03 October 2005, 00:41

Justice in service

The Kabardino-Balkar Prosecutor's Office has opened a criminal case over beating of a Muslim woman, Elena Gasiyev, by an unknown police officer.

This incident took place on 20 July this year and was covered extensively by the independent media. Elena Gasiyev, a 19-year-old resident of Nalchik, went to a shop near her house, wearing a burqa, when an unknown man in civil clothes who introduced himself as a police officer detained her. He delivered the woman to the 1st Division of Internal Affairs in Nalchik, led her into an office and demanded there that she should sign some papers. When she refused to do so, the man beat her.

The Kabardino-Balkar Prosecutor's Office refused to open a criminal case, calling Ms Gasiyev's statement into question. However, under public pressure (the Kabardino-Balkar Human Rights Centre had addressed Dmitry Kozak, the Russian president's envoy to the South federal district, over this case) it finally did.

As part of the investigation, it was suggested that Ms Gasiyev should identify the office where she had been beaten, according to her lawyer, Larissa Drogov. Behind the doors at which she pointed, there turned out to be a non-working room. Larissa Drogov believes though that the room might have been re-equipped since then.

Author: Lyudmila Maratova, CK correspondent;

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