On the 3rd of September 2008 the SPF officers accused of tortures will make their last statements in Sochi


28 August 2008

Today in the Lazarevskoye district court of Sochi the parties concluded the debates under the criminal case about the mass “mopping-up” operation in Druzhba camp conducted by special police forces of the Krasnodarskiy Kray Department of Internal Affairs. 

The police special operation resulted in a mass battery of people spending their vacation in the camp, including minors.

You may remember that on the night of July 19, 2006 in Nizhneye Makopse 50 SPF officers started detaining men and teenagers without a reason using force, electric shockers and bamboo sticks. Later the detainees were taken to the Lazarevskoye district Department of Internal Affairs where the victims were refused medical aid and were made to sign explanatory notes under the threat of violence.

At the end of July an independent mobile task force traveled to the scene of action in order to clarify the circumstances and conduct a public investigation. The task force included specialists of the Committee against Torture, Public Verdict Foundation (Moscow), “Mothers supporting the rights of the accused, detainees and convicts” organization (Krasnodar) and republican organization Man and Law (Mariy El). Human rights defenders and state investigators took all possible steps in order to carry out an effective investigation of the events.

In course of debates the state prosecution maintained that it was necessary to reckon up the actions of the authorities that had contributed to the crime committed by the SPF officers, i.e. Sochi SPF squadron commanders, regional Department of Internal Affairs heads. In connection with this the state prosecutor asked the court to issue a decree addressed to the Krasnodarskiy Kray Department of Internal Affairs head and Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev obligating them to eliminate the conditions enabling such crimes simultaneously with the verdict.

The victim’s lawyer, Mr. Nikolay Shakhovalov, supported the prosecutor’s position. He added that when it the facts of innocent citizens’ battery and mass human rights violations in respect of children had become evident the Krasnodarskiy Kray Administration of Internal Affairs had not evaluated the situation in a right way and had not even apologized to the victims and their relatives. On the contrary- the press-service of the KK AIA decided to protect the esprit de corps: official reports said that the actions of special police forces were an anti-terrorist raid, and violence was used in response to the citizens’ resistance.

By court order the accused SPF officers will make their last statements on September 3, after that the court will set the date for final adjudicature.

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