«Why did you come here in large numbers?» A Moscow resident claims that the policemen insulted him because of his ethnicity, beat him in front of his pregnant wife and forced him to squat naked in the police station


02 November 2023


Tamerlan Marzoyev’s family moved to Moscow from Vladikavkaz when Tamerlan was still a child. In Moscow, Tamerlan graduated from a secondary school, settled down and started his own family. In mid-October, he was stopped by police. According to Tamerlan, he was beaten, insulted on ethnic grounds and eventually had his jaw broken. His pregnant wife witnessed the incident.

On 14 October, 30-year-old Tamerlan and his wife Aryuna were returning from friends late at night. They were descending Timiryazevskaya Street when a police car blocked their way, and two uniformed officers got out. As Tamerlan recalls, the policemen did not introduce themselves and demanded Marzoyevs’ IDs.

«He started asking me where I was from. I replied that I had been living in Moscow since the seventh grade and that I was a native of North Ossetia, Ossetian by ethnicity. At that moment the officer said: «Why did you come here in such large numbers?»

As Mr. Marzoyev recalls, his wife got angry because of these ethnicity-related questions, so she started arguing with the police. The woman promised to complain about their actions, and the officers began insulting her and shouting. Tamerlan told the police that his wife was pregnant, asked them to stop swearing and stood between them, blocking Aryuna.

«Suddenly, the officer hit me in the jaw several times. I fell to the ground near the car wheel and hit my head. All the clothes were covered in blood. When my wife was put in the car, the policeman lifted me off the road by my jacket with both hands and punched me in the chest.»

Tamerlan recalls that he was searched, but nothing prohibited was found; subsequently, he and his wife were taken to the police station of the Timiryazevskiy district. Mr. Marzoyev claims that at the police station, the officers continued to insult him because of his ethnicity, and then they took him to an office.

«The operative officer started asking me what drug I was using, and then told me to strip naked and squat three times. I complied with his order.»

When Tamerlan left the room, his wife was no longer in the station’s premises, as she was transferred to a detention cell. The policemen wanted to take Mr. Marzoyev for a medical examination, but first an X-ray was taken at the medical institution and Tamerlan was subsequently sent to Moscow Clinical Hospital No. 1. The doctors diagnosed the man with a bilateral jaw fracture and numerous bruises on his head, leaving Tamerlan in the hospital.

Tamerlan’s wife was released in the morning; she spent the night in the detention cell. A report of hooliganism was drawn up against Aryuna; she refused to sign it. A day later, Tamerlan underwent surgery and spent four days in the hospital. During these days, none of the police officers came to see him, although he told the doctor how he received his injuries, and the medics sent a message to the police about the incident.

Tamerlan is still taking painkillers, cannot eat normally and is unable to work, as he is forced to wear special braces for another two months. Tamerlan further claims that no charges were brought against him.

The lawyers representing the interests of Tamerlan filed crime reports to the Koptevskiy Interdistrict Investigative Department and the Moscow Main Investigation Department of the Russian Investigative Committee, but the relevant officials did not register these reports and did not  conduct an urgent enquiry.

The lawyers also sent a petition to conduct an internal inquiry into the actions of the police officers to the Internal Security Department of the Moscow police. The lawyers ask to preserve the CCTV recordings from that police station, as well as the recordings from lapel video recorders and the recorder of the vehicle in which Tamerlan and his wife were transported to the police station.

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