Today the judgment against three police officers who took part in the Blagoveschensk “mopping-up” in 2004 has entered into force in accordance with the ruling of the Bashkirian Supreme Court criminal division. Officers Shapeyev, Guilvanov and Khamatdinov were found guilty under art.286 of the RF Criminal Code – excess of official powers.
Convict Guilvanov was sentenced to 4 years in a standard security penal colony upon 6 counts. Mr. Khamatdinov (2 counts) and Mr. Shapeyev (1 count) were sentenced to 3 years 2 months and 1 year on conditional discharge.
Earlier the Blagoveschensk district court delivered a judgment against two officers from the Blagoveschensk City department of Internal Affairs – Mr. Golovin and Mr. Fomin – who were sentenced to 3 years conditionally with 1 year of suspended sentence, they also can not serve in state and municipal bodies for 1 year.
In December 2004 the convicts participated in a special police operation as a result of which 342 people were acknowledged victims of police abuse.
The victims’ interests are represented by lawyers from the Bashkirian office of the Committee against Torture. Earlier the Committee conducted a public investigation of the events which allowed them to reveal signs of art. 3 violation (EHRC, “prohibition of torture”).
At present the Blagoveschensk district court of Bashkiria tries criminal cases against former head of the Bladoveschensk CDIA Ramazanov, former head of the Public Security Department under the the Bladoveschensk CDIA Mirzin and SPF operation company commander under the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Bashkiria Sokolov.
Recently Bashkirian courts have been very persistent in punishing law enforcement agents who committed crimes.
The judgment that has entered into force today is the third one under the Blagoveschensk mopping-up case. And this is not the end of the story. It is very likely that several other police officers will be sentenced to imprisonment. This fact obviously blurs the image of the Bashkirian Ministry of Internal Affairs. However, it is the regional police heads who are to blame because they cannot control effectively their subordinates who have a malignant habit to resort to violence.