Officers of the Investigative Department for the Sovetsky District of Nizhny Novgorod of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region for two years now have been refusing to initiate criminal proceedings of the death of Sergey Protasov from Nizhny Novgorod, who was taken to hospital from the detention room of the arrested for the administrative violations in December 2013. It is very strange that the investigators ignore even the conclusions of the check performed by the regional Internal Security Directorate, which established that the actions of the police officer show the elements of crime under p. 2 of Article 293 of the Russian Criminal Code («Neglect of duty»). Lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture, representing the interests of the brother of the deceased, intend to appeal against another refusal to open a criminal case.
On 28 January 2014 Mikhail Protasov applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance – he asked human rights defenders to conduct public investigation of the death of his brother Sergey, who died on 21 January of the same year at hospital after he was taken there from the special detention room of the Ministry of the Interior for the administratively arrested. Mikhail was convinced that one way or the other it was the police officers who were responsible for his brother’s death.
Human rights defenders immediately submitted a crime report to the Investigative Committee, the latter predictably replied with a refusal to initiate criminal proceedings. This and the following five refusals were appealed against by the human rights defenders, declared illegal, and quashed.
In the framework of the public investigation lawyers of the Committee Against Torture examined the video record from the surveillance camera of Police Department No.7 where Protasov was taken from the special detention room for drawing up a report of administrative violation – he was in the state of drug intoxication.
In the course of this video record examination it turned out that the official version stating that numerous hematomas on Protasov’s body could develop due to his own unconscious actions was confirmed. At the same time the video record revealed at least three more violations: rough treatment of administratively arrested Protasov by the police officers, failure to apply special means of restrain of movement, failure to render medical assistance to a person in a helpless state by the police officers during a long time, failure to render medical assistance by an ambulance paramedic.
In addition, in the course of the public investigation human rights defenders received a copy of the materials of the check performed by the officers of the field investigation unit of the Internal Security Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region. Based on its results it was revealed that the actions of one of the officers of Police Department No.7 showed the elements of crime under part 2 Article 293 of the Criminal Code of Russia («Neglect of duty»): «Improper performance by (full name of the police officer – note of editor) of his duty due to careless or negligent attitude led to inflicting grave bodily injuries to administratively arrested S.A.Protasov and his subsequent death».
Despite the conducted agency check the Investigative Committee officers still refuse to initiate criminal proceedings – another refusal is being appealed against by human rights defenders.
Lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Sergey Shounin, representing the interests of Mikhail Protasov: «Here we see a clear example of inaction of the Investigative Committee, due to which the already established fact of crime still remains uninvestigated, and the guilty party remains unpunished, accordingly. Many citizens have already encountered refusals to accept the crime reports by the law-enforcement agencies, but it is quite a rare case to see the Investigative Committee ignoring the materials of agency check performed by the Internal Security Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior. Due to that we are going not only to appeal against the last refusal, but also intend to bring the situation to the attention of the Investigative Committee superiors».