Today the Arzamas city court of Nizhny Novgorod region has delivered a verdict for three former police officers of the medical sobering-up station under the Arzamas Directorate of the Interior – Sergey Anoshin, Alexander Shuyagin, Sergey Bukhanov. They were charged with torturing and raping Arzamas resident Natalia Stryomina.
The court has found Anoshin and Shuyagin guilty under cl. “а”, p. 3, art. 286 (actions of state agents clearly exceeding their official powers and causing substantial violations of individual rights and legal interests committed with violent treatment). They have seen sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment on a 2 year probation, the sentence has been suspended. Bukhanov has been found guilty under cl. “б”, p.2, art. 131 (rape combined with the threat of infliction of grave damage to health) and cl.”а”, p. 3, art. 286, and sentenced to six years and six months of imprisonment in a standard security penal colony.
You may remember that Natalia Stryomina applied to the Interregional Committee Afainst Torture after on 25-26 April 2009 she had been cruelly tortured (the tortures included hanging on a rack) and raped in the medical sobering-up station under the Arzamas Directorate of the Interior.
Lawyers of the Committee started actively working with that case. First they pressed for the instigation of criminal proceedings and transfer of the case first to the regional investigation authority from the Arzamas Investigation Department which openly stonewalled the investigation, and later to court.
At first, the authorities did not want to instigate criminal proceedings under Stryomina’s application at all. According to Natalia, the investigator who initially questioned her concluded that everything that had happened to her could not be classified as rape and intentionally misinterpreted the Criminal Code. Moreover, the police officers were impudent enough to lodge a suit to protect their honour and dignity (which was later dismissed). Thanks to the efforts of the Committee and the victim (she is now a law student) and to immense public attention to the case, criminal proceeding were instigated a year after. To achieve that goal Natalia even had to take a polygraph test to demonstrate that she was telling the truth.
Prosecutorial and Investigation Committee workers were also held accountable. For instance, senior investigators of the Arzamas Interdistrict Investigation Department A.M. Lyapin and M.M. Katkin, deputy head of the Investigation Department V.P. Zudov, head of the of the Investigation Department D.V. Kiselyov were held disciplinary liable for delays and procedural violations committed when checking the allegations against the sobering-up station staff. Arzamas City Prosecutor Pankov who failed to ensure proper supervision of the check and preliminary investigation and was dismissed.
Natalia will appeal against the verdict for Shuyagin, because it is too lenient, in her opinion, as he directly participated in the tortures.
Natalia Stryomina is sharing her impressions about the trial and the verdict.