The Committee Against Torture initiated a public inquiry based on report of torture in the Mary El police


17 March 2015

Sergey Smol’kin from Yurino settlement in the Republic Mary El applied to the Mary El office of the Interregional Non-governmental organization «The Committee Against Torture» with a report of tortures in police department No.6 of Kozmodemyansky Intermunicipal department of the Russian Federation Ministry of the Interior. Simultaneously with the official check the human rights defenders started their own public inquiry.

(Photo: Sergey Smol’kin)

As Sergey told the human rights defenders, on 26 February this year he was called in for questioning as a witness to police department No.6. However, the questioning started in a rather unexpected manner – one of the men in civilian clothes present in the department reported straight away that Sergey beat up a man and took a ring from him and it is better to confess of everything, since the officer were from the «sixth department, and crushed the stronger than your ilk».

According to Sergey, when he refused to confess of crime, two men entered the room and moved from words to deeds: they put him on his hunkers, having handcuffed his hands behind his back and tied his feet with a towing line, and then they started to press on his knees. When Sergey felt a cramp in his feet he started screaming but people present in the room just increased the volume of the music to stifle his shouts. Sergey sat in this position for about three hours. Continuing with tortures the police officers threatened the witness whom they summoned for questioning, saying that he had no idea what he got into and that they were going to rape him and record this on video, plant drugs on him. 

As Sergey recalls, having broken down under torture he was forced to write the confession to the dictation of the officers. After that the defense lawyer who was hired by Smol’kin’s mother and the senior assistant of the Yurinsky District Prosecutor came over to the police department. The lawyer demanded that the police officers immediately called for the ambulance. Medical workers who arrived at the scene registered that Sergey had hypertensic crisis and cuts on the wrists from handcuffs. After some time he was released from the police department  and had to apply to the hospital due to pain in his feet.

Smol’kin’s lawyer applied to the Investigative Committee, the Department of Own Security of the Ministry of the Interior and the Prosecutor’s Office. Sergey himself applied to the Committee Against Torture. As it has become known to the human rights defenders who represent Sergey’s interests, the Investigative Committee officers already started the check in the course of which the applicant and a number of witnesses have been questioned. In addition, Sergey identified three men the photographs of which were provided to him by the officers of the Ministry of the Interior Internal Investigations Division in the course of the agency check.

«We initiated the public inquiry based on Sergey Smol’kin’s application, and today we are planning to submit a crime report to the Investigative Department requesting to perform urgent specific checks, – head of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» in the Mary El Republic Dmitry Yalikov emphasized, – We also are going to send a claim to the Ministry of the Interior asking to perform agency check. We hope that the momentum that the authorities officers have gained recently will not fade away».

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