Today, on 18 August 2015, judge of the Balakhinsky City Court Oleg Evdokimov passed a sentence regarding two former investigative officers of the Department of Interior of Russia for Balakhninsky District Artem Choumakov and Roman Lapshinov. They were declared guilty of crime under part 3 of Article 286 of the Russian Criminal Code (abuse of office with the use of force). Artem Chumakov was sentenced to 3.5 years prison term, Roman Lapshinov – to 3 years prison term in the standard regime penal colony. The convicts were placed under detention in the court room. After the sentence’s coming into legal force lawyers of INGO «The Committee for Prevention of Torture», representing the interests of Laziz Niyazov, who is the victim in this case, intend to file suit on compensation of moral damage.
(Photo: former police officers Artem Chumakov and Roman Lapshinov)
As we have previously reported, this person applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. According to the applicant, late in the evening of 21 May this year four police officers demanded to go with them to the police department, but instead of this they took him to the forest and beat him up. Notably, in a few days time one of the visitors came to Laziz again. This time he wanted to apologize.
Laziz Niyazov lives in Bolshoye Kozino settlement in the Nizhny Novgorod region with his wife, elderly mother and two kids. In his application to the human rights organization Niyazov reported that late at night on 21 May 2015 four men came up to his house, in one of them the applicant recognized a district police officer. They demanded that Niyazov goes with them to the police department.
According to Laziz, instead of that the unbidden guests took him to the forest near his house, where they beat him up demanding that he confessed of theft and provided false witness against his colleagues. As Niyazov recollects, threats continued in the police dispatch center of the Department of the Interior of Russia for Balakhninsky district, where he was taken after execution in the forest, however, he had not confessed. After midnight Niyazov was released, he applied to the first-aid station right away, where he was diagnosed with cerebral concussion, and a lot of bruises all over his body were registered.
On 25 May Laziz Niyazov applied to the Committee Against Torture. In the course of public investigation human rights defenders questioned witnesses, conducted additional medical examination of the applicant, submitted a crime report to the Investigative Committee, filed a number of motions on including the data obtained in the course of public investigation to the materials of the official check, for example, medical documentation, as well as video and audio records related to pressure which Niyazov was subjected to.
One of the police officers, whom Laziz identified as one of his offenders, came to the applicant’s house on 2 June this year and apologized for «that case», saying that Laziz was «framed». This meeting was recorded with a video surveillance camera that was installed by the Committee Against Torture members in order to provide the applicant’s safety. The content of the conversation was also recorded by Niyazov on his dictaphone recorder.
On 18 June 2015 it has become known about a criminal case initiated based on the fact of violence by the officers of the Department of the Interior for the Balakhninsky District used against Laziz Niyazov from Bolshoye Kozino settlement, who is declared the affected party in the criminal case. On 26 June the human rights defenders who are taking part in the court proceedings in the capacity of Mr.Niyaziov’s representatives, received copies of confessions of two police officers in which they confessed of unlawful violence that they used against Laziz and of abuse of office.
As we have previously reported, the defendants were dismissed from service as early as on 18 June based on the results of the agency check. The criminal case was examined per special procedure, since both of the defendants submitted the appropriate requests and victim Laziz Niyazov was not against it.
Lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Sergey Shonin, representing the interests of Laziz Niyazov: «In general, we are satisfied with the sentence, taking into account the special procedure of the case examination in court. Now we shall seek for a fair compensation of moral damage incurred to Laziz by illegal actions of the former police officers».