Yesterday, on 6 February 2014, during an identity parade arranged for the alleged victim with the third-degree physical disability status to identify those private security servicemen who had beaten him up, his lawyer from the INGO «Committee Against Torture» Dmirty Egoshin was receiving direct threats from the suspects and their superior – the Head of «Okhrana» security company Sergey Rybakov. The human rights defenders have filed a request asking the authorities to order State witness and victims protection program be offered to Dmitry Egoshin, Vladimir Ott (the victim) and the victim’s mother who bears witness. The relevant crime report has been lodged with the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Mari El.
(Photo: Head of «Okhrana» private security company Sergey Rybakov)
As we have previously reported, the Investigative Committee initiated criminal proceedings basing on the complaints lodged by Vladimir Ott, Yoshkar-Ola resident with hearing and speech disorders who claims to have been beaten up by policemen and servicemen with a private security company. The criminal investigation under Article 116 (2) of the Criminal Code (battery) was opened against unidentified individuals. The authorities are also conducting a pre-investigation inquiry under Article 286 (exceeding official powers).
Vladimir Ott applied to the local regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» and the human rights organization «Man and Law» on 20 January 2014. The man complained that he had been beaten up by policemen and servicemen of a private security company, he was seeking legal assistance. The human rights defenders immediately started a public investigation into his complaints.
Dmitry Egoshin, a lawyer working with the Mari El regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» represents the victim’s interests in the proceedings. The Inquiry Unit of Police Department no. 3 under the Directorate of the Interior for Yoshkar-Ola city is in charge of the case.
According to Mr Egoshin, on 6 February 2014 there was an identity parade in the office of Police Department no. 3 inquiry officer. During a break in the investigative activity the Head of «Okhrana» security company Sergey Rybakov burst into the room, and started to argue that Dmitry Egoshing had published on the Internet some information discrediting his dignity and reputation. Trying to stop the row, Mr Egoshin suggested that his opponent should present a claim before court if he felt defamed.
«You’re gonna regret this, you have no idea who you’re messing with», said Mr Rybakov on leaving the room.
This could have been taken for just an emotion in the heat of the moment… But the servicemen proceeded with direct threats.
Right in the middle of the investigative activity, one of the servicemen taking part in the identification parade warned that «people write a lot on the Internet these day, and sometimes get themselves killed for that». Later, after Vladimir Ott had identified the four servicemen with «Okhrana» company who had attacked him, the same serviceman addressed Mr Egoshin again, saying that the latter «is going to regret working on this case», and that «if Mr Egoshin is hit by a car or dies of a heart attack», the serviceman «will have nothing to do with that».
In the corridor of the police department other servicemen who had been identified by Mr Ott continued threatening Mr Egoshin. Mr Rybakov expressed discontent with the fact that the lawyer provides legal assistance for the battered disabled man, and promised to find incriminating information against the human rights defender.
When being interviewed by TV journalists, Mr Rybakov argued that «physically disabled people must stay home in the evening», and that Mr Ott’s parents «did not have the right to let him out at 7 pm…, because he is a disabled person».
Human rights defenders with the INGO «Committee Against Torture» and NGO «Man and Law» have filed a request asking the authorities to order State witness and victims protection program be offered to Dmitry Egoshin, Vladimir Ott (the victim), and the victim’s mother who bears witness. A crime report concerning the threats has been lodged with the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Mari El.