Support The Moscow Times!

Tatarstan Top Cop Resigns Over Sodomy Scandal

The head of Tatarstan's police force resigned from his post Thursday after a shocking episode of police brutality in Kazan that jolted the nation.

Asgat Safarov had led the Tatarstan police since 1998, but his position grew untenable following the March 9 death of 52-year-old Sergei Nazarov, who was allegedly beaten and sodomized with a champagne bottle by police in the republic's capital.

Five officers were arrested, but the incident at the Dalny station set off protests locally and cast a dark pall over outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev's much-heralded police reform campaign.

Safarov said in his resignation letter that he didn't immediately step down because he wanted to see through efforts to punish those involved in the case.

"If I had done this earlier, immediately after the incident at the Dalny station, it would have been cowardice and betrayal toward the team: [it would] say, I'm leaving and you face the consequences. Now, after all measures that depend on me have been taken — both bringing those responsible to justice and not allowing such cases to occur in the future — I have submitted my resignation," Safarov said, according to RIA-Novosti.

After Nazarov's death, at least 28 other citizens have complained of lawbreaking by Kazan police, including one 22-year-old man who claims that Dalny police sodomized him with a pencil and a bottle. Two officers were arrested in that incident.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more