Russian Police Deny Crowbar Rape of Detainee

MOSCOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti) – An internal police check did not confirm media reports that a construction worker was abused and raped with a crowbar by officers, police in the Krasnodar region of southern Russia said late Friday.

The alleged victim, electrician Martiros Demerchan, said earlier that officers abused him on behalf of a businessman who contracted Demerchan, but did not want to pay him the agreed sum, BBC Russian reported.

Five policemen beat and abused the electrician at a precinct in the city of Sochi until he agreed not to demand the money he was owed, Demerchan was cited as saying by local news website.

Police confirmed that Demerchan was briefly detained on June 12. But a medical examination found no injuries on his body, and other detainees who were at the precinct that day said he did not mention any abuse, Krasnodar police said in a statement.

It remained unclear whether police planned any legal action over Demerchan’s allegations.

Sochi, a subtropical city at the feet of the Caucasus Mountains, is seeing extensive construction ahead of the Winter Olympics, which will take place here this winter. Media have repeatedly reported that workers’ rights are often violated in Sochi, but officials dismissed most claims.

Police rape is not unheard-of in Russia: Last year, a detainee died in Tatarstan’s capital Kazan after officers inserted a champagne bottle in his rectum, and in 2009, four police officers were convicted over a similar incident in Sochi, media reported at the time.


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