Vusal Askerov from Yoshkar-Ola applied to the Committee for Prevention of Torture for legal assistance. According to him, a police officer hit him and broke his nose. Human rights defenders initiated public investigation based on Vusal’s complaint. Curiously enough, the investigator from the Investigative Committee, who performed the check of this fact, failed to find elements of a crime, however, he perceived that the incident should be qualified as «intended infliction of moderate harm to health», for which reason he severed the material on this case and handed it over to the police.
As Vusal told the human rights defenders, on the night from 19 to 20 February he dropped in a cafe-grill bar with some friends of his to buy cigarettes. However, this routine action ended in a conflict. «When we entered the shop a cashier refused to serve us without explaining the reasons. After several attempts to attract her attention I broke a glass fish from the shop-window», – Vusal described the incident.
After that, according to Askerov, the shop assistant called for private enterprise security officers who came to scene of event and told the group of young men to wait till the police arrive.
«When the police officers arrived and entered the shop they immediately started to behave very rudely, none of them introduced themselves and showed their police IDs. One of the officers came up to me and asked: «Is it you who is the most arrogant here?», after that he pulled my arm behind my back and brought me out from the shop», – Askerov describes what was going on. Then, according to Vusal, the police officer brought him out in the street, faceplanted and handcuffed him, after that kicked him in the face so violently that Vusal lost consciousness for some time.
Then Vusal was delivered to city police department No.2. The ambulance was called there, too, and the medics diagnosed that Vusal had a nose fracture. As Ascerov recalls, the doctors wanted to take him away with them due to suspected craniocerebral injury, however, the police officers did not let them do it (later, in the framework of the pre-investigative check a forensic medical examination established a nose bones fracture with displacement of the fragments upwards).
«I was just standing in the police department with a broken nose for several hours, no one told me what I was beaten up for. After some time I managed to call to the Prosecutor’s Office and inform them about the situation. When a Prosecutor’s Office representative came over together with the investigator of the Internal Security Department of the Ministry of the Interior, I was provided with a report on administrative violation in the form of insubordination to the police officers, I was questioned about the incident and released», – Askerov said.
On the same day, 20 February, Vusal submitted a crime report to the investigative department for Yoshkar-Ola city of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Mary El, as well as to the human rights defenders of the Committee for Prevention of Torture for legal assistance.
As a result of the conducted check investigator of the Investigative Committee Ms Dolgopolova came to the conclusion that there was no element of crime in the actions of the police officers, and the material for this fact should be severed based on elements of crime under 115 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation («intended infliction of moderate harm to health»).
On 21 March 2016 Ms Dolgopolova issued a refusal to initiate criminal proceedings.
Lawyer of INGO «The Committee for Prevention of Torture» Danil Chendemerov, representing the interests of Vusal Askerov: «Surely, in order to be able to speak about the investigator’s ruling in detail, it is necessary to familiarize with the results of the check which we intend to do in the nearest future. However, the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings itself seems to us quite strange: from the evidence of many people participating in this incident, it turns out that Askerov was in good health and with no signs of damage when he was inside the shop. However, outside, where he was handcuffed and under the control of the police officers, his friends saw that he had a broken nose. The police officers say that no one beat him up; however, they cannot provide any explanations as to why Vusal’s nose was broken. The investigator has not resolved these discrepancies, and that’s why we will certainly appeal against this refusal».