In a ruling handed down on February 10, a court in Yekaterinburg’s Verkh-Isetsk district imposed a 3,000-ruble fine on the Tajik citizen Khairiddin Odinayev.  He was accused of disobedience to lawful orders of police officers.

“At the trial, the citizen did not speak about the forest and extortion of money by police officers.  Our attention clearly helped him,” a representative of the Consulate General of Tajikistan in Yekaterinburg told Asia-Plus by phone. 

According to him, Sverdlovsk Oblast’s Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Merzlyakova, Tajikistan’s Consulate General representative Subhon Qurbonov and representative of Tajik Labor Ministry’s office in Sverdlovsk Oblast Behrouz Kholiqov attended the trial.  

Meanwhile, Consul General of Tajikistan in Yekaterinburg, Mr. Zafar Said, told Asia-Plus in a short interview by phone that “our citizens should apply on such issues, first of all, to the Consulate.

“Unfortunately, I learned about his problematic situation not from him or members of his family, but belatedly from the press,” Mr. Said noted.  

According to him, as soon as they learned about the incident from other sources, they immediately informed the Sverdlovsk Oblast government, Russian MFA’s office in Yekaterinburg and Sverdlovsk Oblast’s Human Rights Commissioner about this. 

As it had been reported earlier, Novaya Gazeta (New Newspaper), citing migrants’ rights defender Valentina Chupik, said on February 9 that police officers in Yekaterinburg on the evening of February 8 detained Tajik national Khairiddin Odinayev at the porch of his apartment, took him to the forest and tried to extort money from him.

On the evening of February 8, police officers reportedly stopped Odinayev at the porch of his apartment and began to ask “who he was and what he was doing here” and also asked to show documents.  

When Odinayev asked the policemen to introduce themselves and explain the reason for their demands, the policemen twisted his arms, forced into car and took to the police station in Verkh-Isetsk district, Chupik was cited as saying.

“I lodged a complaint with that police station.  I don't know what happened next, but the policemen, according to Odinayev, instead of the police station took him to the forest, where they intimidated him and extorted money from him.  Odinayev answered them that he was not a rich man, so he would not pay them, and he sees no reason for this.  After this, the policemen forced him into car again and to police station No 8,” Ms. Chupik was quoted as saying.  

Odinayev reportedly managed to tell Chupik that at the police station he was told to knee to apologize for his complaints to human rights defenders.   When he refused to do so, they threatened him with 15 days of arrest. 

“At 10:00 am Yekaterinburg time, Odinayev got in touch with his wife and told her that they took off his shoes and jacket and kicked him out on a cold concrete floor and also refused to go to the toilet.  He said he is suspected of “disobedience to lawful orders of police officers.”   He was taken to court, but the trial did not take place and Odinayev was taken back to police station No 8,” Ms. Chupik said.