Thursday, May 06, 2010

How the Nizhniy Novgorod Police Celebrated May Day (Russia)

A Nizhny Novgorod May Day with the Gestapo: The Arrest and Torture of
Antifascists at the Avtozavod District Police Precinct

May First in Nizhniy Novgorod Turned into a Celebration of Genuine Police

A group of young people strolling in the Avtozavod District Park of Culture
and Rest aroused the suspicions of police officers. For the OMON, the crowd
of 14 people and their outward appearance (several of them were members of
the antifa movement) served as an excellent excuse for arrest, torture, and
the application of the most perverse “investigative techniques.” According to
the detainees, the police did not even explain to them what they had been
taken in for. When one of the fellows attempted to ask for the surname and ID
of the officer arresting him, the police began beating him and kicking his
legs into the “splits” position.

The young men were taken to the Avtozavod District police precinct, where
were subjected to torture and beatings first by OMON officers, then by
officers from the Center for Extremism Prevention (Center “E”) who arrived at
the precinct.

The detainees were first tortured by OMON officers, who forced them to sit
handcuffed in a crouching position with their arms behind their heads for at
least half an hour. In this position, a person’s muscles begin to cramp, but
any attempt to move was punished with blows delivered through pea-jackets (so
as not to leave any bruises) with billy clubs. The detainees were also forced
to do push-ups while the police officers stepped on their hands.
This “phys-ed lesson” was accompanied by curses and anti-Semitic, homophobic,
and flagrantly fascist utterances on the part of the police.

Here is an excerpt from a conversation between one of the torture victims and
his tormenter:

OMON Officer: You’re really doing them push-ups! You some kind of big athlete?

Antifascist: Yes.

OMON Officer: Maybe you’d like to go toe to toe? (laughs)

Antifascist: Let’s do it.

OMON Officer: You some kind of badass?

Antifascist: It’s better than doing push-ups.

Center “E” officers then arrived at the scene. In retrospect, all the
administered by the OMON came to seem not so “egregious.”

One of the antifascists was beaten on the kidneys through pea-jackets. When
this had no effect, he was trussed up with ropes in a contorted position and
covered with pea-jackets. Two officers sat on him and held him in this pose
for half an hour. Any movement on their or his part caused him excruciating
pain. They demanded that he sign a piece of paper indicating his consent to
cooperate with Center “E”. After two hours of interrogation, he was forced to
incriminate himself by confessing on videotape that he had attempted to
organize a (failed) attack on neo-Nazis.

Center “E” officers threatened to give the ne0-Nazis all their video
recordings (in which the faces of the antifascists are visible) as well their
home addresses and other information. In this way they attempted to blackmail
the detainees into signing cooperation agreements with Center “E”.

One of the antifascists was intentionally led into a room at the same
where detained neo-Nazis were being processed. (The police were much more
polite in their treatment of them. They did not torture them, but only copied
their passport information and fingerprinted them.) The Center “E” officers
addressed the antifascist by his nickname, which is known to the Nazis, and
threatened to give them his address. As one officer said to him, “You do
realize that if we leak your address to the boneheads they’ll kill you?”

During interrogations, Center “E” officers held open the eyelids of the
detainees and threatened to extinguish their cigarette butts in their
eyeballs. They also beat them on the kidneys. The entire proceedings were
videotaped, and the officers warned that the detainees would have problems at
work and school if they refused to cooperate.

As this was going on, the well-known Nizhniy Novgorod neo-fascist Maxim (aka
Shaggy) was freely walking about the precinct house. He had already
videotaped the antifascists unhindered when the police were detaining them in
the park. In neo-Nazi circles, it is widely known that this person is a
member of DPNI (the Movement against Illegal Immigration.) He was also a
friend of Sergei “Onyx” Ionnikov, who had already been convicted and served
time for inciting ethnic hatred and is now under arrest once again, this time
for the murder of a young Nizhniy Novgorod man. There is evidence that Maxim
aka “Shaggy” was also detained after the attack in which the young man was

All this circumstantial evidence forces us to conclude that Center “E” uses
DPNI members as provocateurs. The antifascists overheard one officer
say, “That Oleg Ivanov fucked me over again. He promised there would be
Nazi-autonomes, but they didn’t show up!” (Oleg Ivanov is the leader of
DPNI’s Nizhniy Novgorod branch.)

The young people were released after five hours in custody. They were
charged with swearing in public and sentenced to pay an administrative fine.
Just imagine it: 14 antifascists gather in a public place and swear loudly!
Such actions are not only deserving of indignation, but also of the most
Inquisition-like tortures and punishments. This, apparently, is
the “extremism” that Center “E” is charged with combatting.

After the beatings he underwent, one of the detainees was barely able to
he is now recovering at home. None of the detainees was able to understand
the reason for the cruel treatment they suffered.

(also for photos)

in Russian:

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