On May 23, parents of anti-fascists accused of terrorism in the "Network" case held a second press conference at the Sakharov Center in Moscow. The conference was attended by mothers of Dmitry Pchelintsev and Andrey Chernov, Ilya Shakursky's lawyer Anatoly Vakhterov, member of the St. Petersburg Public Monitoring Commission Ekaterina Kosarevskaya and head of the organization For Human Rights Lev Ponomarev. They told about the investigation of torture and what they intend to do next.
Traces of torture or bedbug bites
Ekaterina Kosarevskaya, a member of the Public Monitoring Commission of St. Petersburg, told about evidence of torture on Victor Filinkov and Ilya Kapustin.
During the detention of Victor Filinkov, he said that he was subjected to violence, including electric shocks. According to Kosarevskaya, abrasions, bruises and burns were recorded in the journal of medical admission of sick prisoners. Later, members of the PMC documented 33 traces of burn, they were placed at an equal distance of 4 cm.
"Another evidence of torture," Kosarevskaya said, "is a hat with blood traces. He did not part with this hat, but one day he found it in the trash can. Cellmates explained that the prison subculture does not allow you to take the hat off the bucket."
During verification of the application for illegal use of force, investigators failed to obtain video recordings from surveillance cameras. Despite the fact that the members of the Public Monitoring Commission indicated the need to keep records, they were destroyed.
Investigation refused to initiate criminal proceedings. The same decision was made against Ilya Kapustin's statement. At a press conference, journalists were shown a photograph of the traces of burns in the abdomen of Kapustin. In the decision on refusal, investigator refers to the conclusion of the doctor who examined Kapustin: the doctor stated that the conclusion about the origin of burns from the electric shocker was made from the words of the accused, and suggested that the traces could be caused by bites of bedbugs.
Kosarevskaya said that during interrogations, the investigator asked whether they had seen the bites of bedbugs.
"I've often been to the police stations," Kosarevskaya says, "and I've seen bedbugs. They do not bite at an equal distance of 4 cm".
"The investigation has no other evidence of guilt, other than confessions"
Svetlana Pchelintseva, mother of the detainee in Penza, Dmitry Pchelintsev, started her speech with a quote of the most famous prosecutor of Stalin's time Vyshinsky: "Confession is the queen of all evidence." She drew attention to the fact that all the evidence in the "Network" case is based solely on the confessions of the accused themselves:
"White medical gloves, pulse check, what a horrifying professional approach to torture these people have. They are people with a perverted consciousness and a clear propensity for sadism."
She stressed that all Penza figurants who were tortured, describe them this way — despite the fact that they are unable to communicate with each other. On May 23, the day of the press conference, Dmitry was scheduled to have another interrogation, and he was going to refuse confessions again with a health risk. He had already refused confessions earlier, but, as the parents and the lawyer believe, stipulated himself again under torture.
"If he confesses his guilt again, it means he is tortured again," Svetlana Pchelintseva said.
"When my son started receiving letters of support... he smiled for the first time"
Mother of Andrey Chernov Tatyana thanked the activists and indifferent people who conduct actions of solidarity with the accused and draw public attention to the problem of torture in the country. Support of thousands of people and actions in support of the accused give them strength to resist the repressive system:
"When my son started receiving letters of support... he smiled for the first time."
The woman believes that it was thanks to public pressure that the investigators failed to quickly fabricate the criminal case.
«7x7»’s correspondent asked parents and lawyer whether torture on any of the accused is still ongoing. Shakursky's lawyer Anatoly Vakhterov suggested that now, when the case is under serious public control, the employees of the SIZO and the FSB will not dare to continue the torture. In Penza, the parents of the accused met with the leadership of the SIZO, they were assured that the administration was fully responsible for everything that could happen to their children.
"Pchelintsev and Shakursky are now back to the original testimony, which means they believed that violence would not be used against them," said the lawyer.
He prepared all the documents for emergency appeal to the ECHR, and if his ward claims violence, the country's leadership will have to explain this incident within three days. Ekaterina Kosarevskaya considers the conditions in the pre-trial detention facility to be torture.
Representative of the organization Boevoe Bratstvo Gennady Leontiev addressed mothers of the accused. During the press conference, he repeatedly interrupted the speakers and agreed to wait only under the threat of removal. He asked the mothers of the accused, whether their children watched Ukrainian news, and doubted that the FSB and SIZO officers could torture anyone:
"Prison is a God-created institution, we would be slaughtered and blown up without it."
In autumn of 2017, six young men were detained by the siloviki: in Penza, anti-fascists Yegor Zorin, Ilya Shakursky, Vasily Kuksov, Andrei Chernov and Dmitry Pchelintsev, in St. Petersburg — Arman Sagynbaev. Some of them were engaged in airsoft and called themselves anti-fascists and anarchists. In the case of involvement in the "Network" there are three more — Victor Filinkov, Igor Shishkin and Julius Boyarshinov.
According to the FSB, "Network" was allegedly active not only in Penza and St. Petersburg, but also in Moscow and Belarus.
Elena Kriven, «7x7»