Police violate citizens’ rights all across Russia – Prosecutor General’s Office

Moscow Traffic file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 13 (Interfax) – The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office referred a letter to the Interior Ministry after investigating police abuses jointly with regional prosecutors, claiming that police violate the law on administrative offences all across Russia.

“Police violate citizens’ rights and the Code of Administrative Offences all across Russia. Police have even started criminal cases against deceased citizens in order to demonstrate ‘effective’ work in the Saratov region. In the Volgograd region administrative charges were brought against children without the approval of local commissions for minors’ affairs. Thirty-nine criminal cases have been started in the Penza Region into fraud committed by police while drawing up reports on administrative offences,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said on its Web site on Tuesday.

The Prosecutor General’s Office referred a written warning to the Interior Minster after the inquiry, it said.

“In numerous instances, reports on administrative offences were drawn up with violations of the law, while the timeframe of referring administrative cases to courts was not observed, the letter says.

“Abuses have been uncovered in most of Russia’s regions, including in Bashkortostan, Buryatia, Mariy-El, Tyva, in the Amur, Astrakhan, Irkutsk, Kostroma, Kursk, Lipetsk, Moscow, Murmansk, Oryol, Penza, Pskov, Tambov, Tula and Ulyanovsk regions, in the Jewish Autonomous Region and in the Khanty-Mansiisk Autonomous District,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said.

Citizens’ rights are violated when administrative cases are handled, it said. “Police do not inform citizens of their rights and liability; the mitigating circumstances are disregarded, copies of police orders are not given to suspects and administrative cases are heard after the expiration of the period of limitation,” it also said.

“Traffic police officials have an extensive record of abuses which breed corruption and other serious offenses. A police officer of the Sortavalsky Traffic Police Department in Karelia was noticed driving under the influence, but he was not disqualified, which led to two deaths in a traffic accident. A criminal case was started into the incident on negligence charges. Prosecutors in the Kemerovo region appealed 11 orders, issued by the traffic police in Novokuznetsk, which they said were false. The traffic policemen at fault were prosecuted on counts of abuse of authority and fraud.

Police in Karelia, in Mariy-El and in the Kirov, Kurgan, Kursk and Lipetsk regions illegally used administrative compulsion measures. The Kursk regional prosecutor started a criminal case against a police officer who had drawn up a false report on a search.

Citizens detained by police are often held in conditions threatening their life and health, the Prosecutor General’s Office said. In the Krasnoyarsk Territory people detained on administrative counts were held together with inmates who were infected with serious diseases and used drugs. In Mariy El, citizens detained on administrative counts were held together with criminals. The Prosecutor’s Office of the Komi Republic uncovered instances when citizens were illegally held in detention facilities where they were denied food, sleep and sufficient hygiene.

Prosecutors appealed 140,000 police orders in 2011-2012, the Prosecutor General’s Office said.