The Interregional Committee against Torture has received an application from Viktor Kondratenko from Kstovo claiming that at night on 4-5 December 2009 he was battered by the patrol and point-duty service staff right in front of his house.
Mr. Kondratenko claims that he was on his way home with his wife Irina. Right in front of his house two policemen came up to him and asked him to open the entrance door for them. Viktor wondered to which flat they were going and what the reason for entering the house in the middle of the night was. This reasonable question made the police furious. They immediately forgot about their business inside the house and decided to detain Mr. Kondratenko and take him to the Kstovo Department of Internal Affairs where, according to Viktor, they were going to “teach a lesson” to him. In course of detention the police beat Viktor on the head and trunk. According to the victim, the same officers abused him when he was already in the Kstovo Department of Internal Affairs. The duty officer decided to take Viktor to the Kstovo Central Hospital to have his injuries documented and to ensure he got the necessary medical aid. Mr. Kondratenko was hospitalized and diagnosed with: grave craniocerebral injury, slight brain contusion, multiple abrasions and bruises on the face and scalp, contusion of the soft tissues of the crotch and inguinal region, coccyx contusion.
On the first business day following the battery Mr. Kondratenko applied to the Kstovo City Investigation Department under the RF Prosecutor’s Office. In 20 days he received a notification stating that a criminal case had been opened against him under art. 318 of the RF Criminal Code for attacking the police, he did not receive any other reply in connection to his application. Thus, the Kstovo Investigation Department again resorts to the method when criminal proceedings are started against victims and all their applications, addresses and complaints are attached to the case. The application claiming police abuse is considered by the same investigator who investigates the case against the applicant. It is evident that there is no impartiality or independence in this process. The applicant cannot appeal against decisions under his application because the Kstovo Court prefers to solve these questions in course of hearings under the criminal case against the applicant. Therefore, individuals are deprived of the right to appeal against unlawful investigator’s decisions. This method is rather convenient for the investigation authorities dealing with such criminal cases.
Lawyers of the Committee Against Torture will press for initiation of criminal proceedings upon the fact of Mr. Kondratenko’s abuse. It is sad that while the state leaders call for a police reform, the law enforcement staff continue ignoring the law and battering the citizens. It seems that for the Kstovo police Mr. Nurgaliyev and Mr. Medvedev with all their executive orders and decrees, codes of ethics and other serious issues mean nothing and deserve no attention.