One Year On, Investigation into Beating of Lawyer Sapiyat Magomedova has no Results

posted 21 Jun 2011, 07:01 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Jun 2011, 07:05 ]
Source: HRO.org (info), 21/06/11

· Human Rights Defenders  · Dagestan

On June 17 2010 Sapiyat Akhmedovna Magomedova, a lawyer of the law firm Omar A.C. and Partners, was brutally beaten by police in Khasavyurt police station, Republic of Dagestan, where she had gone to meet a client, Malika Evtemirova. Sapiyat Magomedova tried to gain access to her client but was detained a half-hour earlier in blatant violation of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
 
As Memorial Human Rights Centre reports, Sapiyat Magomedova was illegally denied access to her client. Moreover, brutal physical force was used against the young woman. As a result of the beatings, Magomedova was hospitalized in an unconscious state in Khasavyurt. Subsequently, doctors found that Magomedova suffered from a brain contusion, bruising to her chest, soft tissue, and right wrist, as well as lacerations to her chin and lips. In the next two months, the lawyer was treated in clinics in Makhachkala and Moscow.
 
The beating caused a widespread reaction in Dagestan and beyond.
 
After intense public pressure, on 1 July 2010 a criminal investigation into the beating of Magomedova (case No. 06836), was opened against officers of the Special Fire Patrol of the Khasavyurt Police Department for a violation of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (‘abuse of power’ - section 3, subsection ‘A’). However on 2 July a criminal case was opened against Magomedova herself for a violation of Article 319 of the Criminal Code (insulting a government official).
 
As of 17 June 2011 there have been no convictions or arrests with regard to Magomedova's beating, and a preliminary investigation has not yet been completed. Despite the fact that the lawyer immediately identified the perpetrators, even a basic investigation has not been conducted. The investigation is clearly being delayed to protect those who perpetrated the attack against the lawyer. It will be remembered that since the beating of Magomedova, there have been five more instances of violence and abuse against lawyers in Dagestan – all of them women. Dagestan has earned the reputation of a region where the legal profession has become truly dangerous.
 
The Memorial Human Rights Centre calls on the Dagestan authorities, and on the investigative and supervisory authorities of the Republic, to end police immunity and complete the criminal investigation against the police officers who severely beat Sapiyat Magomedova. If the state and government do not want to lose legitimacy in the eyes of society, the criminals in uniform must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
 
20 June 2011

This text is based on a translation adapted by kind permission of Memorial. For more on Sapiyat Magomedova, visit the website of the Memorial Human Rights Centre: http://www.memo.ru/eng/news/2010/12/13/1312102.html.