Do the police protect us?
On 11 October, a local resident, Yury Arapin, (b. 1971) was admitted to Chernihiv City Hospital No. 2. 11
He was diagnosed as having a closed head injury and concussion, and a closed injury to the neck-bone. Yurys relatives contacted our editorial office immediately and briefly explained the reasons. In order to find out in more detail what happened that evening, I spoke to the victim himself.
I discovered that on 8 October at around 19.20 he was returning home from the construction site where he works as a driver. He was tired and therefore swaying a little. In the district of Remzavod two patrol officers came up to him. One began shouting and swearing, that how dare he in a such a state walk around their district. They began pushing Yury, and one of the officers, pinning his arms behind his back, pulled out of the pocket of his jeans money amounting to 200 USD, 300 UH and 10 Euros (Yury was supposed to have paid the builders that day, but they postponed the period of payment). When the victim began screaming and calling for help, the patrol officers dragged him into their base station and drew up a protocol which Yury refused to sign. They began beating him: hitting, kicking and using rubber batons, as well as a gas can (presumably so that he couldnt see his torturers properly). The officer who was in the base went out onto the street, Yury says, so as not to see it. In the base, Yury Arapin lost consciousness several times. When he came to, the patrol officers did not forget their victors duties. When the victim said that hed complain to the prosecutor, one of them said that he wasnt frightened and couldnt give a damn. According to the victim, he was tortured for about 40 minutes, and then, having removed the handcuffs which he had on all the time in the base, they pushed him out onto the street, saying dont let us see you again.
The victim hot home by himself, and the next day, with severe giddiness, he went to an injuries unit. According to the head of the neurology department of Chernihiv City Hospital No. 2, Olha Fedorova, at first he was treated as an outpatient, but since this did not help as expected, it was decided to admit him.
On 11 October Yury attempted to lodge a complaint with the prosecutors office, but was sent from office to office and nobody wanted to register the complaint against the patrol officers. it was only on 16 October, when the victim went to the prosecutors office with a friend who also, by the way, works in aw enforcement that they received his complaint.
At present Yury is in the neurology department of Chernihiv City Hospital No. 2. His condition has improved somewhat, but he still sometimes experiences pain the neck.
How this story ends, time will tell. We can only hope that the prosecutors office investigators will not consider the fact that the torturers were, so to speak, their colleagues, and that the culprits will be punished!
P.S. When the issue was about to go to print we learned that on 27 October a Public Committee was organized attached to the Chernihiv Region department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is supposed to concern itself with the rights of those detained or suspected of a crime, and also to fight torture , cruel or humiliating treatment or punishment. There is therefore a hope that the Public Council can ascertain the circumstances of all strange events involving officers of public order and will help bring the police and the public closer.
3 October 2006
No. 44(2276), Chernihiv