Law enforcement bodies insist that the drug police lawfully shot Bashkirian sportsman Saveykin


30 October 2009

The weapon issued to the police for protection of rights and legal interests more and more often fires at peaceful citizens.  Photo: Anton Saveykin killed by the drug police.

   The weapon issued to the police for protection of rights and legal interests more and more often fires at peaceful citizens.

   Yesterday the Leninsky district court found the termination of criminal proceedings upon the fact of Anton Saveykin’s murder lawful. The appeal prepared by the Committee against Torture was dismissed. Moreover, the prosecutor sided with the RF Investigation Committee for Bashkiria saying that he thought the termination of the criminal case to be lawful and justified.

You may remember that on 11 September 2008 officers of the Special Department of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service for Bashkiria killed Mr. Anton V. Saveykin during a special operation conducted to detain a certain Mr. P suspected of possession of drugs. Mr. Saveykin by chance happened to be in the area of desultory fire started by the police and was shot. The Drug Control Service staff mistook Mr. Saveykin for Mr. P. By the way, in course of the promiscuous firing in a busy street two bullets also hit a passenger bus and a taxi, and it’s a happy coincidence that there are no more victims.    Anton Saveykin’s parents applied to the Committee against Torture for help upon the fact of their son’s murder.

Having conducted a public investigation, the Bashkirian representation of the Committee against Torture concluded that the state had breached art.2 (right to life), art. 3 (prohibition of tortures) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Initially, the Investigation Committee prepared three refusals to open a criminal case, but after the CAT appealed against unlawful actions of investigators, on 2 December 2008 criminal proceedings were opened under p.2 art.109 of the RF Criminal Code (reckless homicide due to negligent performance of official duties). One of the Investigation Committee investigators was held financially liable for an unlawful refusal to start criminal proceedings.

It took eight months to investigate the case. It was evident that instead of an objective investigation the authorities were trying to collect proofs of state agents’ innocence. The investigator performed necessary investigative activities only after the victims filed certain motions, around 40 altogether. Nevertheless, despite the motions that had been sustained, some witnesses were not questioned. Many facts were not determined and checked. At the same time heads of the Investigation Administration under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Bashkiria ignored the victims’ complaints and did nothing to conduct an objective investigation.

On 2 August 2009 senior investigator R.R. Sultanov from the Special Investigation Department of the Investigation Administration of the Investigation Committee under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Bashkiria issued a decision to stop criminal proceedings on Anton Saveykin’s murder. He did not disclose corpus delicti in the actions of the Bashkirian drug police.

Thus, representative of the Bashkirian law enforcement think that officers of the Federal Drug Control Service have the right to kill anyone who happens to be in the area of a special operation aimed at detaining suspects. It should be mentioned that according to the log of munitions, the police used 26 cartridges. Only by a happy coincidence there were no more victims.  Recently, law enforcement agents have often resorted to weapons for the sake of “combating crime” and just for no reason, but only the Bashkirian Investigation Committee, Prosecutor’s Office and courts defend shooters with shoulder straps.More and more often bullets fired by the police hit peaceful citizens.

The Interregional Committee against Torture continues supporting the victims and in the nearest future it will lodge a cassation appeal with the Bashkirian Supreme Court. The Committee against Torture will press for prosecution of those responsible for Anton Saveykin’s death.  

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