The case of electricity torture at the police department is resumed in Nizhny Novgorod region


14 December 2016

The investigation of the criminal case with regard to tortures of Sergey Lyapin at the police department of Volodarsky district in 2008 has been resumed in Nizhny Novgorod region. The investigator in charge of the case and his head were subjected to the disciplinary responsibility for the poor quality of their work. This was told to the human rights defenders during the personal appointment with the head of the regional investigation office of the Investigative Committee Dmitry Kanonerov.

(Photo: Sergey Lyapin and lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Albert Kuznetsov)

Let us remind you that in March 2016 investigator of the investigation department in Dzerzhinsk investigation office of the Investigative Department of the Russian Federation for Nizhny Novgorod initiated a criminal case  with regard to tortures of Sergey Lyapin. Human rights defenders representing Sergey’s interests are sure that initiating the case became possible due to the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that acknowledged the fact of tortures of Sergey in 2014 and established that the investigative authorities failed to conduct efficient investigation at the national level, which resulted in the resolution of the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (as of 20 January 2016) to resume criminal proceedings based on Lyapin’s complaint.

In September of this year two participants of the eight-year-old events got the status of suspects in this criminal case; one of them is an acting police officer, and the other had already resigned from the internal affairs agencies. In the course of the face-to-face confrontations Lyapin identified his torturers.

Despite this fact on 16 November investigator Razumkov passed a resolution to suspend preliminary investigation of this case. Lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Tortures Albert Kuznetsov representing the interests of Sergey Lyapin appealed against this ruling.

On 12 December in the context of All-Russian Day of Citizens Reception Kuznetsov and Lyapin met Deputy Head of Investigation Office of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in Nizhny Novgorod Dmitry Kanonerov.

Sergey Lyapin quite emotionally described his experience of communication with Head of Dzerzhinsky office of the Investigative Department Andrey Tsaplinov who once interrogated him about the tortures he had suffered: “He kept asking me as if mocking at me: “Were they really torturing you? Really with the electric current?”, he doubted my words and it was extremely unpleasant for me.”

Dmitry Kanonerov remarked that this unethical behavior of Tsaplinov described by Luapin is out of accord with the internal orders which state that all employees of the department shall be polite and attentive when they communicate with citizens. Mr Kanonerov also pointed out that the previous resolution of the investigator to suspend the criminal proceedings was cancelled and the investigation was resumed. 

“Deputy Head of Investigation Office of the Investigative Committee demonstrated his awareness of Lyapin’s case, saying that the investigator and the head of the department had been already subjected to disciplinary responsibility for some episodes described by Sergey; but some facts remained unknown to the heads of the office until the personal application was submitted, – Kuznetsov pointed out. – As we were told, a separate checking of these facts shall be conducted. We hope that our application will help to bring this case to trial eventually, as we have only a bit over a year before the period of limitation for accountability of perpetrators expires; and taking into account the approach the investigators from Dzerzhinsk have had so far, the guilty persons have great chances to escape from punishment.”

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