No check is being performed on the reports of torture voiced by the suspects in the case of Nemtsov's assassination


31 March 2015

Lawyers of the Moscow office of the Committee Against Torture whom Tamerlan Eskerkhanov and Zaur Dadayev, involved in the case of Boris Nemtsov assassination, have to state that to the present time the Investigative Committee of Russia has not performed any effective actions in order to check the suspects’ complaints of illegal physical action by law-enforcement officers. In addition, investigator Krasnov continues to impose difficulties for lawyer Gubin who has been unable to get access to his client Dadayev in Lefortovo detention center for two weeks already. In the opinion of human rights defenders all this artificially creates tension around this case leading to needless rumors, as well as rapidly destroying the possibility of establishing the truth.

(Tamerlan Eskerkhanov, photo: AFP, Zaur Dadayev, photo: Reuters)

Tamerlan Eskerkhanov and Zaur Dadayev, involved in the case of Boris Nemtsov assassination have officially applied to the Moscow office of the interregional nongovernmental organization «The Committee Against Torture» for legal assistance in connection with illegal violence which they were subjected to. In particular, Eskerkhanov informed human rights defenders that people in black uniform who took him from the temporary detention center to the Basmanny District Court of Moscow tortured and humiliated him: photographed him naked, set his beard and face on fire, hit him against the back of his neck, lower back and kidneys area. Dadayev, in his turn, informed the members of the Public Investigative Commission of Moscow that on 5 March he was abducted by unidentified security officials, starved for two days while being confided in the basement, handcuffed to the heating radiator, tortured with electricity while the torturers demanded that he confessed of Nemtsov assassination. 

However, having initiated a public investigation, human rights defenders immediately faced with difficulties and actual reluctance of the official investigative authorities to conduct the check based on the statement of the two men, suspected of Boris Nemtsov’s assassination, about tortures by law-enforcement officers. 

For example, back on 13 March 2015 the head of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Aleksandr Tschoukin informed the Advisor to the President of Russia Mikhail Fedotov that the «arguments on illegal use of force against Z.Sh.Dadayev, A.Sh.Gubashev and Sh.Sh.Gubashev and others will be checked in accordance with the procedure established by law and their appropriate legal evaluation will be performed». However, investigators have not yet interrogated Dadayev with regards to this. 

It also has to be pointed out that senior investigator for major crimes under the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Igor’ Krasnov  continues to impose difficulties for lawyer Evgeny Gubin, who was invited by the Committee Against Torture and has been unable to get access to his client Dadayev in Lefortovo detention center for two weeks already. All this despite the fact that the law guarantees everyone the right to legal assistance and does not provide for obtaining a permit of the investigator for the lawyer to meet a person on remand.

«At the present time we cannot confirm or deny the information about the illegal use of violence by law-enforcement officers, which was repeatedly reported by Tamerlan Eskerkhanov and Zaur Dadayev. In order to build a real picture of what happened to Dadayev it is necessary first of all to conduct a forensic medical examination to check if he has traumas inflicted with electricity. The Investigative Committee has never performed this procedure, it can be performed only upon the motion of Evgeny Gubin, who in his turn cannot even see his client. Complaints and applications files by Gubin on 20 March to the Investigative Committee have not been reviewed. In case of Eskerkhanov it is also necessary to obtain the experts’ report about the condition of his health, – emphasized lawyer of the Committee Against Torture Dmitry Piskunov. – For some reason unknown to us the official investigation chose a very strange position: it does not conduct the check of the crime reports and prevents the human rights defenders from doing it, destroying the chances of establishing the truth and, in essence, violating the rights of the applicants to effective investigation».

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