Gyunay Ragimova from Moscow applied to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture for legal assistance. She told the human rights defenders that her brother and father were beaten up and tortured by the officers of Moscow Special Rapid Response Detachment (SOBR) in front of the whole family. Both were questioned about Syria and terrorism, but in the end the brother was detained on a suspicion of possession of drugs, and the father was not even taken to the police department and no charges were brought against him.
(Murad Ragimov after the apprehension)
According to Gyunay, on 30 August at 6 a.m. the police officers knocked on the door of their apartment. Her brother Murad Ragimov, a student of the Medical University named after Pirogov, opened the door and immediately was hit in the face and fell on the floor. About twenty police officers in black uniform and “SOBR” chevrons ran into the apartment. All of them wore masks. The officers started to beat up Murad who was still lying on the floor, and then they handcuffed him and dragged him to the kitchen.
According to Gyunay, her brother was tortured for about three and a half hours. She and her mother and sister saw what was going on through the glass of the kitchen door. All the women, whom human rights defenders questioned, confirmed Gyunay’s words. They told that the police officers broke their kitchen table, tore off one of its legs and began to beat up Murad with it. The police officers used electric shockers, hit and kicked Murad all over his body, broke a cutglass sweets box against his head. Apart from that, according to Murad’s relatives, the police officers chocked him several times with a plastic bag. When Murad lost his consciousness they were bringing him to his senses by pouring water on him and sending electric shockers’ charges. The police officers questioned him about the trips to Syria and demanded that he showed the ammunition. The guy was shouting that he knew nothing of that. As Gyunay recalls, one of the SOBR officers forced a knife in Murad’s left leg. Murad lost his consciousness because of pain.
“The brother asked to be able to provide testimony using a polygraph – lie detector, – Gyunay says. – In response they showed the electric shocker and said: “That’s your polygraph!” And stated to beat him up again”.
Gyunay claims that the police officers acted very cynically: while several people were beating up Murad, their colleagues helped themselves to some ice-cream from the fridge of the Ragimov family. When the women vowed to stop the battery they answered that they were not beating up Murad, but “kissing” him, finding the young man’s lips, swollen from the beating, to look funny.
According to Gyunay, while about fifteen men were torturing her brother in the kitchen, about five more were beating up her father in another room.
Now Murad Ragimov is in Pre-Trial Detention Facility #3 of Moscow. He was charged with illegal possession of drugs on a large scale (part 2 Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). According to Murad’s relatives the drugs were found in the pocket of his trousers. At the same time, when he was beaten up, he was wearing only pants, and the trousers were given to him by his sister when he was taken away, and she took them from the cupboard where the detector dog handlers had not found anything previously.
Murad’s father Firuddin is at home. As it turned out, law-enforcement agencies have no claims against him.
“We initiated a public investigation of this fact, – Anastasia Garina from the Moscow branch of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture comments. – We questioned Murad Ragimov’s two sisters and mother. All of them told the same story. Their version of events is indirectly confirmed by the neighbors in the communal entrance hallway, who heard the shouts of the beaten up. We will continue to gather facts on this incident and, if the information is confirmed, we will do everything possible to bring the culprits to justice”.