NewsRussia under scrutiny for endorsing torture in terror case investigation

Russia under scrutiny for endorsing torture in terror case investigation

The Kremlin praised the torturing of prisoners. "The authorities glorify it."
The Kremlin praised the torturing of prisoners. "The authorities glorify it."
Images source: © PAP | SERGEI ILNITSKY
8:42 AM EDT, March 27, 2024

Russian authorities have openly expressed their appreciation for the use of torture against individuals accused of carrying out a terrorist attack in Krasnogorsk, reports the independent Russian news outlet Meduza. This stance by the authorities seemingly endorses similar practices for other cases, raising concerns.

Many reports from Russian state media or Kremlin officials are likely untruthful. These reports may be part of an information warfare strategy by the Russian Federation.

In a conversation with Meduza, a Russian human rights defender who wished to remain anonymous, discussed the Kremlin's use of torture. The activist criticized the state's attempt to portray torture as heroic and a reflection of commendable police work, glorifying it instead of condemning it. "An effective system should focus on preventing acts of terror and dismantling terrorist groups—what society actually demands—not the grotesque and inhumane treatment of suspects we're witnessing," the activist emphasized.

According to the activist, the Kremlin's actions have effectively signaled to lower-level law enforcement that torture is acceptable and will go unpunished, indicating a tacit approval of such human rights abuses.

- The ongoing normalization of violence, due in part to the two-year-old Russian invasion of Ukraine, may further exacerbate the use of torture. "If we ignore these actions, it may lead others to believe that it's acceptable to resort to beating, torture, and even documenting these acts," noted Sergey Babinets, head of the NGO Team Against Torture, in a discussion with the independent media outlet Mediazona.

Attack in Russia

Last Friday, a terrorist attack targeted a concert hall in the Krasnogorsk suburb near Moscow. Gunmen opened fire on the crowd, and explosive devices were detonated, causing a fire that led to the collapse of the building's roof. According to official statements from the Russian government, the attack resulted in at least 139 deaths and over 180 injuries.

Unverified reports from Russian media suggest that the death toll could be higher, potentially exceeding 360.

The Islamic State Khorasan Province, the Afghan branch of IS, claimed responsibility for the attack. Russian law enforcement agencies have reported the capture of four suspects, along with several alleged accomplices, none of whom are Russian citizens. A Moscow court has ordered their detention until May 22, pending trial.

Related content