Man’s death in custody leads to more revelations of abuse in Russia

Shooting Deathoriginally by: Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty 
published: 20th March 2012

Albert Zagitov was selling fruit at a Kazan market when police detained him, threatened him with rape, and beat him until he agreed to pay a small fine. Aliya Sadykova was picked up on suspicion of theft in the Tatar capital and also threatened with rape unless she confessed to a crime she says she did not commit.

And Stanislav Kim was beaten so severely by police that he had to be hospitalized. Two officers then visited him in the hospital and threatened further abuse if he lodged a complaint.

All three had been silent about what they claim happened to them — until now, that is.

The unusually swift arrest of five Kazan police officers over the death of a man who was allegedly raped and tortured in police custody last week has led to a spate of Russians revealing their own tales of abuse.

The case that sparked these revelations involves 52-year-old Sergei Nazarov, who was arrested for hooliganism on March 9 and later taken to a hospital, where he died of a ruptured intestine.

He allegedly told doctors that he was severely beaten and raped by police with a champagne bottle.

Thus far, nine police officers have been fired from Kazan’s Dalny district police station, where the alleged incident took place, including the station chief, Sergei Yefremov. Five of the officers are facing criminal charges.

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