The Nizhny Novgorod police have created a dangerous precedent by openly and gravely violating federal law


28 March 2012

Such information has been disseminated in the press-release of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Public Monitoring Commission:

“A Public Monitoring Commission for the supervision of human rights observance in prisons and detention facilities exists in Nizhny Novgorod region since 2008. It was created in accordance with Federal Law no.76-FZ on public control, which vests PMC members with the authority to visit any prisons and detention facilities: penal colonies, remand prisons, temporary detention facilities, administrative detention cells, military detention facilities, etc. irrespective of the department they are subject to. PMC members have the right to talk to inmates and assist them in seeking redress for violations of their rights and legal interests.

Until recently the PMC has never been prevented from exercising its powers.  However, on March 10, 2012 everything changed dramatically. That day the PMC received a report that around 60 persons detained by the police during an authorized procession in Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street were unlawfully kept in the Sovietsky and Nizhegorodsky district police departments without proper records made.

In order to check that information PMC members A.Listkov, I.Kalyapin, and L.Zhukova arrived at the Sovietsky district police department. Department head colonel I.O.Kornilov refused to let PMC members in without giving any legal justification for his decision. Sovietsky district prosecutor V.A. Filatov to whom PMC members applied for help did not take any measures to eliminate the infringement.

A similar thing happened at the Nizhegorodsky district police department. Duty officer major V.M. Kolesov also refused to let PMC members in referring to the lack of relevant orders from his superiors. The diligent major ignored explanations of the PMC that federal laws were to be observed irrespective of whether or not there were superior orders.

Preventing the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Public Monitoring Commission from exercising its powers is a grave violation punishable as an administrative offense, by the way.  Besides, such uncharacteristic and apparently unlawful conduct of law enforcers prompts the only conclusion – they had something to conceal.

During its special meeting on March 11 the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Public Monitoring Commission established a grave violation of federal legislation by the Nizhny Novgorod police. Corresponding reports were submitted to the Russian Public Chamber, Russian Ombudsman, federal and regional executive authorities, prosecutorial and other bodies.

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