On 24 December 2014 Aleksandr Kabanov from Nizhny Novgorod applied to Nizhny Novgorod office of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» for legal assistance. He told the human right defenders that he was beaten up by the police officers who were forcing him to confess of pawnshop robbery, and framed up an administrative offence case against him.
(Photo: Aleksandr Kabanov)
According to Aleksandr, on 26 November 2014 he was going to work at night shift (being an electric and gas welder in SK 52, LLC) when his mother called and said that police officers came to his house and wanted to talk to him. Aleksandr answered that at that moment he had to take up duty at work, but was ready to talk the next day. Apparently, this was not good enough for the police officers, since after a while they arrived at Kabanov’s work.
«In twenty minutes after the working day began a foreman called for me. When I came to him I saw two men in civilian clothes. They showed me their warrant cards but I didn’t have the time to read them (as it turned out later from the administrative detention report, these were police officers of Department of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs for Kstovsky region Arefyev and Panov – note by the Committee Against Torture). The police officers told me I had to go with them, but they said they could not tell me the reason since it was «a classified information», – Aleksandr Kabanov recalls the circumstances of his detention. Also, according to Aleksandr, the police officers took away his mobile phone in the presence of his boss, threatening to hand cuff him in case he refused to give it away. After that Aleksandr was taken to Kstovo police center on a civil vehicle.
As Aleksandr told later, there he was brought to an office at the second floor: apart from the two police officers who delivered him to the police center there were two more police officers. Without further ado they suggested that he «confessed of everything». Having no idea what they were talking about, Aleksandr asked the police officers to make their suggestion more specific – as it turned out, it was about the pawnshop robbery in Drouzhny settlement that happened on 26 July this year. The police officers even showed to Aleksandr a photograph of some man whom they, apparently, suspected of committing this crime. Kabanov recognized his former schoolmate but stayed determined that he had nothing to confess about, he did not commit anything illegal.
«One of the police officers came up to me and kicked my foot with his knee saying: «Write a full confession». I refused, after that another police officer entered and said: «Stop playing dumb» and started to kick me (3-4 blows against the left arm and right shoulder). Then he hold me by my legs and threw on the floor. While I was laying on the floor he kicked me two more times against my head and buttocks. I was trying to turn away from the blows. I got up from the floor and sat on a chair again», – Kabanov explained to lawyers of the Committee Against Torture.
According to the applicant, after another series of blows the police officers started to threaten him that they would plant drugs on him, put his family to prison, or just kill him in the forest, and make the person suspected of robbery responsible for that. In about an hour and a half, having failed to obtain a confession, investigator Arefyev wrote a detention report for disorderly conduct. According to the investigator Aleksandr was in Zhdaniovsky settlement the previous night at 23.00 and was cursing aloud. However, at this time, as Kabanov explained, he was at his work and was talking to the police officers in the presence of his boss.
Prior to sending him to the administrative detention cell Kabanov was taken to Kstovo hospital at his request. There a report with registration of his bodily injuries was drawn up: «contusion of a right shoulder-joint and the left hand». Next morning he was sentenced to 6 days of administrative arrest. Upon completion of his time Kabanov was invited for a conversation with investigator Arefyev. In this conversation Kabanov explained to Arefyev that he was not involved in that robbery and did not keep in touch with the suspect.
When in Nizhny Novgorod Kabanov also applied for medical help to a traumatologist and was sent for in-patient care (from 4 to 11 December) with a diagnosis «brain concussion». At the present moment he remains under care of a neuropathologist and is still on sick leave.
On 22 and 23 December the apartment of Kabanov and his mother was searched as part of investigative activities on the criminal case which he was interrogated about by the police officers. The police officers took away Kabanov’s medicine dropper, and in the apartment of his mother they took away the shorts which bore some resemblance to the ones that the robber wore.
«Aleksandr applied with a crime report to the Investigative Committee, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Interior based on the fact of his illegal detention and use of force. He also applied for help to us, and we are going to perform our own inquiry on this matter», – informed Ilya Khorshev, a lawyer of INGO «The Committee Against Torture».