Russia Police Torture Charges Cause Public Outrage
By Vladimir Isachenkov
MOSCOW — Russia's top investigative agency filed new charges Thursday against police officers accused of torturing detainees amid growing public outrage over police brutality.
The Investigative Committee said it had charged four officers in the Siberian city of Novokuznetsk in the torture death of a detainee. It also leveled new accusations against a police officer in the Volga River city of Kazan who is already in custody on charges of torturing a man to death.
Victims and human rights activists say Russian police routinely use torture to extract false confessions from those they have arbitrarily rounded up. They say police reforms undertaken by President Dmitry Medvedev have failed to stop or even contain police crimes and achieved little beyond changing the force's name.
Kazan resident Sergei Nazarov died earlier this month of injuries suffered when police officers allegedly sodomized him with a champagne bottle. His case has caused outrage across Russia and drawn calls for an urgent overhaul of a force long accused of corruption and brutality.