Viktor Kapitonov: "The police officers broke my arm and told me it was like that before"


06 April 2017

In October last year Viktor Kapitonov was detained by the police officers near the Administration of the President of Russia when he was conducting the one-person picket. According to Mr Kapitonov, who is a disabled person of category II, during the apprehension the police officers broke his arm. Human rights defenders with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture initiated a public investigation of this incident. 

In his application to human rights defenders for legal assistance Viktor Kapitonov informed that on 7 October of last year he conducted the one-person picket near the Administration of the President of Russia. The poster that he was holding featured words of journalist Anna Politkovskaya: “Why I dislike Putin? I dislike him for this. For this crudeness is no goodness. For cynicism. For endless war. For lies. For gas in Nord-Ost”.

According to Viktor, thirty seconds later a police officer came up to him.

– He asked for my passport, to that I replied that I had no passport on me. Then he took my poster in his hands and started to examine the photographs of Anna Politkovskaya. Having read the text he told me that my poster was insulting the President. I asked to explain, but the police officer refused to do that. Instead he called for his colleagues and ordered them to apprehend me, – Viktor recalls.
Thanks to the fact that several journalists were present at the one-person picket, the process of apprehension was recorded on video camera. It is seen in the record that Viktor is taken away by two police officers and then they bend his body forwards.  

– I felt that they are pulling my hand behind my back. It went wrong and the police officer started to perform jerking movements. After that I heard the rustle of bones and started to scream, – Viktor describes the process of apprehension.

The detained was taken to the police department for Kitay-gorod district, where Viktor was well-known to all: despite the disabled category, Mr Kapitonov is regularly taking part in street pickets and rallys, and was taken to the Kitay-gorod police department six times in 2016 only. 
As Viktor recalls, that time he was put into cell and held there for two and a half hours, and to his requests the police officers replied: “You were disabled before yourself, we did not break you anything, your arm was like that before” (Since his birth Viktor Kapitinov suffers from arthrogryposis – a disease of a skeletomuscular system, characterized by deformities of limbs – author’s comment).

As a result, instead of calling for the ambulance, the police officers drew up a protocol on committing administrative violation under part 8 Article 20.2 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation (“Recurrent violation of the established order of a meeting, rally, demonstration, march or picketing”).

At the exit from the police department Viktor met an acquaintance of his who called an ambulance. The paramedics immediately delivered the victim to the Sklifosovsky Scientific Research Institute of First Aid, where he was diagnosed with a displaced fracture of the left funny bone. An urgent surgery was required, after which Kapitonov underwent an in-patient treatment till 14 October. 

In the end of October Viktor’s father  applied to the Internal Investigations Division of the Ministry of Defense of Russia with a complaint against the actions of the police officers. The only answer that he received was the statement dated 17 November of last year that the checking of his complaint was assigned to the Internal Investigations Department for the Central Administrative District. 

– According to the law “On Police”, during applying physical force the police officer should not only aim at minimizing the damage, but also provide measures for providing medical assistance to the person who received bodily injuries in shortest possible term, – lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Dmitry Piskounov emphasizes.  – However, in case with Mr Kapitonov the police officers simply ignored his complaints about strong pain in the arm, and their actions with regard to Viktor were not even regarded as applying physical force, and even failed to draw up a corresponding statement. We have already applied to the Investigative Committee with a crime report.

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