26 December 2013
In Russian: Fond 'V zashchitu prav zakliuchennykh'
Public Monitoring Commission for the independent monitoring of human rights in places of detention
Chelyabinsk region, 454000, Elkina St., 45
Monitoring group led by N.A. Schur
Report on an inspection concerning the observance of the rights of citizens detained in
Federal Government Institution Pre-Trial Detention Centre 1 of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia, Chelyabinsk Region
Date and time of inspection: 26.12.2013/09.20 – 11.58
Members of group of PMC inspectors:
Address of institution: 454006, Chelyabinsk, Rossiiskaya St., 53А
Telephone number of duty office: 8(351)264-11-15
Director of institution: Colonel (of Ministry of Interior) Stytschenko Nikolai Nikolaevich
Number of detainees: ---
Purpose of the inspection: to verify reports that the prisoner Kotiurin V.V. had been beaten by convoy guards from the local court.
List of places inspected: Cell 211 where the prisoner Kotiurin V.V. is being held.
Kotiurin Vladimir Valerievich is currently a defendant at the Kunashaksky district court of Chelyabinsk Region, where proceedings have been brought against him in connection with an attack on a court bailiff. Kotiurin and his defence team firmly believe that the trial is only for show and that the accusations against him have been fabricated in response to steps taken by Kotiurin to uncover a corruption racket involving the region’s local government, law-enforcement and courts. Vladimir Kotiurin is regarded as a “people’s advocate and fighter for the truth” among the local population in the Kunashaksky district.
On 26 December Kotiurin was to attend a court hearing in the Kunashaksky court, but the day before, on 25 December, he was forcibly transferred to Chelyabinsk Regional Court. During his transfer there and back, and while he was in the building of the Chelyabinsk Regional Court, Kotiurin was brutally beaten, insulted and cruelly treated by his guards (cf. attached complaint by Kotiurin). At the time of the inspection Kotiurin had a large number of bruises on his right thigh, scratches on his head and traces of strangulation on his neck (the prisoner stated that while some of the guards had dragged him along by a rubber stick set between his handcuffs and another held him tightly by the neck, nearly strangling him). Kotiurin still found it hard to move his hands and could not feel his thumbs.
Kotiurin was examined by a doctor from Pre-Trial Detention Centre 1 in the presence of the PMC members. The staff of the centre’s isolation unit videoed the examination and Kotiurin’s account of events and other procedures.
The PMC members inspected the record of events and reports by staff of the pre-trial detention centre, including a report by the medical attendant who examined Kotiurin following his arrival from the regional court. The bodily harm suffered by Kotiurin V.V. was recorded in all documents.
COMMISSION’S COMMENTS AND CONCLUSIONS:
The Commission has obtained objective proof that the prisoner Kotiurin Vladimir Valerievich suffered bodily harm while he was being transferred to Chelyabisnk Regional Court.
The Commission believes that there are indications that a criminal offence was committed against Kotiurin V.V. by the Chelyabinsk police guards, and believes that the appropriate proceedings must be initiated by the Investigative Committee.
The Commission believes that there is a genuine risk to the life of V.V. Kotiurin from the law-enforcement agencies of the Kunashaksky district, and is concerned that possibly criminal actions by certain judges of both Kunashaksky district court and Chelyabinsk Regional Court are evident in this case.
The Commission believes that all court proceedings relating to the criminal case against Kotiurin V.V. should be adjourned until the above events have been clarified in detail; that Kotiurin V.V. should not be transferred anywhere from Chelyabinsk Pre-Trial Detention Centre No. 1; and that he should be provided with the necessary medical care.
The Commission believes that all of the video recordings of Kotiurin V.V. taken by the staff of Pre-Trial Detention Centre No. 1 should be retained without exception, and copies of these videos should be provided to the PMC for the Chelyabinsk Region.
Group of PMC inspectors:
Translated by Joanne Reynolds