Sadist policemen from Khanty-Mansiysk AD torture detainees “like in movies about Gestapo” 

Sadist policemen from Khanty-Mansiysk AD torture detainees “like in movies about Gestapo”

Senior officers of the Town of Pyt-Yakh Department of the MIA of the Russian Federation elaborately tortured detainees: they beat and hung them on a rack at a height of about 180 cm. They tortured right at a Town police station. However, this is not the first time the local police has used violence against detainees.

The Office of Investigations of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the District opened a criminal case against the Head of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Town Department of the MIA and several police officers.

They are suspected of beating a suspect, according to Interfax Media Outlet. Criminal cases against the suspects were opened for breaking Art. 286, part 3, items “a” and “b” and Art. 286, part 3, item “b” (Exceeding Official Powers with the Use of Violence and Special Means) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

The case was opened based on materials provided by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation, according to the Committee. A citizen who suffered 'sadist violence' went to the Prosecutor General’s Office for help.

Roman Moskovskikh, a duty office, Aleksandr Fedotkin, a duty officer assistant, and Andrey Khodak, the Deputy Head of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Town Department of the MIA, beat a suspect using handcuffs on December 22, 2016, according to the investigation. The same officers illicitly took another man into custody using handcuffs later same day. They later released him, according to the Office of Investigations of the Committee in the District.

In the meantime, there is information on illegal activities of the Town police officers. The arrested police officers tortured detainees “like in movies about Gestapo”, according to the Pravda-Urfo Media Outlet.

According to the case file, “A. V. Khodak intentionally and unreasonably used physical violence against A. E. Sologub, a detainee, by hitting him on the head and in the face at least 3 times… After that, R. A. Moskovskikh, A. V. Fedotkin, and A.B. Khodak illicitly strong-armed Mr Sologub, twisting his arms behind his back and handcuffing him with handcuffs connected with another pair of handcuffs. They then raised Mr Sologub’s hands above his shoulders and chained the detainee to metal bars of a cell”. The victim also pointed out that the officers hung him on a rack because he asked them to stop beating him, which only made them angrier.

The media outlet’s source qualifies the officers’ actions as “sadism”. The investigation investigates whether the officers exhorted money from detainees.

These tortures are not the only instances of torturing of detainees in the Town, as pointed out by Pravda-Urfo. The investigation discovered the defendants had an established system of using physical violence against detainees.

For example, police officers can regularly use physical violence against rotational shiftworkers who are one of the most socially disadvantaged population categories.

“Many of such workers do not have any ID but a travel authorization. They do not have anywhere to live at until an inspection initiated upon a statement ends, let alone during investigations and court hearings. There are reasons to believe that the discovered crimes are just the tip of the iceberg; there may be an established system of torturing of detainees in place. There is at least 1 another crime discovered besides this criminal case: the officers injured a person’s genitalia and hung them on a rack at a height of about 180 cm after they asked to stop the beating. It is also possible that arrests were illicit and that detainees had not done anything illegal to get arrested”, the media outlet’s source said.

The investigation is now investigating all the circumstances of the case, examining CCTV recordings and service documentation. All the suspects were taken into custody. The Committee is preparing a request for imposing pre-trial restrictions in the form of detention on them.

The public prosecutor’s office in the Region confirmed that there is a serious issue of abuse of official power by police in the District. A criminal case was opened against a police officer who beat 3 people with special police gear next to a police station in the City of Nefteyugansk in 2015, according to Inga Snatkina, the official spokesperson for the supervisory agency in the District. Later, a police officer was prosecuted for beating and torturing of suspects in the City of Surgut. Police officers beat a person after they refused to sign an administrative charge sheet in the City of Nizhnevartovsk.

The Committee may start an investigation into Town Police Department Chief Eduard Baydakov’s activities in case claims of local police officers using 'Gestapo' torturing techniques are confirmed. 

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Eduard Baydakov, Head of the Pyt-Yakh MIA Department

The investigation is going to determine whether he participated in “deliberate suppression of information about police officers violating the law and personally participated in arrangement of the sadist practices”. The investigation may conduct inspections at his previous places of employment, according to reports. He previously worked as the Head of the Town of Pokachi Department of the MIA of the Russian Federation. He also used to work as the Head of the Beloyarsky District, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District Criminal Police Department prior to the 2011 Russian police reform.

Baydakov refused to comment on the arrest of his subordinates.

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Vasily Romanitsa

It is worth mentioning that the Town Department of the MIA led by Vasily Romanitsa had already grabbed the headlines due to instances of unjustified police violence against citizens. One such instance of a traffic officer who beat Sayid Sayidzhonov, a Republic of Tajikistan migrant worker, caused an international scandal; the story attracted attention of Tajikistan media outlets.

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