The Sovietsky District Investigation Department of Nizhny Novogorod has started criminal proceedings against police officers upon Vitaly Balabanov’s application.
The case is opened under cl. “а” p. 3 art. 286 of the RF Criminal Code (“Actions of state agents clearly exceeding their official powers and causing substantial violation of individual’s or organization’s rights and legal interests or public and state interests protected by law committed with violent treatment or a threat of violence”).
You may remember that the young man accuses the police of breaking his arm on 1 December 2009. The check conducted by the Sovietsky district Investigation Department has shown that on 1 December 2009 around 2.15 a.m. near the crossing of Beketova and Vaneyeva Streets of Nizhny Novgorod, unidentified police officers stopped the car of V.O. Balabanov. After that one of the officers beat Mr. Balabanov up and broke the young man’s arm. The same day Vitaly went to hospital where he was diagnosed with a chest contusion, arm fracture and brain concussion.
After that Mr. Balabanov turned for help to the Interregional Committee against Torture which checked his application and reported about the incident to mass media, as a result, investigators sped up the official investigation. An examination was appointed, a number of other investigative actions are planned, and we hope, this will make it possible to identify the officer in charge of abusing Vitaly.
It should be mentioned that the Investigation Department under the Prosecutor’s Office has demonstrated how the authorities should react to torture claims, although its reaction was a month and a half late. If all allegations of torture were checked with the same amount of diligence and accuracy, police abuse would, probably, become a less common thing.