«You ought to trust us.» A resident of Sochi claims that he was beaten by the policemen while asking to show their identification


19 April 2023


Konstantin Beltyukov and his girlfriend were stopped by the police to check their passports. According to the young people, the policemen refused to introduce themselves, and after Konstantin’s numerous demands to produce some IDs, they smashed his nose. Later, Mr. Beltyukov found the data on these officers on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The lawyers of the CAT’s Krasnodar branch have initiated a public investigation.

On 30 March, Konstantin Beltyukov, a 24-year-old advertising manager from Sochi, walked with his girlfriend towards the shopping center named «Sea Mall». Near one of the bus stops, two police officers approached them and asked for identification documents. According to Konstantin, the policemen did not introduce themselves, and Mr. Beltyukov did not have his passport with him, only possessing a driver’s license.

Konstantin and Ksenia were asked to get into the car to be taken to the police department. Mr. Beltyukov requested the officers to produce their IDs for the second time, but, according to the man, they ignored the demand again. Konstantin then refused to go to the police station and got out of the vehicle.

«The policemen left the car after me. I demanded their official credentials once more. The officers started to use foul language, adding that I ought to trust them. Then one of the officers began to shove me, and the other punched me in the nose, so it bled.»

After that, as Konstantin recalls, the policemen knocked him to the ground, and only then one of them showed his ID. Mr. Beltyukov and his girlfriend were brought to the police station of the Makarenko microdistrict, without explaining the reasons for the escort and without registering their arrest. Konstantin explains that he voluntarily unblocked and gave his phone to the police, since he had nothing to hide. At the same time, as the man recalls, the officers began to threaten him with a drug test. Mr. Beltyukov agreed to pass it, but still he was never taken to any medical unit.

Konstantin and Ksenia spent several hours at the police station, while the officers took Ksenia’s fingerprints, took pictures of the young people and checked their phones.

«The policemen started bullying me. They said they had downloaded photos from my phone, discussed them, and laughed at chat messages. They also searched for information about drugs in Ksenia’s phone using saved keywords.»

Konstantin says that the police threatened him with detention and forced him to sign a protocol on an administrative offense. The protocol stated that Konstantin had allegedly used foul language, and Ksenia had been intoxicated in a public place (both cases fall under Article 20.21 of the Code of Administrative Offenses). The young people underline that they did not commit either of these offenses, therefore they refused to pay the fine and plan to challenge the penalties.

Konstantin and Ksenia were released from the police department without explaining the reasons for their arrest. They headed straight to the 4th Sochi hospital, where Mr. Beltyukov was diagnosed with a bruise in the soft tissues of his nose. Later, Konstantin turned to a psychotherapist, who diagnosed the man with post-traumatic stress disorder and prescribed a course of treatment.

«After the incident, I developed insomnia and frequent headaches. My nose hurts. Now I’m scared of the sight of the police on the street.»

While browsing the web page of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Konstantin found some information about the policemen whom he accused of beating. Mr. Beltyukov claims that these are Aleksandr Ipatko and Oganes Kremlyan. Konstantin posted the description of the incident on his Vkontakte page and filed a crime report with the Investigative Committee. After that, he began to receive threats that made Konstantin move to another apartment.

The lawyer of the Crew Against Torture, comments on the matter as follows: «The investigators promptly questionned Konstantin, recorded and seized evidence that is essential to the case; a forensic medical examination was also carried out. We also applied to the Sochi police department with a request to conduct their own internal investigation. According to our information, such an inquiry against the police officers is already underway.»

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