A Russian activist was allegedly beaten and raped by Moscow police after he was arrested for reading poetry that criticised the Kremlin’s puppet governments in Ukraine.
Artyom Kamardin remains in custody after being hospitalised with concussion, bruises, scratches and chest wounds, according to his lawyer Leonid Solovyev.
On Tuesday Solovyev said that riot police had stormed Kamardin’s flat late Monday night, beating him up as well as his girlfriend Anna Popova and a friend, Aleksandr Menyukov.
The police then reportedly raped Kamardin with a dumbell and threatened to gang-rape his girlfriend according to Solovyev.
Independent news outlet SOTA said that Popova also sustained concussion, head wounds, hip and leg wounds and graze wounds according to a medical report it obtained.
Police also detained two other poets, Nikolai Daineko and Yegor Shtovba, who along with Kamardin took part in a recital on the 25th of September at the monument of Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky.
They read poetry that mocked the Kremlin’s puppet governments in eastern Ukraine.
According to the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, Moscow police have refused to comment on the allegations. Kamardin has since also been seen in a video making a public apology for his actions, saying: “I repent before the Russian people for what I said on Triumph Square last night.” The Telegram channels that published these videos have links to Russian security services, according to the Moscow Times.
Kamardin now faces charges of “inciting hatred or enmity with the threat of violence” alongside the other poets. If convicted, they face up to six years in prison.
Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Russia director, said: “The details of Artyom Kamardin’s arrest and torture are horrific even against the abysmal human rights standards of today’s Russia.
“It seems that Russian law enforcement officers believe they have complete impunity for all sorts of human rights violations against people who oppose Russia’s war in Ukraine. The world must not look away but rather remind the Russian leadership: those responsible will be brought to justice for all crimes under international law, including war crimes committed in Ukraine and human rights violations committed in Russia.”
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