The Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region, having considered the application of lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Sergey Shounin, quashed the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings and assigned an additional check in relation to the death of Sergey Protasov, who was taken to hospital from the detention room of the arrested for the administrative violations in December 2013.
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 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 which were appealed against by lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture, representing the interests of a brother of the deceased. Based on the results of the human rights defenders application review inspector of the department of procedural controls of the Investigation Department of the Investigation Committee of the RF Mr Romanov reported that the last refusal in this case was quashed and the investigator is instructed to «conduct specific verification activities aimed at establishing additional circumstances of S.A.Protasov obtaining bodily injuries and evaluation of the actions of the authorities of Police Department No.7 of the Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region, in particular, about the questioning of the officers of the field investigation unit of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region, who conducted an agency check with regards to the officers of the special reception center for keeping in custody the persons arrested by an administrative procedure, the Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region, Police Department No 7».
«We are satisfied that the investigative department for the Sovetsky District will at last examine and provide a legal assessment of the conclusions of the check of the regional Internal Security Department of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region in the course of which it was established that the actions of the police officer amount to crimes under part 2 Article 293 of the Criminal Code of Russia («Neglect of duty»). We also hope that the new check will not be delayed beyond the limitation period for prosecution and we won’t need to apply to the European Court of Human Rights», – lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Sergey Shounin comments.