Two police officers confessed of a battery of a citizen from Nizhny Novgorod region in the wood

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30 June 2015

As it has become known to human rights defenders from the Committee Against Torture two officers of the Balakhinsky Interdistrict Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region confessed of a battery of Laziz Niyazov from Bolshoye Kozino settlement of the Nizhny Novgorod region. 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.

(According to Laziz Niyazov, this vehicle was used to take him to the forest)

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. 

«We hope that the police officers are sincerely repenting what they did. I think that it is better that the management of the Ministry of the Interior apoligized to Laziz Niyazov. I also think that it was the competent actions of the officers of the Balakhinsky Interdistrict Investigative Department who initiated a criminal case without any delay and managed to establish important evidence that triggered the confessions. We hope that the investigation of the case is complete within the shortest possible time, and in court the defendants would submit a motion for a special judicial procedure, i.e. without examination of the evidence», – comments lawyer of the Committee Against Torture Sergey Shounin, representing the interests of Laziz Niyazov.