In Orenburg, the period of the criminal case investigation based on the fact of incitement to suicide of convict Aleksandr Belousov at Penal Colony No.4 is extended for a month. Previously, he complained that the colony officers abused him: hit him, did not provide medical assistance, dipped his head into the toilet pit. Three months after this criminal case was opened, it does not have a single suspect, and the investigator has illegally dismissed the investigation once, already.
As we have previously reported, on 5 August 2019, а man called to the Committee Against Torture and presented himself as Aleksandr Belousov. He told human rights defenders that he was serving sentence at Penal Colony No.4 of the Department of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the Orenburg region. Aleksandr reported that he and other convicts are regularly subjected to abuse and battery by the penal institution officers. According to Aleksandr, the convicts’ abuse and abasement of human dignity by the way of dipping their heads in the toilet pit is in common practice at the penal colony.
According to Aleksandr, he was inflicted serious sufferings due to the fact that the penal colony officers refused to provide him with appropriate medical assistance for asthma treatment.
Due to all these reasons, as Aleksandr indicated, he committed suicide attempts — cut his hands. The person who called asked human rights defenders to hand the data he reported over to the Prosecutor’s Office, as well as distribute the information on what is going on in the social media or hand it over to mass media.
“I decided to commit suicide because I don’t have any more patience to endure all this lawlessness. They have this thing which they call “stretching”, it is when they hit your head against the wall and kick your feet – it’s supposed to be stretching. It was a common practice to apply it for failure to comply with anything. Another thing when the convicts were bent, brought to the toilet bowl and their heads were dipped into it. So they do all this in such a way that there is little beating as such. I submitted several complaints, as I understand they absolutely don’t go anywhere from here. I have nothing to fear anymore. My head was dipped into the toilet pit, I was beaten up”, — Aleksandr Belousov told over the phone.
On the next day, lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin handed over the data submitted by Belousov to the Prosecutor’s Office providing supervision of legal compliance at penal institutions.
On 12 August, some man called human rights defenders office, this time some unknown man called who reported that Aleksandr Belousov hanged himself. On the same day, the parents of the deceased, Tatyana Belousov and Sergey Belousov applied to the Committee Against Torture. In their statement they asked to conduct a public investigation and render legal assistance based on the fact of their son’s death. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the Investigative Committee with a crime report as well as submitted a number of motions to perform checking activities.
On 3 September, Senior Investigator of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Department for the Northern Administrative District of Orenburg of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Orenburg region Lyubov Dyekina opened a criminal case with regard to the crime committed against Aleksandr Belousov, provided by part 1 of Article 110 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“incitement to suicide”).
On 31 October, investigator of the same department Vladimir Yartsev dismissed the criminal case due to the absence of the event of crime. However, this ruling was quashed by the superiors as illegal.
Today, the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture received a notification that the period of the criminal case investigation is extended to 7 January 2020 due to the necessity of obtaining the results of post-mortem comprehensive psychological and psychiatric expert examination of Belousov, performing full scope of interrogations of the penal colony officers and conducting other investigative activities.
“I think that the arguments, cited in the ruling on extension of the criminal case, are justified, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin comments. – However, we are concerned by the fact that investigator Yartsev illegally dismissed the case in haste, as soon as proceedings were initiated. We shall continue not only to insist on effective investigation of the alleged crime committed against Belousov, but also on the check of the executive authorities of the specialized prosecutor’s office, who did not take sufficient and effective measures to prevent the violation of Belousov’s rights, limiting themselves to redirecting the obtained information to the Investigative Committee”.