The Multiregional Committee Against Torture started an investigation into the fact of absolutely ferocious police outrage in the village of Berezovaya Poyma (Nizhny Novgorod region).
Mr. Sergey Vasilyev from Nizhny Novgorod claims that on February 7, 2008 on a highway in the vicinity of Berezovaya Poyma he was detained and battered by unknown people in civilian clothes who turned out to be police officers.
Mr. Vasilyev claims that he came to the scene of action upon his daughter’s request who asked him to help her pull the car out of a snow bank.
When he was on the way his wife phoned him and said that their daughter Oksana had called saying that some unknown armed people had come up to her car and demanded that she should open the door. Mr. Vasilyev went back to his car and saw a tall young man in a white hat standing on the road. When Mr. Vasilyev was near him the young man pulled out something looking like a cut caman from under his jacket and struck Sergey on the head with this thing several times. Mr. Vasilyev told the lawyes from the Committee against Torture that he had taken that man for a robber who had battered him in order to take possession of the vehicle. However, some time later two more men in civilian ran up to Mr.Vasilyev and handcuffed him. Mr.Vasilyev was lying on the ground already when he felt a blow on the back of his head and lost conscious.
When Sergey came to himself the men who had battered him told him that they were from the police. The kept him handcuffed in the car for several hours and then major Poletayev told Mr.Vasilyev that there was some misunderstanding. Sergey was released and went to hospital. The doctors found numerous injuries on Mr.Vasilyev’s head and body: wounds, abrasions, bruises incurred by a blunt object.
Mr.Vasilyev’s statements are confirmed by witnesses questioned by lawyers from the Committee against Torture.
Nevertheless, the Prosecutor’s office refused to initiate a criminal case upon the fact of battery.
Having conducted a preliminary check upon Mr. Vasilyev’s application, lawyers from the Committee against Torture find violation of article 286 of the RF Criminal Code by the police. Besides, there are grounds to claim that in the Vasilyev case the state has violated article 3 of the European Convention (“prohibition of torture”).
The Committee against Torture starts a public investigation under this case.