Ufa citizen was tortured in the police, and then deprived of his right to choose a legal representative


07 November 2012

Garnik Mkrtchan applied to the Bashkortostan regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» for legal support. The young man from Ufa city claims he was tortured in the police. According to the applicant, on 31 May 2012 at one of the crossroads in Ufa three police officers approached him asking to show ID documents and to follow them to the nearest police station. There the policemen searched Garnik, but found nothing illegal.

(Photo: Garnik Mkrtchan)

After Mr Mkrtchan had already left the police premises, three men came over, suddenly twisted his hands behind his back, dragged him into a «BMW» and handcuffed him. Garnik was brought first to Sovetskiy Main Department of the Interior (ROVD) of Ufa city, and then to the premises of the Bashkortostan Republic Ministry of the Interior (55 «A» Kalinina str.).

The young man was led to one of the rooms on the first floor where a police officer ordered him to sit down on the floor and cross his legs. The police officer pulled Garnik’s hands behind the back and put handcuffs on, took out a tow-rope and tied the young man’s hands and legs. Then the policeman took out of his bag an old-fashioned telephone with two wires and, having attached the wires to the victim’s body, started turning the handle. Garnik felt strong electric shocks. The the policeman started kicking him in the inguinal region, stepped on his face. In the end the police officer began threatening Garnik with sexual violence, and even showed to the young man his penis. On the morning of 2 July 2012 Mr Mkrtchan felt he could not bear the torture any longer and agreed to everything the policemen demanded. He signed a confession statement where he wrote that he had bought drugs on the Internet.

Garnik Mkrtchan filed a torture complaint with the Investigative Committee. At the beginning on June 2012 proceedings based on his complained were initiated.

On 2 November 2012 Garnik filed a request to the investigator for particularly important cases of the regional Investigative Directorate, lieutenant-colonel of justice Vadim Pospeev, who was in charge of his case, asking him to grant access to the proceedings of his legal representative, a lawyer with the Bashkirian regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» Oleg Golovko. We stress the fact that Russian law provides for the right of a victim for legal representation.

On the same day the investigator dismissed the request on the ground that only a certified advocate could assertedly represent a victim’s interests in official proceedings. As we see the situation, it is either that the investigator and his superior are unaware of certain provisions of Russian law, or, which is worse, they simply ignore those provisions. Lawyers with the Bashkirian branch of the Committee Against Torture are going to complain against the refusal to the Prosecutor’s Office for the Republic of Bashkortostan and appeal against it before court.

The Interregional Committee Against Torture is determined to strive for every allegation of torture usage to be effectively investigated, for each and every state official responsible for torture and inhuman or degrading treatment must be held liable. It must be noticed that we possess evidence of one of the perpetrators of the incident in question being implicated in several other torture cases the Committee has worked on.

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