The Krasnodar Prosecutor’s Office considered the refusal of the Investigative Committee’s investigators to perform a check of an application submitted by local resident Vladimir Plakhtiy who accuses the police officers of illegal applying violence against him during apprehension at the protest rally in Krasnodar on 31 January of this year, to be legal. Despite the availability of a video record of the apprehension, which confirms Vladimir’s words, as well as the medical documentation on the physical damage that he was inflicted, and the witnesses’ testimony, the representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office deemed that Plakhtiy’s application did not contain any information on the crime committed against him.
As we have previously reported, on 31 January 2020, Vladimir Plakhtiy from Krasnodar applied to the Committee Against Torture. Vladimir informed that at the very height of the rally several guys asked him to hold their poster for a while. He decided to fold it and put it on the flowerbed, when he felt that several men in civilian clothes grabbed him by both his hands.
“No one introduced themselves or explained the reasons of their apprehension. I assumed they were the police officers and demanded that they introduced themselves. No answer was given, – Vladimir recalls. – Since they started to twist my arms, I began to resist. I drew my arms up to my chest and did not give them an opportunity to grab them. At this moment someone pushed me on the tile near the flowerbed, as a result of which I seriously hit my back”.
At this moment two more persons in civilian clothes came up to Vladimir: “One of them came up to me from the head side. He held my shoulders with both his hands and attempted to lift me with a jerk. I felt pain due to that. He failed to lift me again. The second person went round the first one who was holding my shoulders and stood up on his knees in such a way that one knee of his was on the grass, and he pressed on my face with second one, having put all his weight on my nose. At that moment some of them told me to stay put. I felt sharp pain. At that moment I felt a click in my nose. I thought it was a nose bones fracture. Because of pain I shouted to the officer who was sitting on me to move his knee away from my nose. He did not react”.
As a result, Vladimir was put to the police van and taken to the police department where a protocol of administrative violation was drawn up with regard to him under part 5 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation (“violation of the rally procedure”). Next day the court declared him guilty and fined him for 10 000 rubles.
After Vladimir was released from the police station, he applied to the Krasnodar City Hospital where he was diagnosed with a contusion of the nose soft tissues, distortion of the cervical spine, chest contusion, contusion of soft tissues of the cervical spine, thoracic spine, numerous bruises, face contusions, right sided posttraumatic arthritis of the temporomandibular joint.
Several days later, Vladimir passed medical forensic examination, according to which the actions of unknown police officers in civilian clothes inflicted a mild damage to his health.
On 5 February, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied with a crime report on behalf of Vladimir Plakhtiy to the Investigative Committee, however, despite the legal requirements, this report was forwarded to the Chief Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior for the Krasnodar Territory. Human rights defenders appealed against the Investigative Committee representative’s ruling as illegal.
During the public investigation, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture received a confirmation from the Ministry of the Interior that the people who apprehended Vladimir Plakhtiy, were police officers. Journalists also handed over the video record of Vladimir’s apprehension to human rights defenders: it is seen on the video record that one of the police officers in civilian clothes who was holding him, presses several times with his knee on the neck, jaw and a nose of Plakhtiy who was lying on the ground.
On 4 March, human rights defenders applied with the Prosecutor’s Office with a complaint against the inaction of the officers of the Investigative Department for the Western District of Krasnodar of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Krasnodar Territory, who refused to perform a pre-investigative check based on Vladimir Plakhtiy’s application concerning the illegal use of violence against him by the police officers.
On 9 March, Deputy Prosecutor of the Western District of Krasnodar Sergey Chebotarev issued a ruling dismissing the application filed by the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, having deemed that Vladimir Plakhtiy’s application did not contain any information on the crime committed against him.
Today, human rights defenders received a copy of this ruling.
“Unfortunately, all this situation is similar to the Moscow practice, where the Investigative Committee’s refusals to perform checking of the facts of illegal violence used by law-enforcement officers at rallies have become massive, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Ilya Platonov comments. – However, we shall continue to insist that the pre-investigative check on Vladimir Plakhtiy’s application is performed, this time – at court”.