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Signs Of Torture Seen On Arrested Postgrad Student, Says Moscow Rights Group

Members of a Russia-based nongovernmental organization called the Public Monitoring Commission say they have seen evidence of torture on the body of a detained postgraduate mathematics student who attends Moscow State University.

Valery Borshchyov, a member of the monitoring group's Moscow chapter and the co-chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group, told the MBKh Media news organization on February 5 that he and his colleagues visited Azat Miftakhov at a Moscow pretrial detention center.

"He has wounds on his body, on his neck. I saw traces of torture by an electric-powered screwdriver," Borshchyov said. "There is also a document from the Central District Clinic that concludes he has such wounds, and a protocol by the detention center confirming the wounds."

Borshchyov said Miftakhov told him and his colleagues that he not know who his torturers were at the detention center because they were wearing civilian clothes.

Borshchyov also said that the Public Monitoring Commission will ask the Moscow prosecutor’s office to investigate Miftakhov's complaint.

Miftakhov, 25, was arrested on February 1 on allegations that he was involved in making a handmade explosive device found in January in the town of Balashikha near Moscow.

Miftakhov denied the charges, calling the allegations fabricated.

He said his torturers tried unsuccessful to force him to confess to the charges.

With reporting by MBKh Media