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The Investigative Committee dismissed the criminal case on tortures at the Anapa police department

News

19 March 2019

In the Krasnodar Territory the criminal case on tortures of four citizens from Anapa at the local police department is dismissed – according to investigator Roman Stain, who investigated this case, there were no tortures, and the evidence of the victims has to be treated critically, as they are the interested parties.  Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, representing the interests of the victims, do not agree with this ruling of the investigator and will be appealing against it. At the moment, the legality of the dismissal of the case is being checked by the Prosecutor’s Office.  

As we have previously reported, in May 2017, Artem Ponomarchuk, Aram Arustamyan, Karen and Erik Engoyan, citizens from Anapa, applied to human rights defenders for legal assistance. The men reported that they were apprehended at various time in the period from 24-25 December 2015 – allegedly, all four of them refused to show their IDs. Later on, the protocols on administrative violation were drawn up with regard to all the apprehended persons, and on 26 December judge of the Anapa City Court Elena Kravtsova convicted everyone to 12 days of administrative arrest.

– Right after I was delivered to the police department the battery started, and then they started to apply electricity to my hands, and when I refused to confess of armed assault they put a stick in my rectum, – Artem Ponomarchuk describes.

Karen Engoyan tells about similar tortures: “The police officers handcuffed me, put me face down on the floor, put on the gas mask on me, periodically blocking the air access. They beat me at my heels, applied electric contacts to my hands, feet, buttocks, demanding that I confessed of armed assault. When I fainted, they dripped some liquid in my gas mask which made me regain consciousness. The police officers threatened me with a sexual violence with the use of an object looking like a stick. After that I yielded and signed the confession”.

Aram Arustamyan and Erik Engoyan provided similar explanations. As a result, all the apprehended persons confessed of armed assault.

Local forensic expert Emanuil Kopp registered various bodily injuries on all the four apprehended, including injuries on the bodies of Karen Engoyan and Artem Ponomarchuk, “which possibly became the result of the electricity impact”.

The Investigative Committee, which authority involves investigation of criminal cases with regard to the police officers, had not opened the criminal case based on the fact of torture for almost two years. Only in November 2017, after the victims’ relatives together with lawyers with the Committee Against Torture had a personal appointment with a Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Boris Karnaukhov, and complained against the red tape of local investigators, the criminal case was opened.

Investigation of the case was assigned to another investigator, four applicants were declared victims, and lawyers with the Committee Against Torture were accepted in the case as their representatives.

For fifteen months of the investigation not a single suspect appeared in the case, and the work of the investigators since the start of the tortures complaints’ check have repeatedly declared inefficient by the Prosecutor’s Office and the superior instances of the Investigative Committee.    

On 23 February 2019, the investigation of the criminal case was suspended and on 1 March it was dismissed altogether due to absence of the element of crime.    Today, lawyers with the Committee Against Tortures received a copy of this ruling.   

By passing such a ruling, investigator Stain treated the evidence of the victims and some witnesses, as well as the results of Emmanuil Kopp’s medical forensic examination critically, since, according to the investigator, all of these people are interested parties.
   
“According to the investigator, the evidence, collected in the course of the investigation, do not confirm the theory of the victims on physical violence and electricity applied against them by the criminal investigation officers of the Anapa police in December 2015, — lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Roman Veretennikov comments.  — However, we think that the investigator Stain did not do everything in his power to collect the evidence confirming the theory of the victims, failed to objectively assess the conclusions of some forensic examinations, as well as did not clear the contradictions present in the case. After familiarization with the criminal case materials we shall certainly appeal against this ruling of the investigator”.  

It is worth pointing out, that in January 2018 three more citizens complained against tortures at the same police department. Tigran Grigoryan, Artem Beglaryan and Grigory Achkasov claim that in December 2015 they were detained by the by the criminal investigation officers of the Anapa police and were subjected to battery and electricity torture after they were taken to the local police department.   

In February 2019, the eighth man - Grigory Shpeka, applied with a complaint against torture in the same police department.