The office of the INGO “Committee Against Torture” in Nizhny Novgorod received an application from Evgeniy Smirnov who claimed that he had been severely beaten by police officers in Avtozavodskiy district of the city and asked for legal support. The human rights defenders conducted a public investigation that corroborated the applicant’s allegations.
In the course of the inquiry lawyers of the Committee Against Torture questioned people from neighbouring apartment buildings who stated that on 3 June 2013 in the evening Evgeniy Smirnov together with two his acquaintances was detained by the police in the inner yard of apartment block no. 9 in Sputnika street. According to the witnesses, during the detention the three men were ill-treated. One of the eyewitnesses told the lawyers that the policemen knocked Mr. Smirnov down on the ground and started beating him, which was totally unmotivated, for the man was not maintaining resistance. He as well remembered, that Evgeniy several times cried “What are you doing! We are not showing any resistance!”, but the policemen proceeded to beat him, and then took the detainees to the police station.
According to the applicant, when he was brought to the police station his health condition was so poor, that the officers had to take him to hospital. A doctor observed the following injuries to his body: nasal fracture, brain concussion, and numerous abrasions and bruises all over the body.
Having applied to the District Department of the Inerior attempting to file a complaint against the police officers concerning the unlawful violence, Evgeniy Smirnov was… plaiced in a cell for administrative detainees. However, being unable to provide grounds for his arrest, after insistent demands of the man’s parents, the police had to release the detainee.
Another worthy of note event that followed was that on July 14 the district police officer who turned out to be one of the most aggressive participants of the battery appeared at the applicant’s door. His mother told the human rights defenders that the policeman was drunk and, having found out that Evgeniy was out, he hurried away.
A lawyer with the Committe Faridun Zavurbekov comments on the situation: “Now, the Investigative Committee officers are carrying out an inquiry into Mr. Smirnov’s allegations. However, the inquiry in inlikely to be effective, for nither the applicant, nor the witnesses have been questioned so far. There was a similar incident in Avtozavodskiy district last June, when the poolice cruelly beat Dmitry Nikolaev during detention. Then, criminal proceedeings were initiated within a month, and the case was heard in court. What will this situation result in? Time will show”.