samara took place. In the very end of the game, an incident between the visitant football fans and law-enforcement officers occurred in the guests sector.

Numerous videos of the indecent were loaded in the Internet, one of them features law-enforcement officers putting the football fans faces against the wall with feet spread apart and kick them and beat them with truncheons. It is seen in the video record that the football fans did not offer resistance and did not attempt to flee.

Denis Belyanin from Samara applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance on September 6. He reported on what happened to him on 2 September at the Orenburg stadium: “After the law enforcement officers brought me beyond the audience sector, they forced me to stand on my knees, press my head against the concrete wall and my arms behind my back. After some time, I was told to stand up. When I started standing, they hit me from two sides with truncheons and feet. I felt strong pain and my feet became numb as a result of the beating”.

According to Belyanin, he and several fans from Samara were taken to the City Police Department where they were forced to stand with their head pressing against the wall, feet spread apart and arms behind their backs. According to Denis, he was released only after he signed a document stating that he had no claims against the police officers.

When he returned to Samara, Denis applied to City Clinical Hospital No.1 named after Pirogov, where the doctors registered “a bruise, a hematoma of the left ankle-joint and foot”.

On 30 October 2017, investigator Sergey Novoselov issued a refusal to initiate criminal proceedings based on the fact of Denis Belyanin’s battery, which was quashed two months after by Deputy Head of the Investigative Department Aleksandr Morozov.

By the present time, the investigators issued twelve refusals to initiate criminal proceedings already, six of which were subsequently declared illegal and quashed. The last “refusal” was issued on 11 June 2020 by investigator of the Investigative Department for the Southern Administrative District of Orenburg of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Orenburg region Aleksandr Bespalov.

Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture appealed against this investigator’s ruling at court as late as on 28 January 2021, since the investigative body would not provide human rights defenders the material of the check for familiarization for a long time.

Today, judge of the Leninsky District Court Aleksey Konnov satisfied human rights’ defenders complaint and declared legal the dismissal issued by investigator Aleksandr Bespalov. It is worth pointing out that the Prosecutor’s Office representative asked the court to dismiss the application despite the fact that the investigator dismissed the claim to open a criminal case, having failed to execute the Prosecutor’s Office instructions on questioning certain individuals.

“The Investigative Committee investigators have been violating Denis Belyanin’s rights for over three years, over and over again passing illegal rulings, evading performing specific checking activities, delaying the process of Belyanin’s representatives’ familiarization with materials of the pre-investigative check, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin comments. – From 2017 till the present time, the investigators ever questioned important eye witnesses of the incident, did not examine the incident scene and did not event establish the personality of the officer who beat Belyanin’s feet, did not question any football fans as part of the check of what happened at the stadium, and later on at the police department. With regard to this, in the framework of pre-investigative check we intend to insist on opening the criminal case and conducting effective investigation”.

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