On 28 March 2018, unidentified persons attacked head of Dagestan branch of human rights centre “Memorial” Sirazhutdin Datsiev in Makhachkala. His head was hit from behind, then he was hit several times when he was lying on the ground, after that the attackers left in unknown direction. The police initiated a criminal case based on the incident. Human rights defenders with “Memorial” human rights center and the Committee Against Torture conducted their own investigation of the incident, and, based on the preliminary results, there are some grounds to think that the attackers were law-enforcement officers. With this regard lawyers with the Committee Against Torture got involved in the official investigation in the capacity of the victim’s representatives.
Immediately after the attack human rights defenders with their own forces conducted activities for search of the witnesses of the incident as well as to establish the route of the vehicle which was used for the attack. As a result they managed to find out that the attackers divided after the attack – one of them left the car in the Pugacheva street and went on foot in the direction of the Akushinsky avenue. This moment was recorded by one of the surveillance cameras installed in the street not far from the place of the attack. At the same time the person who left the car did that through the back door, having put down the door glass in order to open the door through the window holding the door handle outside. This fact attracted the attention of the human rights defenders, since the handles inside the passenger compartment, as a rule, are not present in the police service vehicles, in order to prevent the detainees from opening the doors on their own and fleeing. Also, the culprits’ car, despite the fact that it was undistinguished black Lada Priora, had other peculiarities. All its windows were tinted, which is prohibited by highway regulations, and the installed number plates were listed as stolen. However, at the same time the vehicle drove around the Makhachkala downtown without restriction and was never stopped by road patrol service officers.
After the attack Sirazhutdin Datsiev was hospitalized. He was diagnosed with the following traumas: closed craniocerebral injury, brain concussion, contusions and bruises of soft tissues of head and face, contusion of chest and lumbar spine. The experts defined the degree of damage to health as mild.
On 30 March 2018 interrogating officer of the police department for the Kirovsky District of Makhachkala Gadzhi Daudov initiated a criminal case under item “a”, part 2, Article 115 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“infliction of mild damage to health out of hooligan motives”).
At the present time lawyers with the Committee Against Torture got involved in the criminal case in the capacity of the victim’s representatives in order to defend Datsiev’s interests and render assistance in investigation of the attack.
“There are a lot of questions concerning the professionalism and training level of the attackers. The incident may be related to some high-profile cases which “Memorial” human rights center branch officers are dealing with, which involve police officers. Previously some threats were sent to the organization’s mobile phone by unidentified persons. The threats involved demands to stop the activity of the branch, otherwise more radical action was promised, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Albert Kuznetsov comments. – Our task at the moment is to insist on effective investigation of the attack against Sirazhutdin. At the present time all our motions are satisfied, the police officers are gathering information, including from the hardware-software systems which record the city traffic”.