The Investigative Committee is going to once again check the Ragimov family complaint against the torture of SOBR officers


08 September 2017

The Investigative Committee resumed the check regarding the complaint of Murad Ragimov and his father Firuddin concerning their battery by the Moscow SOBR officers. It is the fourth time that the investigators will be trying to resolve this story, but they have not yet established even the names of the officers who applied force to the applicants, nor the mechanism of acquiring numerous bodily injuries.   

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) beat up her brother, 22-year old Murad Ragimov and their 59-year old father right in their Moscow apartment. Gyunay told that the police officers were beating up her brother for over three hours: they handcuffed him, hit and kicked Murad all over his body, applied electric shockers. According to Gyunay, the police officers broke their kitchen table, tore off one of its legs and began to beat up Murad with it. broke a cut-glass  sweets box against his head. In the presence of Murad’s relatives, the police officers chocked him several times with a plastic bag, and when he lost his consciousness they were bringing him to his senses by pouring water on him and sending electric shockers’ charges.

According to the witnesses of the incident, law-enforcement officers used these methods in order to make Murad, a student of the dentist department of the Medical University named after Pirogov, confess of committing crimes of extremist nature, but, when they realized that they failed to prove any of their accusations, they just planted drugs on him. Relatives claim they saw it happening. As they recall the events of that morning themselves, when Murad refused to sign the protocol, SOBR officers forced a knife in his leg.

Later on Murad Ragimov was charged with illegal possession of drugs on a large scale without intent to sell. At the present time he is in Pre-Trial Detention Facility, awaiting for a court ruling on the criminal case against him. 

As the witnesses among his relatives claim, together with Murad his father Firrudin was also beaten up: SOBR officers hit and kicked him and with electric shockers, too, for about an hour, and then they left him lying on a bed, having covered him with a blanket. No charged were subsequently passed against Firuddin.
Both Murad and Firuddin had numerous bodily injuries which were registered. Murad had numerous bruises and hematomas, as well as the injury of the plantar surface of the right leg.  Firuddin had bruises and hematomas registered. In December last year lawyers with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture organized complex medical examination for Firuddin Ragimov, which was conducted by the specialists of Independent nonprofit organization “Center for forensic examinations”. The specialists definitely confirmed the fact of applying electric current to Firuddin Ragimov. No such expert examination was ordered by the official investigation for Murad, that is why the fact of applying electric current against him remains unregistered.

Despite numerous testimonies of eye-witnesses, conclusions of expert graphologist, presence of medical documents and data of medical, chemical and psychological research, the criminal case against the SOBR police officers has not yet been initiated as of today.

The investigation has already issued three refusals to initiate criminal proceedings, according to which the official stance is that the police officers applied violence against the Ragimovs on a legal basis. According to the investigation, both Murad and Firuddin attempted to offer resistance to the SOBR officers and they applied wrestling techniques against Ragimovs. And Murad injured his foot when he stepped on the glass fragments of the broken mirror in the corridor. At the same time the investigators do not explain neither the electrical injuries, nor the fact that none of the questioned saw Firuddin offering resistance, not to mention the fact that in the photo table from the place of the incident it is seen that the mirror is undamaged.   

The second refusal to Ragimov’s application was quashed on 22 May of this year by the First Deputy of the Prosecutor  for North-West area of Moscow. The Prosecutor’s Office demanded that the investigation performed a number of additional checking activities, including questioning FSB officers participating in investigative operations with regard to Murad Ragimov, and of the staff of the ambulance which were called at the scene of the incident. However, almost three months later, on 14 August, the investigation once again issued a refusal to initiate criminal proceedings based on the Ragimovs complaint. This refusal repeats the previous one word for word. Apparently, during this period the investigator did not perform a single checking activity, including the ones ordered by the Prosecutor’s Office. 

“Today it has become known to us that the last refusal was quashed on 23 August and the investigation once again resumed the checking. It has been the fourth time, – lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Anastasia Garina says. – However, it appears that the investigator is not quite motivated in establishing the truth in this case. At least, from the texts of the rulings on refusal to initiate criminal proceedings it follows that the facts, which prove the torture of Ragimovs, are ignored by the investigator, and he does not critically analyze the testimony of SOBR officers. The investigator even made a conclusion that Firuddin offered resistance to the police officers, although none of them mentioned it, and Firuddin himself claimed the opposite. We will be insisting that the check of the crime report is conducted efficiently, in accordance with the federal law and departmental instructions. In the nearest future, we will apply complaints against the investigator’s actions”.  

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