Police Uses Force, But Remains Unpunished

Russian police uses no tortures. Suspects are just violently beaten
It was reported in the Vechernie Chelny newspaper two times already that suspects had been beaten at a police station in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny in the republic of Tatarstan. What is more, deputy of the Tatarstan Council of State Sergey Titov came to the editorial office to tell that at 8:30 p.m. March 13, a drunk aide to the Komsomolsky district police officer detained two under-age boys for purchase of cigarettes in an underground passage. The policeman brought the boys to a police station, handcuffed them and hit them several times. The editorial office made a journalist inquiry to the city prosecutor Ildus Nafikov and later got an official written answer from him.

Let's get back to the previous publications concerning beating of suspects at police stations. The Vechernie Chelny newspaper reprinted a publication from the Vechernyaya Kazan newspaper. In the article, Fanis Zakirov, a citizen from the Tatar city of Izhevsk told about his torments at a police station where he had been brought as a suspect of assassinating Rafis Sayetov, the head of Tatarstan's Agryzsky district. The man told that policemen had been beating him for ten days, day and night; he wasn't given to eat and to drink, what is more, he wasn't allowed to sleep. "I still cannot walk normally as I stagger after the beating. I was beaten in Naberezhnye Chelny only. They used electroshock and made me drink vodka so that I couldn't die. Policemen trampled my head, kicked me and jumped on my back."

A bit earlier the newspaper reported that the court withdrew confession of suspect Stanislav Yanaikin from materials of the case concerning attack at the headquarters of the Tatar Public Center. Attorney of the suspect managed to prove that the confession was made after Stanislav Yanaikin had been severely beaten by policemen of the Central domestic affairs department.

The editorial office asked the city prosecutor Ildus Nafikov whether complaints of the two above mentioned men and of parents of the teenagers detained for purchase of cigarettes had been ever investigated. If investigations were held, what results were obtained. The newspaper also wanted to find out whether the city prosecutor's office had taken any measures to prevent assault and battery of suspects at police station. It was also interesting to know if some police member was ever brought to criminal responsibility for torturing suspects.

The city prosecutor of Naberezhnye Chelny Ildus Nafikov provided the following information. As it turned out, there was no official complaint submitted to the prosecutor's office concerning the detention of two teenagers and usage of force toward them. However, it was promised that an investigation would be held on the case. As for the killing of Rafis Sayetov, the city prosecutor informed that investigation of the criminal case was supervised by the republican prosecutor's office. "A complaint was received concerning beating of suspect Stanislav Yanaikin; the city prosecutor's office held a special investigation of the complaint. On the results of the investigation it was decided to reject institution of criminal proceedings concerning the case."

As the city prosecutor reported, in 2001, the prosecutor's office considered 69 complaints from citizens concerning beating by policemen, the figure made up 63 complaints in 2002 and 9 in the first quarter of 2003. As concerning all complaints, special investigations were held, however, in most cases use of force by policemen wasn't proved. No criminal cases were instituted in connection with those complaints. The prosecutor’s office brought 3 policemen into criminal account for use of force in 2001; one case on the problem was filed on the problem in 2002 but it was later stopped for lack of corpus delicti. As the prosecutor said, 50 policemen were brought to disciplinary liability in 2001, 26 in 2002 and 15 in the first quarter this year.

Ravil Sabirov
Vecherniye Chelny newspaper

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Author`s name Michael Simpson