MOSCOW, August 22 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow police are investigating a scholar who claims to have been beaten up by three police officers, a Russian state newspaper said Thursday.
Three policemen purportedly handcuffed Alexander Kulikov, a professor at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, and allegedly smashed his head against a door in his apartment building in Moscow on June 18, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily reported, citing a complaint Kulikov filed against the officers.
The policemen tried to force the 79-year-old professor into their van after he accused one of them of ignoring a complaint from neighbors who said construction workers had left garbage in the elevator, the report said.
After Kulikov filed a complaint over the incident, Moscow’s Gagarin inter-district prosecutor’s office launched an investigation in late July accusing Kulikov of using force against a police officer, the newspaper said.
The prosecutors were not immediately available for comment Thursday.
Victims and human rights activists claim that Russian police arbitrarily round up people, beat and torture them to extract false confessions or extort money.
Russian police have been rocked by a string of scandals connected with abuse of authority in recent months, starting with the March 2012 incident in the Volga River region of Tatarstan, where a detained man was sodomized with a champagne bottle at a police precinct and later bled to death.
In 2011, then-President Dmitry Medvedev launched a broad police reform, slashing the force from 1.2 million to its current 1 million through re-evaluation tests in an attempt to cull corrupt and incompetent officers.
However, trust in police has remained low, with only 18 percent thinking the force has improved as a result of the reform, compared with 72 percent who reported no improvement and 10 percent undecided, according to a survey by independent pollster Levada in February 2012.