Applications received by the Committee against Torture confirm that xenophobia and racism are wide-spread among the police staff in Nizhny Novgorod. Four days ago Mr. Emil Dadashov, Azerbaijani by nationality, applied to the Nizhny Novgorod office of the Committee against Torture for help.
According to the applicant, on 31 March 2008, in the evening, he was detained together with his friends by the police because the young men did not have identification documents on them.
As it turned out later, the police patrol decided to stop two passers-by because they were of “Caucasian origin”, as the police claimed.
The young men were unlawfully detained, taken to the Nizhegorodskiy district Department of Internal Affairs where the police unlawfully put them into a cell for administrative detainees without preparing the necessary documents.
Some forty minutes later Emil’s acquaintance was set free. Then, according to the victim, two police officers in civilian clothes came up to him approximately some 15 minutes later (it was past 10 p.m.). They did not introduce themselves and did not produce their papers.
The police asked Mr. Dadashov for a cigarette, and when they got to know that he did not smoke, they uttered obscenities, opened the cell and pushed the young man out, one of the officers used an electric shocker. The same officer started mocking at Mr. Dadashov’s accent, using vulgar language, cursed the nation and religion Mr. dadashov belonged to and said that he hated all Caucasians. The “brave” officer could not get enough by only insulting Mr. Dadashov and he resorted to his fists. The officer hit Emil 15 times with an electric shocker and dragged him to the investigation room. On the way there the policeman hit the young man on the face between the nose and upper lip and broke him 3 teeth.
Only after that the police staff witnessing this vandal, xenophobian and atrocious scene “asked” (!) their immoderately zealous racist colleague to stop the beatings.
Mr. Dadashov was again placed in a cell for administrative detainees where he spent 35 minutes. After that the duty officer ordered him to get out and wash his face.
The check conducted by the Committee against Torture upon Mr. Dadashov’s application showed that there had already been a check performed by investigator E.V. Voevodina from the Nizhegorodskiy district Investigation Office of the IA of the IC under the RF Prosecutor’s office for Nizhny Novgorod region. The investigator revealed that violence was used against Mr. Dadashov. However, investigator Voevodina refused to start a criminal case against the police officer because, according to her, the given officer was off-duty and his work day was over by the time he incurred injuries to Mr. Dadashov. This means, that the police officer was really not a police staff because his duty was over. And his presence at the police station is an irrelevant factor. On the same grounds the police heads advised Mr. Dadashov to apply to the magistrate court, reminding him that an officer off-duty was not an officer but an unknown person.
How the magistrate court relates to the fact of abuse of office by an authorized state representative, the police heads failed to explain.
What happened to Emil Dadashov – an officially registered, legal, law-abiding immigrant who was subject to violent treatment by the police just because he was of different nationality – shows hypocrisy of regional police officials who claim that they fight against xenophobia among the policemen on an everyday basis , but in fact demonstrate their indifference to the actions of their “homebred” racists who seem to feel quite at home at the central police station in the third largest Russian city.
It should be mentioned that the police officer whom the Prosecutor’s office suspects of battering Mr. Dadashov was promptly sent on a “long business trip” by the police administration.
At present the Committee against Torture intends to continue working with Mr. Dadashov’s application and obtain a punishment for the perpetrators.