Resident of Saint-Petersburg described how during the rally against mobilization the police officers broke his arm and took him to the police department, where he slept on the floor for two nights


30 November 2022


On 21 September, painter Denis Sirenko participated in a protest rally on the day of announcement of partial mobilization in Saint-Petersburg. Near the Gostnyi Dvor, her was apprehended by the police officers.  According to Sirenko, they were beating him up with electric shockers and truncheons. The doctors diagnosed Denis with a double fracture of the left arm and numerous contusions.    

36-year old Denis Sirenko applied to the St. Petersburg branch of the Crew Against Tortures and told human rights defenders that during the protest rally he attempted to flee from the police officers in the direction of the Kazan Cathedral, but they caught up with him and stroke him down to the ground. 

«I tried to stand up, I thought I could flee. Possibly, at that moment I broke my arm. Three more people ran to me, I was lifted on my feet, I did not have shoes on, they got off during the fall».   

According to Denis, the officers in black uniforms and covered faces took him to the column of the Gostinyi Dvor, made him stand against the wall, started to wring his hands, apply electrical shocker and truncheons, trampled on his bare feet with high boots. This moment was partially seen in the video which was provided by the witnesses of the event. It is seen in the video how Sirenko is taken to the police van after the battery. In the van, Denis felt sharp pain in his arm.  

«It was hard for me to breathe; my head wound was bleeding. I was scared I would lose consciousness. I don’t remember the moment of the blow. I realized I could not move my left arm when it started to get swollen».    

Later on, the detained were taken to Police Department No.18, and about two hours later, Denis was transported from there to the traumatic surgery of the Hospital named after Pavlov. The medics made an x-ray, applied a splint on the arm and a stitch – on the head. The man spent the night at the police department, sitting in the assembly hall. The next day, the court convicted Sirenko to ten days of administrative arrest for violating the established order of organization or conducting the rally, assembly (under item 6.1 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation).

«After the court I was taken back to the police department. I spent the night there, somewhere near the cells for the detained. I was sleeping on the floor tiling».  

On 23 September, Denis was taken to the Temporary Detention Facility of the Slantsy town. By that moment, according to Sirenko, he was without food for two days. In the special detention facility his head stitch was treated, but they did not do anything with the arm. After the release, he applied to the hospital named after Pavlov on his own, where he received medical assistance on 21 September. There, he was x-rayed, his splint was renewed, the stitch was removed and the appointment card for splint removal was issued. Later on, in a private clinic, the doctors diagnosed him with a double fracture of belemnoids of the elbow and the radial bone of the left hand, contused wound of the head, contusion of the lumbar region and the rig cage.           

The comment by CAT lawyer:

At the present time, we are conducting a public investigation based on application of Denis Sirenko. Three witnesses are questioned, all of them confirm that he was thrown in the police van with an injured arm and a smashed head. We are planning to find out whether applying physical force against him and special equipment was legal and adequate.    We submitted an application to the district department of the Investigative Committee of the RF with a demand to open a criminal case and conduct a thorough investigation. However, the Investigative Committee refused to conduct the necessary check, and instead of that forwarded the application to the department of internal security of the St. Petersburg Department of the Interior, which does not even have a legal right to open a criminal case.    

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