Russia: Deadly rape exposes police torture

2012-03-26 13:01

kalahari.com

Kazan - The brutal rape and death of a Russian man in police custody has prompted scores of other hesitant victims to come forward and denounce brutality they had been too frightened to report before.

In the central Russian city of Kazan where the abuse took place, around 40 people shuffled on the steps of the regional Investigative Committee last week, waiting to give a formal account of their experiences of police torture.

A team of senior investigators had come from Moscow, around 800km away, to investigate the death of Sergei Nazarov, aged 52, who was raped with a champagne bottle while police questioned him on suspicion of theft.

Investigators are now looking into at least three incidents at the same police station, Dalny, and have detained seven police officers based there.

One of the victims, IT specialist Oskar Krylov, aged 22, said he felt lucky to be alive after being sexually assaulted at the Dalny station while in custody on suspicion of theft in October last year.

When he refused to confess, three policemen including the head of the station's criminal investigation squad, Ainur Rakhmatullin, raped him first with a pen and then with a bottle, he said.

Isolated incident

"I shouted 'Help!' and 'Let me go, I will sign anything', but Rakhmatullin just told me: 'You should have signed when we were treating you nicely. Now we are going to screw you all night'."

"Now after what has happened with Nazarov, I tell myself that I'm alive and in good health - that I was lucky," he said.

While police brutality at Dalny has been widely covered in the media, the regional police insist that these were isolated incidents, not system-wide abuses - a view dismissed by rights campaigners.

"People should trust the police," Kazan's police chief, Rustem Kadyrov, said in an interview with AFP.

"I don't think it's fair to draw broad conclusions from a single shameful case."

Those waiting outside the regional Investigative Committee did not share his view, recounting story after story of how their sons or brothers had been victims of police abuse.

Not exceptional

Tasima Minimulovna, a woman in her 50s, wept as she described how her son, Airat, was beaten for days at another Kazan police station until he confessed to a murder and attacks on taxi drivers.

Although he subsequently retracted his confession, he was still being held in pre-trial detention, she said.

"The police only work for their own interests. They don't give a damn about anything, and they would use any method to put my son in jail," she said.

The director of the Kazan Rights Centre, Igor Sholokhov, this week passed 17 files to the prosecutors alleging police brutality. Five of the victims had died in detention. Yet he said the region was not exceptional.

"Tatarstan is no better or worse than other regions," said Sholokhov, a former prisoner governor who now spends his time exposing police violence.

He blamed a system in which police officers' pay and perks depend on whether they reach targets on recording and solving crimes - and no one asks too many questions about their methods.

Nails ripped out

"This is how the police get bonuses and promotion and other perks and how they avoid punishment for doing their work badly," he said.

"To get good reports, they use torture," he added - and almost anyone could be a victim.

"Your social position or level of education makes little difference."

The scandal in Tatarstan has prompted rights groups to publicise numerous similar cases across Russia.

The Memorial rights group raised the case of a young man from the North Caucasus who was detained in the Moscow region this month and was beaten and had his nails ripped out in an attempt to make him testify against a friend.

Outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made police reforms one of his key policies, but the public's view is that he has achieved little.

A recent survey by Levada independent polling centre found that 75% of Russians saw no improvement and 14% thought the situation had got worse.

- SAPA
Read more on:    russia
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may be bothering you. A flooded mind and impulsive reactions are not a good combination as you are not thinking clearly....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.