"The victim died, after all. How the Ministry of the Interior justifies its unwillingness to apologize for tortures", MediaZona

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17 January 2016

“The police apologizes to the citizen whose rights and freedoms were violated by the police officer”, that is what the law “On Police” proclaims. MediaZona lists the arguments which the Ministry of the Interior uses to explain its refusal to fulfill this requirement. 

Photo: Dmitry Korotayev / Kommersant

The Ministry of the Interior officers are obliged to bring official apologies to the citizens who suffered from illegal actions of the police officers, in particular, from tortures. Such a requirement is explicitly  prescribed in the law “On Police” (item 3 of Article 9). The procedure of bringing the apologies is defined by special departmental order No 25339, which clarifies, that this should take place in the “shortest possible period, but not later that within a month’s time” after the citizen’s rights violation has been established. 

Despite this the Ministry of the Interior brings apologies very reluctantly. According to Ivan Zhiltsov from the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, very often the police officers avoid performing this requirement even after the official demand of victims. The cases when the law-enforcement agencies are ready to admit that they were wrong are very rare, and Mr Zhiltsov mentions the Head of the Mari El republican Ministry of the Interior as an example, who personally apologized to a local citizen who was beaten up by a Special Police Force officer.
 
MediaZona found four officially registered explanations, which the Ministry used when it refused to apologize for its officers accused of tortures.

Because the victim died

What happened: the police officers detained Farukh Urozov who resided in Solnechnogorsk, in the evening of 17 September 2014 upon suspicion of using violence against a little girl. He was beaten up at the police department; Urozov’s brother and acquaintance, who were also taken there, heard Farrukh screaming and saw him sitting on the floor with hands tied, a lot of bruises and scratches were clearly seen on his face, there was blood on the floor. 

MediaZona reported about the Urozov case in materials о деле Урозова в материалах “He started to confess” and and “His screams amounted to pronouncing lingering sound “А-а-а”».

Injuries: according to the forensic medical examination Urozov’s body and limbs were hit over 75 times. In the course of the battery 12 ribs were broken. Farrukh died of multiple traumas and  strangulation.

Police officers trial: in June 2016 three officers of the Police Criminal Investigations Department  Stanislav Deikun, Andrey Chernyshev and Vladimir Gordeyev were found guilty of causing grave bodily harm resulted in death (part 4 of Article 111 of the Criminal Code) and abuse of office (part 3 of Article 286). The Solnechnogorsky City Court sentenced Gordeyev to seven years and six months, and Deikun and Chernyshev to seven years and four months each.

Why the Ministry of the Interior did not apologize:  upon the verdict entered into legal force, the lawyers with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture applied to Head of the Chief Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation for the Moscow region Victor Paukov requesting to bring apologies to the brother of the deceased – Ilkhom Alikhonov – who is officially declared a victim of unlawful actions of the police officers. The Ministry of the Interior refused to apologize, referring to the fact that the victim died and so there is no one to apologize to.

Lawyers of human rights organization point out that, according to Article 42 of the Criminal and Procedural Code, in such cases the rights of the victim are transferred to one of his close relatives, so the Ministry was obliged to apologize to him. 

Because the victim did not ask about it 

What happened: in April 2010 Konstantin Patin from Ulyanovsk was summoned to the Department of the Interior, where the investigator demanded that he confessed of theft in the amount of 1.5 thousand roubles, which were allegedly stolen from the former employer. Patin refused: according to him, he resigned from his job without debts. Then the investigator called for some “brother”, threatening to lacerate Patin in such a way that he would become disabled. This “brother” together with another person in civil clothes at first beat him up in the car, then brought him inside, where they winded his feet with wet cloth and applied electrical current. After that Patin confessed of committing a crime.  
 
Injuries: hematomas and bruises. As to the marks from electricity tortures, six years ago local experts did not have the capacity to register them yet. 

Police officers trial: only Criminal Investigations officer Evgeny Simkin was charged with abuse of office (part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code). According to the prosecution, his brother, investigator Simkin, as well as his boss Ozhogin, only witnesses tortures but did not actively participated themselves in them. In 2011 the Zasviyazhsky City Court of Ulyanovsk sentenced Evgeny Simkin to three years of jail time in the     standard regime penal colony.

Why the Ministry of the Interior did not apologize: The Public Verdict foundation workers, the lawyers of which represented Panin’s interests, applied to the Ministry of the Interior, asking to apologize to the victim. The Department of the Interior for the Ulyanovsk region refused to apologize: firstly, according to the Department, the Ministry of the Interior did not establish the procedure for apologizing, secondly, “no request for an apology came from Konstantin Viktorovich Patin himself”.

Because it is too late to apologize

What happened: in July 2015 Sergey Sysouyev from Nizhny Novgorod was detained by the police officers after he quarreled with his girlfriend – to be more exact, after he broke into her apartment in order to apologize for the quarrel and to make peace. Sysouyev was taken to the police department No.3, where after a heated argument with the police officers one of them hit him against the entrance door and the second one started to beat him up — first at the entrance to the department, then inside.

Injuries: bruises of the head’s soft tissues, cerebral concussion, partial rupture of forearm muscle, as well as hypodermic hematomas on the body.

Police officers trial: the criminal case was initiated against Roman Cheremkin — the video records confirmed that it was him who beat up Sysouyev. In February 2016 the Leninsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod declared Cheremkin guilty and sentenced to four years of conditional sentence. The convict voluntarily paid a compensation of moral damage to the victim in the amount of 100 thousand roubles.

Why the Ministry of the Interior did not apologize: the lawyers of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture requested that official apologies are provided to the victim, but the Nizhny Novgorod Department of the Interior refused to do it. In his response the representative of the Ministry referred to the allegedly expired “period of limitation for apologizing to the citizen whose rights and freedoms were violated by the police officer”. 

Because the guilty officers have been already fired 

What happened: in March 2012 Anton Golovko from Nizhny Novgorod was called to Police Department No 8. The police officers demanded that he confessed of a theft from a car, though the suspect did not even have a driving license and he could not drive. The detained was tortured: the police officers beat him up, put a gas mask on his face, choked him and hang him up.

Injuries: concussions, blunt traumas of neck and shoulder. After this experience Golovko had a personality disorder for a long time, he had to use the psychological assistance.

Police officers trial: charges of abuse of office with the use of violence (part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code) were brought against police officers Sergey Baranov and Sergey Batmanov. In May 2016 the Sormovsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod declared them guilty and sentenced Baranov to four years of conditional term and Batmanov — to three and a half years conditional term.  

Why the Ministry of the Interior did not apologize: after the verdict entered into force the victim applied to the Ministry of the Interior with a request that official apologies are provided to him, however, Deputy Head of the Nizhny Novgorod police Ilyushkin replied that no one is obliged to apologize for the actions of the police officers, since after the verdict the guilty officers were fired.  

Egor Skovoroda
Source: MediaZona