Moscow State University post graduate broke his finger after he refused to show his passport to a police officer


15 March 2017

Aleksandr Kim, a post-graduate of Soil Science Department of the Moscow State University applied to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture for legal assistance. He told human rights defenders that at the Pervomayskaya metro station a police officer applied physical force against him after his refusal to show his passport, as a result he broke the young man’s finger on his left arm. Human rights defenders already submitted the crime report to the Investigative Committee, as well as commenced a public investigation. 

(Aleksandr Kim)

According to Aleksandr, on 21 February of this year he was stopped at Pervomayskaya metro station by a police officer who demanded that he showed his ID. In response Mr Kim asked the sergeant to introduce himself and also show his ID. He started to record what was happening with his mobile phone video camera.
Sergeant introduced himself as Andrey Pyshkin, showed his ID and repeated his demand to Mr Kim. When Aleksandr asked what was the reason of the demand to show ID, the police officer replied that it is necessary in the framework of operation “Migrant. Residential sector”. Having failed to grasp the logical connection between this operation and checking his ID, Aleksandr continued to insist on delivering some legal grounds. In response the police officer said that Mr Kim had a non-Slavic appearance, and in his opinion, it was a sufficient ground for assuming that his stay in the territory of the Russian Federation was illegal. Having considered Pyshkin’s actions illegal, in fact,   discriminating on ethnic grounds, Mr Kim refused to show his ID and went up the escalator. The police officer went with him, holding his right sleeve. 

According to Mr Kim, at the turnstiles Mr Pyshkin started to pull him to the police premises nearby. As to Mr Kim, he intended to leave the metro. He held the mobile guard rack with both hands while Mr Pyshkin was pulling his hands. The police officer started to disengage Aleksandr’s fingers from the rack one by one. When Mr Pyshkin used force to pull Mr Kim’s left hand thumb the latter felt a sharp pain. Mr Kim told Mr Pyshkin that he was breaking his fingers; however, the law-enforcement officer ignored his words and continued to apply force.  

At that moment Moscow metro system officer ran up to the men and he helped the police officer to pull Aleksandr’s hands behind his back and, holding them in this position, lead him to the police premises.  

– It was humiliating for me to be moved in such a fashion since I did not do anything illegal. The metro system officer immediately left after he brought me to the police premises, and I called for the ambulance, – Aleksandr Kim emphasized. 

The arrived medical workers refused to hospitalize Aleksandr, saying that he had no fracture. Instead of being provided medical assistance he was delivered handcuffed to Police department # 6 at the Moscow metro system. There Sergey Zabolov invited him to his office; he introduced himself as “a person in charge of the issue”. Mr Zabolov questioned Mr Kim about the reasons for his apprehension, after that he informed that the actions of his subordinate, Mr Pyshkin, were wrong, and offered his apologies to Aleksandr.  

Having left the police department, Aleksandr reached the first aid station, escorted by two police officers, where he was diagnosed with: “closed incomplete nondisplaced fracture of the proximal phalanx base of the 1st finger of the left hand. Bruise of the 3rd finger of the left arm”.

– Subsequently I had to extend my sick leave certificate three times and up to the present time I have been on my sick leave. A dismountable splint is put on my finger, at the attempts to take it off I feel sharp pain, – that is how Mr Kim describes his state.

“According to the law “On Police”, sergeant Pyshkin had a right to check Aleksandr Kim’s ID only in case if he had any data giving grounds to suspect that Aleksandr committed a crime or administrative violation, or believe that he was on the wanted list, or in case if there were grounds for his apprehension. The law does not provide “a non-Slavic appearance” as a ground for checking ID”, – lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Anastasia Garina comments. – In our case the police officer acted in violation of Law “On Police”. I would also point out that Aleksandr was right that he got his bearings quickly and wrote the crime report immediately after he was taken to the police department, and registered the bodily injuries on the same day.   In addition to the crime report which had been submitted to the police previously, today we have applied with a crime report to the Investigative Committee”.

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