The prosecutor’s office of the Gagra district of the self-proclaimed republic of Abkhazia opened a criminal case against three members of the district police. They are suspected of torturing the Russian Artem Russkikh, who came to Gagra on vacation. About it informs press service of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Abkhazia.
The defendants in the case were the head of the department for combating property crimes of the Criminal Investigation Department Khajarat Bagateliya, the detective Timur Anshba, the district police officer Dmitry Dzhalagoniya. Other security officials are also suspected of using violence with the use of weapons and special equipment.
“By the order of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Bagatelia and Jalagonia were removed from their official duties,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
On April 7, militiamen patrolled the observation deck near Mamzyshkha Mountain and spotted a resident of St. Petersburg, Artem Russkikh. Interior Ministry officers detained a tourist under the pretext that he was allegedly involved in drug trafficking. The Russian was taken to the Internal Affairs Directorate, examined and released at about 23:00, but then he was again taken to the police station.
Then the Interior Ministry officers detained Artem’s wife Darya Morozova and their friend Polina Salmina. The girls were interrogated, their room at the Black Sea Hotel was searched and again taken to the Department of Internal Affairs. There the security officials hit the Russians on the body several times and showed them a pistol “with the aim of intimidation.” After that, the Petersburger was taken to a vacant lot, where he was beaten with a rubber truncheon.
The police wanted to force the Russians to confess to the drug trade. “They put me against the wall, hands against the door, and began to beat me on the kidneys from behind,” the victim recalled.
The siloviki took the tourist to a mountain river, where they dipped him into the ice water several times. Artem Russkikh then developed otitis media, writes Mediazona.
Under pressure, the Russian confessed, stating that he allegedly made a bookmark. He promised to show the place where he hid the drugs. Not finding the prohibited substances in the indicated place, the policemen again beat the resting person and threatened that they would plant drugs on him themselves. At 06:00 the detainee was released.
Doctors recorded a fracture of three ribs on the right side of the tourist, trauma to the right kidney, multiple bruises, abrasions and bruises on the face, head, body and limbs.
Initially, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Abkhazia denied information about the beating of a tourist.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the officers of the Gagra Department of Internal Affairs “substantially violated the rights and legitimate interests of citizens” of the Russians, Morozova and Salmina, “caused damage to the prestige of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Abkhazia” and “discredited the authority of the officers of the Department of Internal Affairs in the Gagra District.”