“A criminal investigation is needed to establish the reasons of his death”
We want the authorities to open a criminal investigation. For the moment, they’ve refused, but we hope that this video will change their minds. This would allow for experts to weigh in and establish a link between the policemen’s behaviour and Drozdov’s death.Most detention cells are equipped with security cameras. Those in charge of the preliminary investigation had access to this video from the very beginning. However, our lawyer was only able to see it once the case was closed. He made a copy of the video and published it on the Internet.Usually, this form of torture does not kill people – otherwise, we would have a massacre on our hands, as “the swallow” is practiced all over Russia. Several other factors contributed to Drozdov’s death. He was drunk, he had heart problems and he was indeed suffering from pancreatitis. However, the torture they put him through no doubt made things worse and ended up killing him. A criminal investigation is needed to establish this clearly.Our organisation has looking at these types of cases in the Russian republic of Tatarstan since 2003. During this decade, 30 policemen have been convicted on charges of torture. Unfortunately, the situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Even after the scandal in March and the firing of several police officers, it seems the authorities still haven’t learned their lesson.