Tortures in Moscow City Court
In the office for familiarizing with the materials of the case the accused were handcuffed to the wall and beaten.
Dmitry Piskunov, representative of the Public Monitoring Commission (PMC), lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, told Mediazona about tortures on the ground floor of the Moscow City Court. According to him, everything happened in the office for familiarizing with the case materials. The rings mounted in the wall of the office are designed the way one of the prisoners' arms could be fastened to them, while the second one could flip through the materials of his case while sitting at the table. However, according to Uzbek citizen Kamron Usmonov, this room is used for punishments – in particular, he was left manacled in an uncomfortable position for several hours without a chair and table.
20-year-old Usmonov is accused of 8 robbery attacks (however, he himself admits only 6). According to him, everything began with the beating in the holding cell after the conflict with the guards.
This photograph was taken by one of the guard sympathizing with the convict
After talking with Usmonov in the pre-trial detention center, Piskunov claims that the guards regularly deal the prisoner a slap in the face, which do not leave bruises, or simply insult him.
The judge and the prosecutor's office gave no response to the complaints of his lawyer, and the beating stopped only after he cut his veins right during the hearing. However, after that the practice of fixing him to the wall began.
At the end of March Usmonov was sentenced to 16 years of the colony and is now waiting for consideration of the appeal against the verdict.
Another convict Denis Karelin said in an interview with Piskunov that in October last year the guards beat him twice in the Moscow City Court. The reason was also his conflict with one of them. The beaten told the judge what had happened. After that he was also taken to the same place on the pretext of getting acquainted with the case and fastened to the wall, left for a period of 1.5 hours in a position of somewhat lighter version of ‘Palestinian suspension’ (when a person is suspended on the hands connected from behind, die to which they are severely twisted).
According to human rights activists, it is not known whether there are any documents authorizing the use of these means of fixing defendants. At least there are no similar designs in other courts.
The tyranny reigning in the building of the Moscow City Court has been complained about before. In 2015, 60-year-old Muscovite Lyudmila Fadeyeva, accused on a swindling case with real estate, appealed to human rights defenders, and told them that she had been brutally beaten in one of the premises of the building by the guards. She also described this place as the one where they get acquainted with criminal cases – there were tables with chairs, the rings mounted in the wall and there was no video surveillance.
The woman noted that she did not file a petition for familiarization with the documents, which means that the guards had no formal grounds to bring her into this room.
An official check was conducted on the fact of beating Fadeyeva on the initiative of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, about the results of which lawyers were not informed due to official secrets.
The Moscow City Court waived responsibility for what was happening in their building, stating to Mediazona that it was the police that were engaged in guarding prisoners during procedural actions and, accordingly, while familiarizing with the materials of criminal cases. The Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow, who is in charge of the special police regiment responsible for escorting and protecting people under investigation and defendants declined to give comments.
Saburova believes that the Russian authorities violated articles 2 and 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, guaranteeing the right to life, as well as the right to freedom and personal inviolability.