Photo: Vasily Kolotilov for takiedela.ru
Today it has become known about initiating criminal proceedings with regard to applying tortures against Sergey Moderatov and Sergey Mitin from Buturlino settlement of the Nizhny Novgorod region. The incident happened back in October 2019, when the two young men were subjected to torture at the local police department – they were beaten up, threatened that their teeth would be pulled out and they would be shot. The police officers used such methods to force Mitin and Moderatov to confess of a crime they did not commit. It produced special impression on Sergey Mitin (suffering a mental deficiency since childhood) – he developed an incurable psychic condition “phobic anxiety disorder”. The District Investigative Department investigators have already three times dismissed the claim to open a criminal case. The lawyers with the Committee Against Torture were forced to apply to the Regional Directorate to attract the superiors’ attention to the situation. As a result, after two years the criminal case was opened. In addition, the case is transferred to the department for major cases with the Investigative Directorate.
As we have previously reported, in October 2019, eighteen-year old Sergey Moderatov and twenty-two year old Sergey Mitin from Buturlino settlement of the Nizhny Novgorod region applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. They reported that on 16 October they were called to the police department for the Buturlinsky District of the intermunicipal department of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia “Knyagininsky” without any explanations.
There, according to the applicants, they were tortured for several hours in the adjoining rooms, being forced to confess of stealing the metal scrap. According to the young men, the police officers were beating them up, put gas masks on them and choke off air access, threatened with firearms.
As a result, Moderatov spent eleven days at the department of surgery of a local hospital with a closed craniocerebral injury. After the battery, Mr Mitin, who suffers from mental deficiency since childhood, was diagnosed with an illness that he had not previously had – “phobic anxiety disorder”. Later on, a specialist in the field of the medical forensic examination established that a grave harm was inflicted to his health.
On 18 October 2019, the victims’ mothers submitted an application to the Prosecutor of the Buturlinsky District which was transferred to the Investigative Committee.
However, no effective check was performed in the case, and Senior Investigator of the Bolshemurashkinsky Interdistrict Investigative Department with the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Nizhny Novgorod region Vladimir Masanov twice illegally dismissed the claim to open a criminal case, having failed to detect an element of crime in the police officers’ actions. Human rights defenders appealed to court against the last dismissal of the investigator dated 18 December 2019.
On 24 November 2020, at the Buturlinsky District Court in the course of examination of this application investigator Masanov claimed that the dismissal of the claim to open a criminal case was quashed a day before – on 23 November, having pointed out that for the completeness of the check it is necessary to conduct an examination of the scene of the incident. However, he ignored the crucial checking activities.
The Committee’s lawyers applied to head of the Investigative Department with the Investigative Committee for the Nizhny Novgorod region Ayrat Akhmetshin. During the personal appointment, Mr Akhmetshin agreed to the human defendes’ arguments and ordered to open a criminal case and transfer it to the department for major cases with the Investigative Directorate.
On 18 August 2021, the criminal case was opened under items “a”, Part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abuse of office using violence”). It is pointed out in the ruling that “on 16.10.2019 at about 19:00, Sergey Modeatov and Sergey Mitin were at the Police Department of Buturlino, “Knyagininsky” District of the Ministry of the Interior, where illegal actions were performed against them, expressed in the use of violence, namely, in blows at various parts of bodies, threats of applying physical violence by unidentified police officers with the Police Department of Buturlino, “Knyagininsky” District of the Ministry of the Interior.
Ironically, the investigation of the criminal case is assigned to investigator Vladimir Masanov, who issued three dismissals of claims to open a criminal case for 2 years of the duration of the check at the Interdistrict Investigative Committee and did not show any result. He was transferred to the first department for major cases investigation with the Investigative Committee and, in his new position, he was once again assigned the case of Mitin and Moderatov. “Opening of the criminal case is already a big event for us. But we are concerned with the fact that its investigation is assigned to the same investigator, who refused to notice the crime for 2 years, — lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Kristina Diogidze comments, — we hope that the status of the section for major cases with the Investigative Committee will not allow the investigator treating the case with negligence”.