What Zaur Dadaev told the Public Oversight Commission

posted 19 Mar 2015, 14:23 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Mar 2015, 14:56 ]
16 March 2015

Source: HRO.org (info

By Elena Masiuk, Novaya gazeta columnist, member of the Presidential Human Rights Council, member of Public Oversight Commission for Moscow
On 14th March (2015) we, as members of the Moscow Public Oversight Commission (POC), Aleksandr Kulikovsky and Elena Masiuk, visited those held in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention facility over the murder of Boris Nemtsov: Zaur Dadaev and the brothers Anzor and Shahid Gubashev. 

The case investigator demanded from us a signed agreement on the non-disclosure of evidence from the preliminary investigation. I refused. I don’t know anything that has been forbidden yet, but they are already threatening me with criminal charges.

The investigator went on to say that we don’t have the right to disclose to any “third person” anything we find out. We asked: but if we know about the violation of the law regarding those who are arrested and accused, then shouldn’t we inform the prosecutor? The investigator, without hesitating for one second answered: “You also cannot tell the prosecutor: he’s a third person!”

Highly-placed staff members of the Lefortovo pre-trial detention centre, accompanying the members of POC, continually interfere in the conversation between the observers and the detainees, interrupting, and then banning discussion about everything except the toilets, food and beds.

In such circumstances I can regard the demand of the investigator about the signed statement only as an attempt to inspire fear and put pressure on the members of the POC.

Now to be more specific about those arrested.

Zaur Dadaev, Anzor and Shahid Gubashev confirmed to the members of POC the circumstances of their arrest, previously stated in the report from Human Rights Council member Andrei Babushkin. Zaur Dadaev said that they held him for perhaps three days in a cellar, handcuffed to a radiator. They applied electric shocks to him, and put a sack over his head. Dadaev’s statements about this were not registered in the proper manner by the staff of the pre-trial detention centre, and were not referred to the correct quarters.

The members of the POC believe that these violations of the process of registration and consideration of oral evidence about illegal actions of unidentified persons with regard to Dadaev must be eliminated. The circumstances of arrest outlined by Dadaev are not connected with the criminal case with respect to which he is being investigated, and must be considered in accordance with Articles 144 and 145 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. In the presence of staff of the Lefortovo pre-trial detention centre and before a video camera, Zaur Dadaev accepted the offer of the Committee Against Torture to make use of their lawyers to begin a criminal investigation into the facts related to their torture and the use of violence.

Zaur Dadaev and Shahid Gubashev are asking their relatives to hire lawyers for them. The state-assigned lawyer met with Dadaev twice. The first time was 7th March at the Investigative Committee and the second time was on 13th March in the pre-trial detention centre. According to Shahid Gubashev, no lawyer at all has been to see him.

In addition, Dadaev is asking relatives to send him clothing, since he has none of his own in Lefortovo.

Zaur Dadaev complains that at night he has severe leg pains which prevent him from sleeping. His cellmate confirms this. In the words of Dadaev, the leg pains came after the electric shocks.

From an editorial in Novaya gazeta:

'All evidence which has been given by the suspects in the murder of Boris Nemtsov regarding the circumstances of their arrest must categorically must be investigated. At the same time, we would like to point out that the interrogation of Zaur Dadaev is recorded on video and the jury members can, if the case gets to court, make a full assessment of the state of the accused Dadaev during the investigation. However at the moment it is important for the public to get an objective assessment from independent medical experts on the state of health of those arrested in the murder case of Boris Nemtsov. Moreover, Zaur Dadaev was arrested on 5th March 2015 in Ingushetia and remanded in custody by the Basmanny court in Moscow on 8th March – how does this relate to the Dadaev’s words about being held in a cellar for the duration of three days?'

Source: Novaya gazeta 

Translated by Frances Robson