The Forum is over but police abuse is not


16 June 2011

This night the Nizhny Novgorod police detained a Polish citizen, famous sociologist Lukas Jurcisin in Nizhny Novgorod.

In Russia Mr. Jurcisin is collecting data for a research on police abuse. He meets with representatives of the public, human rights NGOs, law enforcement authorities and politicians. At the moment of detention he was talking to members of the regional anti-fascist movement, the meeting was taking place in the city centre in presence of Mr. Jurcisin’s colleague, a sociologist from France.  

SPF officers, officers of the Anti-Extremism Centre (“E Centre”) and a representative of the press-service of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Interior Ministry with a video camera approached the sociologists in the park near the Zvezdinka Square. The police detained Mr. Jurcisin and others for alleged intoxication in public.

The detainees were taken to police department no.5 for the Nizhegorodsky district where the EU citizen was locked up in a cage-type cell.  

Some district police officer questioned Mr. Jurcisin not regarding alleged intoxication in public, but about the purpose of his visit to Russia and knowledge of foreign languages. 

As soon as the CAT learnt about Mr. Jurcisin’s detention, deputy chairman of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Public Monitoring Commission Oleg Khabibrakhmanov immediately arrived at the police department  to the to ensure that Mr. Jurcisin’s rights were not violated. The Polish Ambassy, international organizations and mass media were promptly notified about Polish citizen’s detention.

According to Jurcisin, he has no complaints about the police, he was not ill-treated following detention. When an administrative detention protocol was prepared, all detainees were released. Mr. Jurcisin stated that he was not going to complain about unlawful video shooting at the moment of detention. 

It should be noted that we perceive this obviously pre-planned detention as part of the wave of arbitrariness organized by the Nizhny Novgorod law enforcement authorities on the eve of the EU-Russian Civil Society Forum which took place on 9-10 June 2011 in Nizhny Novgorod. The Forum is over, but arbitrary treatment remains.