4 Russian police charged over bottle rape
Moscow - Four Russian police were charged on Wednesday over the death of a suspect after allegedly being raped with a champagne bottle while in detention in a case which has horrified rights activists.
Russians were planning to picket police headquarters in the central region of Tatarstan where the tragedy took place while several other people complained of harassment by officers from the same police unit.
Sergei Nazarov, aged 52, a resident of the mostly Muslim region's main city of Kazan, was detained by police on suspicion of theft on Friday.
He died the next day of a ruptured intestine after being raped by officers with a champagne bottle, according to rights activists.
His death led to a public outcry, with activists calling on President Dmitry Medvedev to relieve the Tatarstan police chief of his duties.
Investigators on Wednesday brought criminal charges against four police officers from the Dalny police department, while another officer was detained earlier this week and fully admitted his guilt.
Investigators also determined there were no sufficient grounds to arrest Nazarov. Police had earlier said the man was detained on suspicion of theft.
Activists are planning on Thursday to bring champagne bottles to the doorstep of the regional police headquarters in Kazan in an impromptu picket against police abuse in the city.
"Let every incompetent police officer use these bottles for their intended purpose," said a statement from organisers posted on the internet.
"Employees of the Dalny police department will tell them how."
After Nazarov's death several more Russians complained of harassment by policemen from Kazan's Dalny police department.
Mass-circulation tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda reported on Wednesday that another Kazan resident, 22-year-old Oskar Krylov, had also been violated with a bottle by the same police officers a few months ago.