The Prosecutor’s Office detected red tape during the check of torture and rape complaints at the Anapa police department


11 August 2017

Four citizens from Anapa are accusing the criminal police investigators of tortures, including with electricity, at the local police department in December 2015. One of the applicants claimed that the police officers raped him with a stick. Even though the Krasnodar Prosecutor’s Office demanded from the territorial investigative department to stop the red tape, no criminal case has been initiated yet, and ten refusals to initiate criminal proceedings have been issued in the framework of the pre-investigation check. Lawyers with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture commenced a public investigation. 

Artem Ponomarchuk, Aram Arustamyan, Karen and Erik Engoyan applied to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture for legal assistance. The men reported that they were apprehended at various time in the period from 24-25 December 2015 – allegedly, all four of them refused to show their IDs. Later on, the protocols on administrative violation were drawn up with regard to all the apprehended persons, and on 26 December judge of the Anapa City Court Elena Kravtsova convicted everyone to 12 days of administrative arrest. 

– Right after I was delivered to the police department the battery started, and then they started to apply electricity to my hands, and when I refused to confess of armed assault they put a stick in my rectum, – Artem Ponomarchuk describes.  

Karen Engoyan tells about similar tortures: “The police officers handcuffed me, put me face down on the floor, put on the gas mask on me, periodically blocking the air access. They beat me at my heels, applied electric contacts to my hands, feet, buttocks, demanding that I confessed of armed assault. When I fainted, they dripped some liquid in my gas mask which made me regain consciousness. The police officers threatened me with a sexual violence with the use of an object looking like a stick. After that I yielded and signed the confession”.

Aram Arustamyan and Erik Engoyan provided similar explanations. As a result, all the apprehended persons confessed of armed assault. 

Local forensic expert Emanuil Kopp registered various bodily injuries on all the four apprehended, including injuries on the bodies of Karen Engoyan and Artem Ponomarchuk, “which possibly became the result of the electricity impact”.  

After the apprehended served the administrative arrest, the court selected a measure of restraint for Ponomarchuk, Arustamyan and Karen Engoyan in the form of house arrest, and Erik Engoyan was taken into custody.

Only on 2 February 2016, after the repeated complaints of Aram Arustamyan’s relatives addressed to the local Prosecutor’s Office and the territorial investigative department, the investigative department for Anapa started the check of the crime report. 

In May 2016, the material of the check was handed over to the first department for major crimes investigation of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee for the Krasnodar Territory. For over one and a half years the investigators issued ten refusals to initiate criminal proceedings. The last refusal to initiate criminal proceedings was issued on 13 July 2017. 

In response to the complaint of the lawyers with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture about the red tape during the pre-investigation check Deputy Prosecutor of the Krasnodar Territory Valery Ryabokonev replied that the arguments of human rights defenders were fair, pointing out that the Prosecutor’s Office had already demanded from the superioirs of the local Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee to take measures in order to stop the red tape.  

However, in the opinion of Roman Veretennikov, a lawyer with the Committee, the investigators continue with their violations, and the Prosecutor’s Office’s requests have not been fulfilled yet: “Over one and a half years passed since the described events took place, but the investigators have not yet questioned several witnesses, have not performed all the necessary studies and examinations, which the territorial Prosecutor’s Office insisted on. On the other hand, we are not confident in the examinations which have been already performed, since they are done with violations. The investigators still have not explained the bodily injuries of our applicants. The investigators have not yet doubted the fact that four men are kept for two days by the criminal investigators, allegedly, for refusal to show IDs. We have already appealed against the last refusal at the territorial Prosecutor’s Office, we hope it will continue to stick to its principal stance and quash this ruling as illegal”.

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