Tatiana Moskalkova (left) and Maxim Lapunov. Collage by the Caucasian Knot. Screenshot from video posted by user Press service of Radio Liberty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVj89JZhjPI , The Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation https://ru.wikipedia.org

04 December 2018, 08:23

Ombudsperson favours inquiry into Lapunov's complaint of torture in Chechnya

Tatiana Moskalkova, the Russian Ombudsperson, has stated today that the Prosecutor's Office should be involved in checking the complaint of Maxim Lapunov about the refusal to initiate a case on his arrest and beating up by law enforcers in Chechnya.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on November 26, the Stavropol Territorial Court refused to satisfy Maxim Lapunov's appeal complaint against the refusal to open a case on his arrest and beating up in the building of the criminal investigation in Chechnya.

On October 16, 2017, Maxim Lapunov said that he had been detained in Chechnya on suspicion of homosexuality and spent 12 days in the basement of the criminal investigation department of the Chechen Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). According to his story, they beat him up there, forcing to call members of the Chechen LGBT community and appoint meetings with them, where they would detain them.

According to investigators, the decision to refuse to initiate a case on Maxim Lapunov's application was taken because of his departure to Estonia with his family for permanent residence and non-attendance to testify, Ms Moskalkova has stated today.

"If this information is untrue, he may contact me; and I'm ready to continue working towards opening a criminal case. If he is really ready to come or has arrived to give explanations, but they made a negative decision, in my opinion, the Prosecutor's Office will have to check whether there were really sufficient grounds for such a decision," said Tatiana Moskalkova.

She believes that "investigators could establish a true picture," and treated the refusal to initiate a criminal case as denial of access to justice.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 3, 2018 at 07:21 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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