Abkhazia demands an investigation into the death of a 25-year-old man detained by the police
Police detainee dies in Abkhazia
In Abkhazia, a young man detained by the police ended up in a hospital and died there without regaining consciousness. The deceased’s family claims that the policemen drove him to suicide. The Ombudsman demands an investigation of both this and other cases of violence against detainees.
Anri Ateiba, 25, was detained on August 7 on suspicion of using violence against police officers and was detained in a temporary detention center.
Ateiba was accused a month earlier when he, together with his friends, had disobeyed the police, which demanded them to undergo a medical examination and having physically resisted, he fled.
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The very next day after the arrest, lawyer Igor Sknarin, who defended the interests of Ateib, turned to the prosecutor’s office with a statement that his client had multiple abrasions on his body. He requested that a forensic medical examination be ordered to establish their origin, believing that the injuries had been caused by the police officers.
Now the Prosecutor General’s Office claims that during the examination by the forensic expert of the suspect Ateib, no injuries were found on his body.
However, four days later, on August 12, Ateiba attempted suicide in the isolation cell. In an unconscious state, he was taken to the intensive care unit of the Gagra hospital, and then due to a serious condition (coma 1-2 degrees), he was transported to the Republican hospital in Sukhum. From there he was transported to Georgia, where Anri Ateiba died on September 14 without regaining consciousness.
The mother of the deceased claims that during her son’s stay in the temporary detention center, the Gagra policemen drove him to suicide.
The Prosecutor General’s Office began a pre-investigation assessment of the fact of the death of Atiba.
The Commissioner for Human Rights of Abkhazia, Asida Shakryl, has repeatedly pointed to the facts of the use of violence in detention centers. In Gagra militia, several officers were removed from their posts in connection with the beating of a Russian tourist Artyom Russkikh.
The Russian was beaten in April, and the criminal case was launched only five months later after the publicity that the incident recieved in the media. In addition, all the participants in this beating have not yet been identified.
Only three are accused – the head of the criminal investigation department, Captain Hajarat Bagatelia, and two operas – junior lieutenants.
The Minister of Internal Affairs of Abkhazia Dmitry Dbar dismissed the Gagra policemen from their duties. There were no official statements or apologies from the minister.
“I hope that the law enforcement officers guilty of the death of A. Ateib and other similar facts of the use of violence that took place in places of detention will be punished. At the same time, I appeal to the country’s leadership to immediately take all the necessary measures to prevent flagrant acts of violence by law enforcement officials”, the Ombudsman’s letter to the Prosecutor General says.
Photos on the main page: Hennie Stander, unsplash.com
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