Sunday, January 24, 2010

Russian Journalist Konstantin Popov Murdered in Police Custody in Tomsk

"[Konstantin Popov's] friends allege, [Tomsk police] officers subjected him to a sadistic beating, raping him with a broom handle and causing severe internal injuries.

Popov – who worked for the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper – was taken to a hospital in a coma. He died without regaining consciousness."--The Guardian (1-21-10)

Following some high-profile crimes by policemen, Russia's President Medvedev has signed a decree on reforming Russia's notorious police agency, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (1-24-10) reports:

Several hundred people in the western Siberian city of Tomsk have staged a demonstration against local police and the death in police custody of journalist Konstantin Popov.

Popov was detained for being drunk on January 4.

He was severely beaten in the police detention area and taken to a hospital in a coma, and died from his injuries on January 20.

Protesters in Tomsk today carried banners reading "A militia beyond control is worse than bandits" and others pinning "shame" on the police force and senior officers.

The chief of police in Tomsk and the policeman who reportedly attacked Popov have been dismissed.

The policeman faces a number of charges in connection with the assault and subsequent death.

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