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Woman injured by St. Petersburg policeman appeals to state investigators over criminal case

Source: Team 29

After getting kicked in the stomach by a St. Petersburg policeman on January 23 and being hospitalized for her injuries twice, Margarita Yudina has submitted an appeal to the Russian Investigative Committee with the help of lawyers from the human rights group “Team 29.” 

This was reported by Team 29 lawyer Evgeny Smirnov on Friday, January 29.

Yudina has asked state investigators to disclose whether or not a decision has been made on a previously filed application to press criminal charges against the police officer who injured her. 

Earlier, Leningrad Regional Deputy Sergey Karayev, human rights activist Dinar Idrisov, and St. Petersburg Human Rights Commissioner Alexander Shishlov submitted a request to the Investigative Committee calling for the police officer in question to be brought to justice. But the deadline for state investigators to respond to their request has since come and gone.

It’s worth clarifying that this is a public prosecution case, therefore, a statement from Margarita herself isn’t required for initiating a case. Moreover, there are grounds for initiating a case through the Investigative Committee.

Yudina will decide how to proceed based on the response from state investigators, Smirnov added.

Right now we need to understand whether the Investigative Committee has already taken some steps. A fair amount of time has passed since the first publications in the media about Yudina’s injury. The time frame for the Investigative Committee to make a decision on this case has expired. 

Protests opposing detention of opposition figure Alexey Navalny took place in hundreds of cities across Russia on Saturday, January 23. The authorities responded by arresting protesters en masse — according to the independent monitoring group OVD-Infomore than 3,700 people were detained countrywide.

During the protest in St. Petersburg, a policeman brutally kicked Margarita Yudia in the stomach when she tried to confront a group of officers who were arresting another demonstrator. Yudina was hospitalized in intensive care, but moved to a regular ward the next day. She received a visit from the policeman who injured her, who apologized, offering her flowers. Yudina forgave him, but later expressed regret over accepting the apology.

Yudina then clarified that she planned to contact state investigators regardless of the policeman’s apology. After that, officials from the prosecutor’s office and social services showed up at her home. Yudina’s condition deteriorated after their visit — her lawyer took her to the hospital, where she was admitted and spent the next two days. Though Yudina has been discharged, her lawyers have emphasized that she is still undergoing outpatient treatment.

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