30 November 2021
by Lev Ponomarev, human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group, head of the civic human rights project For Human Rights
Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Эхо Москвы, 30.11.2021]
“THIS MESSAGE (MATERIAL) WAS CREATED AND (OR) DISTRIBUTED BY A FOREIGN MEDIA OUTLET PERFORMING THE FUNCTIONS OF A FOREIGN AGENT AND (OR) A RUSSIAN LEGAL ENTITY PERFORMING THE FUNCTIONS OF A FOREIGN AGENT.”
An amazing thing.
The chair of the Investigative Committee, Putin’s classmate, appointed by him more than 10 years ago, issues orders and decrees mandatory for all officers of the Investigative Committee, personally signs extensions of investigations in special cases, takes the most important cases under his personal control, etc.,…
A very important position. Ten years is a long time. Two and a half presidential terms, by the old measures.
And here is Bastrykin at the microphone.
“For Faith, Tsar and Fatherland!” – he proclaims, addressing law students, complaining a little about the fact that it is impossible to catch criminals ‘without genes’, and Xi Jinping is respected by the Americans.
What is there in common between the Constitution of the Russian Federation and Aleksandr Ivanovich’s head?
There is no tsar in either one.
This is just the latest extravagant stunt by the man who heads the key agency responsible for investigating crimes in Russia. Is this “extremism in the line of duty,” or just a passing “encroachment on the foundations of the constitutional order?
People have been jailed for less. True, of course, this did not have any bearing on the security forces, but we, human rights activists, of course, do not welcome criminal prosecutions of that kind.
Speaking of human rights activists. It so happened that in his speech Bastrykin addressed me and my colleagues personally.
“And where are all the human rights defenders who would like to participate in conversations, discussions?” – he asked.
And I answer: I’m here. I want to participate in “conversations and discussions.” And one of the main issues I would like to discuss is the situation with the investigation of torture and mass rape in pre-trial detention facilities in Irkutsk region.
A criminal investigation into torture has been opened. There are so far 25 victims in the case, dozens more are waiting to be classified as such. There is only one accused, who beat, but did not rape. The leadership of the local department of the Federal Penitentiary Service has not been suspended and continues to influence on course of the investigation. The case is being handled by the local Investigative Committee, which is also handling the investigation into the prison riots. As part of the investigation into the riots, the inmates were raped and tortured and forced to incriminate themselves and others, something about which the Investigative Committee could not have been unaware.
In a word, there is a lot to talk about with the chair of the Investigative Committee.
P.S. Subscribe to my new youtube-канал – I’m trying to put up new videos every week. And be sure to support the civic human rights project For Human Rights.
* The Russian authorities consider Memorial a foreign agent.
The video mentions: Memorial, which Russian authorities consider a foreign agent; and Network – a terrorist organization banned in Russia.
Translated by Rights in Russia