Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev on Thursday fired the head of a district police department in Russia’s Volga Republic of Tatarstan where a detainee died in custody after police allegedly sodomized him with a bottle.
Tatarstan’s Interior Minister Asgat Safarov was reprimanded over the incident.
"The incident was a true lesson for us and we will do our best to avoid such mistakes in future. I do not shift my blame on my subordinates and I’m ready to face any punishment,” Safarov said at an Interior Ministry video linkup.
He added that all police officers working in the Dalniy police department in Kazan will undergo polygraph tests.
The statement was made after Nurgaliyev said police chiefs bear “innate responsibility” for their subordinates’ misdeeds.
"We mustn’t shift responsibility on each other… Everything that happens in any group takes place because of general connivance,” he said.
About 100 people held a picket outside Tatarstan’s Interior Ministry building demanding the dismissal of the republic’s interior minister, Mayak radio reported.
The picketers brought about a dozen inflatable toys symbolizing champagne bottles and chanted “Shame!”
Sergei Nazarov, 52, died in custody on March 10, a day after being arrested in the republic’s capital of Kazan on charges of petty hooliganism. He was taken to hospital complaining of stomach pains and died soon after of intestinal injuries.
Five police officers suspected of torturing Nazarov have already been discharged from the police and detained.
The republic’s Interior Ministry earlier said other people could also have suffered at the policemen’s hands. The Agora human rights association said at least six people claim they have been tortured and threatened while in custody in the same police department.