"This is once again a case of so-called lies"


13 March 2015

Nizhny Novgorod police requests that the Committee Against Torture publishes information which is known to be false. Our organization received a letter from the head of field investigation unit of Internal Security Directorate of the Russian Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs for Nizhny Novgorod region Lieutenant Colonel Strelnikov requesting to publish a correction statement on the web site of the Committee Against Torture. It is referred to a situation with Aleksandr Kabanov from Nizhny Novgorod who at first accused the police officers of battery and framing up, and later on dismissed his testimony, notably, according to our sources of information, the man received a cash indemnification from the Internal Affairs officers for this. Now then, this Mr Strelnikov says that, allegedly, the check performed by the agency had not found objective evidence of the indicated data, it seems like Kabanov fell by himself and falsely accused policemen since he was dissatisfied with the fact of his detention. In relation to this Comrade Lieutenant Colonel requests that we publish a correction statement which is sent as an attachment to the letter.

Let us put it straight from the very beginning. We hope that our negative answer to his request about publishing a corrective statement concerning the information that we published will not come as a bitter disappointment for the head of field investigation unit of Internal Security Directorate of the Russian Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs for Nizhny Novgorod region Lieutenant Colonel Strelnikov and his colleagues. Mr Strelnikov, please, don’t be too quick feeling aggrieved or disappointed, since we have a number of serious reasons for this, we are going to explicate them. 

Thus, much as one would like to, we won’t be able to correct the fact of Aleksandr Kabanov applying to our organization. In the same manner, we won’t be able to doubt the fact that our lawyer received signed explanations from Mr Kabanov in which he accuses the police officers of battery and framing up. 

Moreover, having conducted our check, we came to conclusion that Kabanov got his bodily injuries nowhere else but in the police department of Kstovsky District of Nizhny Novgorod region. As opposed to a less informative letter of the head of Internal Security, in which he did not present a single argument contradicting to the information of the Committee Against Torture, we, in our turn, are ready to report the results of our check in detail: firstly, Kabanov initially provided consistent, uncontroversial explanations both to the members of the Committee Against Torture and the officers of the Investigative Committee. These explanations are also in line with the evidence from his colleagues: they claim that they did not see any traces of bodily injuries on Aleksandr prior to detention, and that he had not complained of any ailment. The same colleagues verified that the police officers picked him at his work which means that he could not have been «cursing using foul language at Zhdanovsky settlement» (with regards of this a report on administrative violation was elaborated).

Neither can we prove wrong the evidence of Kabanov’s colleagues. 

It would be difficult for us to ignore the forensic medical examination report of Aleksandr Kabanov, in which the expert claims that Aleksandr could have received his bodily injuries under circumstances which he indicated in his application (i.e., in the course of police torture).

And in the end, it is certainly impossible to deny the fact that Kabanov received the money from the police officers, since he himself gave written explanations of this fact (we are ready to provide its copy), where he reported in detail under which circumstances, from who and for what he received the money. 

Dear Mr Strelnikov. We hope that our arguments convinced you that we have no possibility of denying the information previously published by us, since it is based on facts and documents.  Moreover, we deem it impossible to publish any denial which is based only on the cliched mantra «the check was conducted, no proof was found» even if it originates from such respectable agency as the Internal Security Directorate. We received a large number of such answers which later on were quashed by the court’s judgment of conviction in relation to the police officers. 

Moreover, we would like to make a return request – that you provide corrective statement for the results of the check headed by none other than you, on the web site of the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs, as not consistent with the facts of the case, аs well as to conduct another check of actions of Kabanov and the police officers, but a more thorough one this time. In our turn, we are ready to render all necessary assistance in establishing the truth.

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