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(en) Russia, Torture First, Ask Questions Later (The Case of Azat Miftakhov) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 12 Feb 2019 11:08:54 +0200

Detained Moscow State University Mechanics and Mathematics Grad Student ---- Tells Lawyer Security Forces Beat Him ---- Defense lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina reported to Mediazona that Azat Miftakhov, a graduate student in the mechanics and mathematics department at Moscow State University, told her he was beaten by security forces officers after they detained him. ---- "In the office[at the Balashikha police station - Mediazona]where he was held, they demanded he confess and were upset he asked to call family members or a lawyer. As he told me, one of the officers pressed an object that appeared to be a screwdriver to his chest and said he would use it if[Miftakhov]did not do as they asked," Sidorkina told us. "Then he was beaten on the arms and face. As[Miftakhov]said, they kicked and punched him in the chest. But there were no visible injuries.

Then[one of the security forces officers] wanted to stick the screwdriver in his anus.[Miftakhov]took the threat seriously, but [the officers]did nothing. Ultimately,[Miftakhov]did not tell them anything nor did he sign a confession," said Sidorkina.

She noted that, aside from a bruise on Azat's ear and a mark made by the
screwdriver, there were no visible injuries on his body.

Miftakhov did not know what security agency the men who beat him

Sidorkina added that Miftakhov was detained as part of an investigation
into a violation of Russian Criminal Code Article 223.1 Part 1 (illegal
manufacture of explosives).

According to Sidorkina, Miftakhov was detained on the morning of
February 1. After his dwelling was searched, he was delivered to the
Balashikha police station. In the evening, after he was interrogated by
security services officers, he was taken to hospital, where he was
treated for abrasions from the screwdriver and injected with a sedative.
He was driven back to the police station, but held in the car until
three in the morning.

Sidorkina suspects the security forces did not know how to charge the
detained graduate student.

Ultimately, Miftakhov was placed in a room for people detained on
administrative charges in the Balashikha police station's other
building, which houses its investigative department.

On the morning of February 2, however, he was taken back to the first
building. According to Miftakhov, he was held in a office there for the
entire day, but he was handcuffed. Around seven o'clock in the evening,
he was driven back to the Balashikha police station's investigative
department, where the written record of his detention was read out to him.

At least eleven other people were detained as part of the explosives
investigation. Except for Miftakhov, all of them have been released.

Mediazona has spoken with six of the former detainees. Daniil Galkin
told us that, after the search, FSB officers tortured him with a taser
and tried to force him into testifying against Miftakhov and doing n
interview with a news crew from Channel One.

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