Not long ago, I published an article on this blog about Timur Idalov, a Chechen law student who had the bad luck to get into a car accident with the wrong person, and now sits in jail despite the overwhelming clarity of his innocence.
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Recently I came across a letter from his wife in my mailbox, which tells of the gruesome beatings and violence Timur has suffered and continues to suffer at the hands of the state. She writes:
“In relation to Timur they are committing true lawlessness and iniquity.
The fact is that they have beaten him up and thrown him in the dungeon. And they want to hang on him the article assault on an employee of a place of deprivation of liberty. As if though he had assaulted the chief of the SIZO [Investigative isolator, the notorious Soviet pre-trial detention centers described by Solzhenitsyn in his epic Gulag Archipelago and virtually unchanged since then–Trans.].
There are eyewitnesses from among the arrestees, who can confirm thefact of prevocational actions on the part of the chief of the SIZO andhis subordinates. They led Timur out of the cell, put handcuffs on himand began to beat him up. No doubt this is being done under thepressure of the investigators, who are just not able to complete theinvestigation with the respect to the case.
The term of holding Timurin detention is extended o 10 November. And in the court they said thatthey will not extend any more. And so the old stunt comes into action:to find a reason to hold in detention using any methods. Into place goprovocations, so the investigation could win time. On 29 September theydid not allow a lawyer to Timur.
…I turn to you with a request: in some manner to commit to publicitythis fact of pressure on my husband on the part of employees of theSIZO. I have already turned to the editorial boards of variousnewspapers and to the television programme «Dezhurnaya chast» [a policeshow–Trans.]. But nobody wanted to get involved with this case».
I telephoned Timur Idalov’s lawyer Artyom Sarbashev. Artyom Borisovichrecounted the following. On 30 September of the year 2009 he hadvisited Timur in the Mozhaisky SIZO. Timur was with traces of batteryon the face. He passed on sheets of his ase with traces of blood onthem. Wrote a declaration to the procuracy of Mozhaisky Rayon with arequest to conduct an inquest with respect to the fact of his beating.The lawyer met also with the deputy chief of the SIZO (the chief is onvacation).
According to the version of the depchief, Timur himselfassaulted the chief. Out of the blue. (I will note that I have seenvarious prisoners in Russian jails and SIZOs, but ones who would for noreason assault not simply an employee of the SIZO, but the chief – Ihave not seen once). The lawyer also met with the investigator of theprocuracy by whom Idalov’s declaration had been received. He promisedto get to the bottom of what had happened.
To this I will add that the investigation with respect to the case ofthe narcotics that had supposedly been discovered on Timur Idalov isgoing on since the summer of the year 2008. The court did not find theversion of the investigation proven and sent the case off for asupplementary inquest. The inquest just doesn’t seem to end, while theinvestigators themselves the lawyer can not find.
Timur Idalov prior to arrest (Photo from Idalov’s family archive)