Dagestan: Charges Brought Against Police Officers who Beat Lawyer Sapiyat Magomedova

posted 20 Jul 2011, 07:25 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 20 Jul 2011, 07:40 ]
20 July 2011

Translation by Memorial

On July 15, 2011, an investigator at the Investigation Department of the Russian Federation Investigation Committee for the Republic of Dagestan, Khalimov Abdulkhalim set forth a ruling on charging the police officers who, on June 17, 2010, beat Sapiyat Akhmedovna Magomedova, a lawyer at the firm “A.S. Omarov and Partners.”

Human Rights Center “Memorial” carefully followed investigation of this resonant case. Recall that on June 17, 2010 in the territory Khasavyurtovsky Department of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Dagestan, a young female lawyer was brutally beaten in the course of performing her work duties. Magomedova arrived at the Department of Internal Affairs to meet with her client, who had been detained that same day, M. Yevtermirova. However, police officers who had participated in detaining Yevtemirova stopped and beat her in the courtyard of the city department building. As a result, the unconscious Magomedova was hospitalized in the Khasavyurt City Hospital. Doctors later determined that she had suffered a concussion, bruising of the chest and soft tissue of the right hand, cutting wounds of chin and mouth (http://www.memo.ru/eng/news/2011/06/20/2006112.html).

Four of the five police officers who participated in the beating of Sapiyat Magomedova – the commander of a special police fire patrol-post service in the Khasavyurtovsky Department of Interior Affairs B. Magdiev, as well as employees of that same police department N. Mollaev, S. Magomedov, and A. Yusupov - were charged with subsection “a” part 3 article 286 (commission of an official action clearly beyond its mandate and involving a substantial violation of the rights and lawful interests of individuals or organizations or interests protected by lawful society or the state by force or threat of violence) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Another police officer participated in the beating, but Sapiyat Magomedova was unable to identify him with certainty, and he was not charged in the case. Article 286 requires a sentence of imprisonment for a term of three to ten years, and also the loss of the right to occupy certain posts or practice certain activities for up to three years. All of the defendents were given pretrial restrictions on travel.

Sapiyat Magomedova's beating caused a wave of outrage both within the country and outside of its borders. Information about the former was published in the republican, federal and foreign press. European politicians sent inquiries to Russian leadership and promised to closely monitor investigation of the case. The June 22, 2010 episode of “Justice,” a program on the federal “REN” television channel, was dedicated to the beating of Magomedova, featuring Yevtemirova. M. Magomedov, President of the Republic of Dagestan, took the case of the beating of a lawyer under his personal control. He gave orders to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the facts presented, the results of which will bring those who are guilty into statutory responsibility.

Only as a result of intense public pressure was the beating of Sapiyat Magomedova made into a criminal case number 06836 on July 1, 2010 on the grounds of an offense under subsection "a" part 3. article 286 (abuse of power) of the Russian Federation Criminal Code in respect to employees of the special police fire patrol-post service in the Khasavyurtovsky Department of Interior Affairs. However, the next day a case was also opened against Magomedova under article 319 (insulting a government official) of the Criminal Code.

Human Rights Centre "Memorial" has repeatedly called on the authorities of the Republic of Dagestan, the investigative and supervisory authorities of the republic put an end to impunity and to complete a criminal investigation against the police officers who severely beat Sapiyat Magomedov. "Memorial" welcomes the efforts of investigative bodies and authorities of the Republic of Dagestan to achieve justice in the beating of the lawyer Magomedova.

Only the certainty of punishment for public servants who have committed crimes against the citizens, can change for the better situation in this volatile republic.

July 20, 2011

Human Rights Center Memorial, 127051, Russia, Moscow, Maly Karetny, 12
tel: +7 (495) 225-3118, fax: +7 (495) 624-2025, email: memhrc@memo.ru