Document - Russian Federation: Police threaten man complaining of torture

URGENT ACTION

UA: 155/13 Index: EUR 46/021/2013 Russia Date: 19 June 2013

URGENT ACTION

POLICE THREATEN MAN COMPLAINING OF TORTURE

A man who was abducted and tortured by police in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria has been threatened by police officers as the investigation into his allegations is making progress.

Inal Berov was abducted on 6 March 2012 from the car repair garage where he worked at the time, by a group of armed men, taken to a Ministry of the Interior building in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, held there overnight, and according to him tortured, which included repeated severe beatings and electric shocks. Inal Berov was left with injuries including a fractured spine and concussion. He filed an official complaint and a criminal investigation into his allegations was opened on 4 April 2012. Since then, police have intimidated and harassed Inal Berov and his family. In particular, a criminal case was fabricated against him, but he was cleared of all changes by the investigating authorities on 28 February 2013.

No one has yet been brought to justice for abducting or torturing Inal Berov. He and his lawyer have been pressing for an effective investigation. In June 2013, the investigating authorities brought Inal Berov and police officers from the unit allegedly involved in his abduction and torture to meet face to face and put their claims to each other. During these meetings, at least two of those police officers made veiled threats towards Inal Berov. One said that he was beginning to develop a personal dislike of Berov, and added, after the meeting, that he was aware of Berov’s criminal activities. Another, a senior officer from the criminal investigation unit, promised during the meeting that he would soon produce evidence that Inal Berov had been involved in armed robbery. Berov regards these warnings as a promise to fabricate a new criminal case against him, and has complained about them to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Please write immediately in Russian, English or your own language:

Urging the authorities to order a prompt, impartial and effective investigation of Inal Berov's allegation that he has been threatened by police officers, and bring those responsible to justice;

Calling on them to suspend those police officers from duty until this investigation and the investigation into Inal Berov's allegation that he was abducted and tortured by police officers on 6 March 2012 are completed;

Calling on them to do everything necessary to ensure the safety of Inal Berov and his family.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 31 JULY 2013 TO:

Prosecutor of Kabardino-Balkaria

Oleg Olegovich Zharikov

Office of the Prosecutor of KBR

Pr. Kulieva, 16

Nalchik 360030

Kabardino-Balkaria

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Fax: +7 8662 47 74 42 (say “FAX”)

Email: mail@prokkbr.ru

prokuratura-kbr@mail.ru

Salutation: Dear Prosecutor

Head of Investigative Directorate

Lt-Gen. V.H. Ustov

Investigative Committee

Pr. Lenina, 36

Nalchik 360051

Kabardino-Balkaria Republic

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Fax: +7 8662 77 11 49

(if a voice answers say "FAX" clearly)

Email: press-skp-kbr@mail.ru

Salutation: Dear Head of Investigative Directorate

And copies to:

Minister of Internal Affairs

Sergei Valentinovich Vasilyev

Minister of Internal Affairs of Kabardino-Balkaria

ul. Kuliev, 10a

360000 g. Nalchik

Kabardino-Balkaria

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Fax: +7 8662 49 52 00

Email: mvd_kbr@mail.ru

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

POLICE THREATEN MAN COMPLAINING OF TORTURE

ADditional Information

The use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by police and other law enforcement officials is regularly reported across the Russian Federation. Allegations of torture are particularly frequent in the North Caucasus, which includes Kabardino-Balkaria. These are often accompanied by allegations of enforced disappearance, unlawful detention, denial of access to a lawyer of one’s choice and other human rights violations. People who complain about violation of their human rights by law enforcement officers and demand investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators often face further intimidation and harassment.

For more details, see Russian Federation: Briefing to Committee Against Torture, October 2012 http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR46/040/2012/en. For further information on the practice of denying access to a lawyer of one’s choice, and the pressure and harassment to which lawyers are subjected when they represent victims of human rights violations by members of law enforcement agencies and try to confront impunity for such violations, see the recently published report Russia: Confronting the circle of injustice threats and pressure faced by lawyers in the North Caucasus http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR46/003/2013/en.

Name: Inal Berov

Gender m/f: m

UA: 155/13 Index: EUR 46/0 Issue Date: 19 June 2013

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