On 6 August 2021, the Nalchik City Court satisfied the application submitted by lawyers with the Committee Against Torture and obliged the Investigative Department with the Investigative Committee of Nalchik to conduct a check of the police officers’ actions. In 2017, local police officers came to Aslan Iritov’s home to apprehend him before the rally, as a result, they beat up Iritov and the members of his family. Four times the investigative authorities refused to open a case against the police officers.
Activist Aslan Iritov is a head of non-governmental organization “Volniy Aul” (Free village). He is dealing with a land dispute of the Volniy Aul dwellers with the Nalcnik Mayor’s Office. Mr Iritov has a 1 degree of disability, both his hands are amputated.
On 31 October 2017, shortly before the rally in front of the Mayor’s Office building, the police officers with the involvement of Rosgvardiya and the Anti-Extremist Center came to apprehend Iritov. The law-enforcement officers did not show their IDs and demand that Aslan Iritov is taken out of the house by his relatives who were present there at the time. In response to their indignation, the police officers beat up Iritov, as well as his wife and daughter. Medical forensic examination showed that the Iritov family members had bruises and extravasations. In addition, the police officers broke a finger of the activist’s wife, Marina Iritova, as well as broke a rib of his brother, Beslan Iritov. Their health damage is qualified as medium.
The family applied to the Investigative Committee, but no case was opened. Instead, the Iritov brothers were accused of applying violence against a police officer (Article 318 of the Criminal Code).
In the framework of the pre-investigative check of the Iritov’s complaint, four dismissals of a claim to open a criminal case against the police officers were issued. Three of them were declared illegal by the court. However, in summer of 2019 the last dismissal was declared legal. Later on this ruling was quashed by the Supreme Court of the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, which dismissed the proceedings with regard to the Iritov’s application.
In March of this year, the Fifth Court of Cassation quashed the rulings of the previous courts related to our application and forwarded the materials for examination by the court of the first instance. On 6 August, the Nalchik City Court satisfied the application and declared the latest dismissal to be illegal. The court obliged the superiors of the Investigative Department of Nalchik to conduct an additional check.
The superior of the North Caucasus branch of the Committee Against Torture Magomed Alamov: “We are satisfied with the court ruling, but it took us over one and a half years to convince the court that the investigator’s dismissal was ungrounded. During the court hearing, videos recorded by the police officers on 31 October 2017 in the yard of the Iritov family, were examined. The videos clearly show that the officers illegally entered the territory of the household and provoked a conflict, in the course of which the members of the Iritov family were beaten up. In the eyes of the judge and the secretary of the court hearing we could see how shocked they were with what they saw”.
Our film on the subject: https://youtu.be/XE2hisa-kdY