Yesterday, on 25 November 2019, the Nikulinsky District Court of Moscow declared the refusal of the head of the Investigative Department to perform a check with regard to Dmitry Baturo’s application on illegal applying physical force against him by the police officers during apprehension during the single-person picket and after it to be illegal. As lawyers with the Committee Against Torture point out, this is the first case this year when the Moscow courts side with the civil activist and oblige the investigative authorities to check the fact of applying violence by the police officers during the street event.
On 14 August of this year, Dmitry Baturo applied to legal assistance to the Committee Against Torture. He told human rights defenders that on 13 August he came to the building of 2nd Operational Regiment of the Chief Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia to perform a single-person picket demanding to perform the investigation with regard to the officer of this department named Segey Tsyplakov – according to the information distributed in the mass media, he may have been involved in the battery of Darya Sosnovskaya during the rally. When Dmitry arrived there, almost immediately a police vehicle drove up to him, the police officers went out of it and demanded that Dmitry showed his passport. Considering the demand of the police officers to be illegal, Dmitry asked to explain the reason of the documents’ check, but he was detained with the use of physical force, taken to the vehicle and transported to the Department of the Interior for the Ochakovo-Matveyevskoe District of Moscow. According to Baturo, during his apprehension and detention at the police department, physical force was applied against him.
That is how Dmitry describes what was happening to him at the police department: “The police officers assaulted me in order to seize my phone from me. Some of them pressed his knee against my back in the area of the shoulder blade, another started to choke me, holding my head at the bend of his elbow, it hurt a lot and I started to pass out. They took my internal and international passports, my purse. All this was happening very quickly, so I could not realize who was doing what. Even when they seized my things, some police officer continued to choke me, I tried to breathe, but I was out of air. Then, the police officers took me by my arms and feet and moved to the cell, continuing to choke me, – Dmitry Baturo recalls.
– I was thrown at the floor of the cell and the door closed. My condition began to deteriorate, I still had difficulties with breathing, I felt giddiness and sick. I started to cry out, so that they call an ambulance for me”.
After the protocol on administrative violation and failure to comply with the lawful demand of the police officer, at Dmitry’s request an ambulance was called, which transported him to hospital, where he his bodily injuries were registered: “Contusions of soft tissues of both shoulders, cervical region of vertebral column, right ankle-joint”.
On 15 August Dmitry passed medical examination at the “Bureau of forensic medical examinations of Moscow”, where he was diagnosed with:
– extravasations: in the left postaural area going to the left lateral surface of the neck, in the lower third of the front surface of the left shoulder, in the upper third of the front surface of the left shoulder and in the lower third of the back surface of the right shoulder, which were generated as a result of no less than 4 impact compressive actions of a blunt object (objects) with relatively limited traumatizing surface;
– bruises: in the left periorbital area, on the front surface of the right forearm in the projection of the wrist joint, in the lower third of the back surface of the left forearm, which generated as a result of no less than 3 sliding impacts of a blunt object (objects) with relatively limited traumatizing surface;
On 29 August, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied with a crime report on behalf of Dmitry Baturo to the Nikulinsky Interdistrict Investigative Department for the Western Administrative District of Moscow.
Instead of starting a pre-investigation check, on 5 September, head of this investigative body Sergey Kuritsyn forwarded the crime report to the Department of the Interior for the Western Administrative District of Moscow for conducting an internal agency check.
Deeming this ruling of Mr Kuznetsov to be illegal, lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Georgiy Ivanov appealed against it at the Nikulinsky District Court of Moscow.
Yesterday the court declared the actions of investigator Sergey Kuritsyn to be illegal and obliged to perform a check based on the crime report.
“This court ruling, based on the norms of the law, is, nevertheless, highly untypical for the Moscow region. What we see now is the developed practice when the Investigative Committee investigators simply refuse to conduct the check with regard to the crime reports of the protest rallies’ participants related to the violence applied against them by the police officers and when the courts easily agree with the legality of such refusals, – Georgy Ivanov comments. – That is how it was with all the crime reports of the participants of the street events of this summer in Moscow – not a single check was started by the Investigative Committee investigators, not a single judicial ruling declaring such refusals to be illegal”.