The entire staff of a district police squad in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, was dismissed on Friday following an incident in which a suspect was allegedly killed in custody after officers sodomized him with a champagne bottle, a top police spokeswoman said.
“The entire personnel of the police squad is being transferred out, the majority of them will be fired," chief spokeswoman Irina Nizhelskaya said. "After thorough checks, some of them might stay, but today the squad has been disbanded.”.
The Dalniy district squad consisted of 81 people. Nizhelskaya quoted senior officers in the republic’s police as saying that the current criminal investigations against the squad members were only the beginning. Five police officers have been detained over the incident so far.
Sergei Nazarov, 52, died in custody on March 10, a day after being arrested on minor theft charges. He was taken to hospital complaining of stomach pains and died soon after of intestinal injuries.
Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev sacked the head of a district police department in Tatarstan on Thursday, and reprimanded the republic's Interior Minister Asgat Safarov over the incident.
About 100 people held a picket outside Tatarstan’s Interior Ministry headquarters on Thursday, demanding the dismissal of the republic’s interior minister, Mayak radio reported.
The protesters waved inflatable champagne bottle toys and chanted “Shame!”