The Investigative Committee has not found evidence of tortures in the case of Murad and Firuddin Ragimov


15 February 2017

The Investigative Committee has repeatedly refused to open a criminal case based on the fact of inflicting bodily injuries to Murad Ragimov and his father Firuddin by Special Rapid Response Detachment (SOBR) officers. This time the ruling was passed in the Department for Major Cases of the north-western Administrative District of Moscow. According to the evaluation of the lawyers with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, investigator Anna Zotova performed a check, which complies with the efficient investigation criteria even less than the previous one, after that she refused to open a criminal case. 

(Photo: Murad Ragimov after the apprehension)

As we have previously reported, Gyunay Ragimova from Moscow applied to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture for legal assistance. She told the human rights defenders that on August 30, 2016 the officers of Moscow Special Rapid Response Detachment (SOBR) broke into the apartment where she lives with her family, and beat up her brother, a student of the Medical University named after Pirogov, and her father Firuddin. According to Gyunay, law-enforcement officers demanded that both men confessed of possession of drugs and arms, and Murad was accused of links with terrorists.

Later Firuddin himself applied to human rights defenders, claiming that the SOBR officers were beating him up with arms and feet, repeatedly used electric shocking device. At the same time only one of the police officers was performing the battery. His colleagues were watching him, sometimes backing him away, when he, according to their opinion, was going too far. As Firuddin recalls, they were forcing him to confess where he hid the weapons and drugs.

Now Murad Ragimov is in Pre-Trial Detention Facility, as charged with a crime under part 2 Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (illegal purchase, storage, transportation, processing of drugs on a large scale without intent of selling). Law-enforcement agencies passed no charges against his father. 

Lawyers with the Committee for the Prevention of Tortures initiated public investigation based on the mentioned facts. Human rights defenders managed to collect numerous facts confirming the story of the Ragimov family: medical documentation with records of Firuddin’s and Murad’s injuries were collected, a comprehensive medical chemical examination of Firuddin was performed, which confirmed the fact of applying electric current; other evidence was obtained. In addition, Firuddin, his mother and Murad’s older sister passed a polygraph detector examination, which makes their testimony credible.

However, on 13 December 2016 investigator of the Tushinsky Interdistrict Investigative Department of Moscow Sergey Tagashov refused to initiate criminal proceedings based on the fact of abuse of office. The police officers questioned by the investigator explained that Murad himself attacked them and offered resistance, due to that they had to apply force. The mechanism of how Firuddin got the traumas was not explained by the officers. 

After that the human rights defenders applied to the head of Chief Investigative Directorate of Moscow Aleksandr Drymanov, who, having listened to arguments of the Ragimov family and of the lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Anastasia Garina, ordered to transfer the material of the check from the District Investigative Department to the Investigative Directorate for the North-western District of Moscow. However, after a month after the start of the new check the investigator for major cases Anna Zotova also passed a ruling refusing to initiate criminal proceedings. 

“In our view, the check in the district was performed even in a worse manner than at the Interdistrict Investigative Department, – lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Anastasia Garina comments. – According to the text of refusal to initiate criminal proceedings, all the questioned officers only heard from someone that the force was applied against Murad Ragimov lawfully, because he, allegedly, offered active resistance. However, the investigator did not perform a single attempt to establish who specifically applied force against him, in order to question this person. In addition, in the course of the new check the adjustments stating that many of them saw Murad beaten just disappeared.   In the reasons for judgment the investigator for some reason draws the conclusion that not only Murad offered resistance to SOBR, but also Firuddin, although not a single of the questioned officers tells about this episode”.

Human rights defenders intend to appeal against this “refusal” of the investigator and to insist on conducting the full-scale checking and initiating criminal proceedings.

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