The police departed in time, there are no violations

Событие | Пресс центр

13 January 2017

This is the conclusion of the Chechen investigators who conducted the check of the police officers untimely departure in 2015 to the site of the smashed Grozny office of the Grozny Joint Mobile Group, which worked under aegis of the Committee Against Torture. As we have previously reported, some unknown people in masks were smashing the human rights defenders office in the center of Grozny with impunity. 

On 3 June 2015 at 10 a.m. in the yard of house № 19 of Roza Luxemburg Street in Grozny, where INGO «The Committee Against Torture» is stationed, a several-thousand strong protest rally took place. It is worth noting that there were no police officers noticed at the time of the event.

At a certain moment a group of young people with faces covered with masks appeared in the gathered crowd. These people started to hit at the glass and the car body of the vehicle parked near the house which belonged to the Committee Against Torture, using bars and sledgehammers.

Then, upon entering the communal entrance hallway, the same people started to break into apartment №18 entrance door where the lawyers of the Committee Against Torture were located. When the human rights defenders, afraid for their safety, escaped from the office through the apartment’s window, the bandits who entered apartment № 18 started to destroy the organization’s equipment and other property that was there.

Later on these people started to break into the entrance door and the door to apartment 17, which was also rented by the Committee Against Torture and where the organization’s members were residing. The door breaking was performed with the use of bars, sledgehammers as well as with angle drive grinder. Having entered into the accommodation premises the unidentified persons started to destroy the equipment and furniture as well as perform damage to human defenders’ belongings.

Practically right after the unidentified persons started their unlawful actions members of the Committee Against Torture who were located in Nizhny Novgorod, called the police dispatch centers of the Departments of Interior for the Chechen Republic and the city of Grozny and reported about the crime in progress.

Itemization of calls from the Nizhny Novgorod office of the Committee Against Torture

After about two hours, when no police officers arrived to the scene of crime, the member of the Committee Against Torture from Nizhny Novgorod once again got through to the Department of Interior for the city of Grozny and reported that unidentified persons who broke inside the apartment are destroying the property belonging to the Committee Against Torture. However, the police squad did not arrive after that and the actions of unidentified persons were not stopped.

The described events (unlawful actions of masked men) started around half past eleven in the morning and lasted for about one and a half – two hours. We would like point out that during this time, despite the official reports on the crime being committed in the center of the Chechen capital, the police officers did not perform any measures to stop the criminal activity, did not detain the persons who committed the crime, although they had all the possibilities for that.

On 4 June 2015 Chairman of the Interregional non-governmental organization “The Committee for the Prevention of Torture” Igor Kalyapin applied to the Investigative Committee with a crime report in which he asked to perform the check of the police officers’ actions.

In the end of December of last year human rights defenders were able to familiarize themselves with the materials of this check, which resulted in refusal to initiate criminal proceedings.

The main conclusion is provided in the following quote: «The conducted check did not establish the exact time of arrival of the investigation and operational group at the accident scene, but there is good reason to believe that (otherwise is not established), that the duty officers of the Department of the Ministry of Interior of Russia for Grozny took all the measures within the limits of their authority in order to provide for timely departure of the investigation and operational group at the accident scene at address: Grozny, R.Luxemburg St., house 19, flat 19, where it actually arrived in 25-30 minutes after receiving the information about the crime in progress”.

“This has been the sixth refusal to initiate criminal proceedings. And once again we cannot agree to such conclusions of the investigation: not only they do not correspond to actual circumstances, but also the check itself was performed incompletely, without taking necessary actions”, – emphasized lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Albert Kuznetsov, who was present in the Grozny office during the attack on 3 June 2015. – We have already appealed against this refusal to initiate criminal proceedings”.

“The investigators’ task is very complicated, practically impossible, – Chairman of the Interregional non-governmental organization “The Committee for the Prevention of Torture” Igor Kalyapin comments on the situation. – During one and a half hours the group of attackers were obviously not in a hurry and without any fear smashed two apartments in the center of the “calmest city of Russia”, in 300 m from the republican Ministry of the Interior, and the police never came, despite the calls. Now the investigators and the management of the Ministry of the Interior are trying to cook their checking materials so it looks like no one is to blame. Of course, one ca write anything, and the paper can’t blush. But we guarantee that all these decisions, that the Ministry of the Interior is innocent in this obvious connivance to the attackers’ actions, will be declared illegal. If the Ministry of the Interior and the Investigative Committee management at the federal level intend this accident to become a focus of discussion every two-three months, which demonstrates complete lawlessness and unaccountability of the Chechen law-enforcement agencies actions, we shall give them this pleasure”.