Refusing to provide fingerprints resulted in 23 days spent in hospital


24 April 2017

Aleksey Galiullin from Bashkiria accuses representatives of Federal National Guard Troops Service and the police in illegal applying violence against him for refusing to provide his fingerprints. According to Mr Galiullin, as a result of this he got closed craniocerebral injury, brain contusion (light form), as well as neck vertebra injury. Lawyers from the Committee for the Prevention of Tortures started public investigation of this incident.

In his explanation to the human rights defenders Aleksey Galiullin reported that on 22 February his friends and he were having a rest in the sauna in the city of Birsk. When then session was over they had a conflict with the employees of the sauna because of the mess that the guests had left. A district police officer and representatives of Federal National Guard Troops Service arrived to resolve the conflict. But the conflict was not resolved. On the contrary, the law enforcement representatives that had arrived turned out to be the third participant of this conflict. In the end, it was decided to take Aleksey to the police department of Birsk district. According to Galiullin, while they were taking him to the official car one of the representatives of Federal National Guard Troops Service pushed him on his back so that Aleksey fell and hit his head against the ice.

– I did not provide any personal data in the police department referring to Article 51 of the Constitution and I also refused to give my fingerprints, – said Aleksey. – I said that I had the right to an attorney, but they did not let me call for a lawyer.

According to Galiullin, the law enforcement representatives tried to make him give his fingerprints using force, as a result he was pushed to the floor, his arms were put behind his back and he was handcuffed.

– One of the officers pressed my neck with his knee, and I felt severe pain and started to groan unnaturally because I could not cry, – remembered Aleksey.

According to Aleksey, the noise they were making attracted another police officer who came from another room; he demanded to stop the violence against Aleksey and also requested to take off the handcuffs. After that Aleksey was allowed to write a report to the head of this police department about the events that had taken place.

Some time later Galiullin felt severe pain and dizziness, so the ambulance was called for him and took him to the central city hospital of Birsk.

In the hospital Aleksey was diagnosed with: “Concomitant injury. Closed craniocerebral injury. Brain concussion. Brain contusion (light form). Rotatory subluxation of the second neck vertebra. Ring shoulder joint injury. Ligaments train, numerous hematomas of the right wrist join”.

Aleksey spent in hospital twenty three days; currently he is at home receiving treatment and wearing a neck brace. The forensic medical examination prescribed by the investigator determined that Aleksey’s injuries “are considered to be injuries that inflicted moderate damage to the person’s health”.

Galiullin’s report addressed to the head of the police department was redirected based on the consequences to Birsk interdistrict investigation department of the RF Investigation Office of Investigation Committee for the Republic of Bashkortostan. On 25 May investigator from this department Bulat Galiev issued an order to refuse to open a criminal case due to the absence of criminal elements in the actions of the law enforcement representatives. He considered that they had rightfully used physical force.

Currently this “refusal” has been appealed against, the appeal has been sent to the head of the investigation office and to the Prosecutor’s Office.

“Making a decision to refuse to initiate a criminal case the investigator makes a conclusion that handcuffs and physical force applied to Aleksey were used legally. However he ignores the fact that according to the law “On the Police” police officers have to aim to minimize possible negative consequences for a person when they use force. According to the practice of the European Court on Human Rights the applied force shall be proportional to the danger that a person presents, – comments lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Tortures. – Besides, the investigator did not explain at all the origin of the bodily injuries that resulted in moderate damage to Aleksey’s health; the investigator did not provide any judgment of them. At present we are waiting for the decision on the appeal against “the refusal”, and we are planning to ask the investigation office to conduct efficient check”.

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