On July 9, 2008 the Committee against Torture received an application of 19-year old Maria Bukanova from Nizhny Novgorod. She stated that on April 21, 2008, she was driving in her car to the centre of Nizhny Novgorod. At the traffic lights a traffic police officer approached her asking why she had no rear number plate. Maria explained that the fixture was broken and she had put the number plate into the boot. However, the officer would not listen to her and took away her vehicle documents.
The traffic police officer sent Ms.Bukanova to a separate traffic police battalion for an “educational talk”, as he called it. When she came to the specified location together with the car owner, because she was driving her car with a warranty of attorney, Maria went to the office of the separate traffic police battalion commander. He started reproaching her for not talking to the police properly and demanded that she gave him the vehicle keys. Maria said that the car owner had the keys and tried to get out of the room but the commander’s subordinate stood in her way. He hit her head on the door-jam and slapped her on the face. After that the ambulance was called and it took Ms.Bukanova to hospital 33 of Nizhny Novgorod where she was rendered medical aid. Later the doctors diagnosed a concussion and a bruise on the head. Maria was accompanied to hospital by four patrol cars. When Maria was given medical aid the police tried to place her into the car again in order to drive her somewhere. The traffic police stopped their unlawful actions only after the Prosecutor’s office representatives came there.
Only in the Prosecutor’s office building Maria was given an administrative offense protocol. According to the traffic police, Maria was driving her car without a warranty of attorney. These facts were checked by the Leninskiy district investigation department, and as it usually happens in torture cases, the Prosecutor’s office refused to instigate a criminal case. AP present the Committee against Torture performs a preliminary check under Ms.Bukanova’s application.