TV Pirveli, a Tbilisi-based pro-opposition TV channel, has reported that Russian citizen Yaroslav Sumbayev, who was extradited by Georgia to the Russian Federation in October 2019, “has been subjected to psychological terror, torture and inhuman treatment.”
According to TV Pirveli, a lengthy letter sent to them by Sumbayev reads that he was tortured with an electric shock for three hours to confess a crime he had not committed. It added that Sumbayev was subjected to forced nudity and degrading treatment.
TV Pirveli also disclosed a Georgian translation of an excerpt from the letter, where the prisoner says: “At the end of November, an unknown person came to see me without my lawyer, claiming to be a representative of the investigative body. The person started blackmailing and threatening me, telling me that soon my relatives would also be arrested if I wouldn’t take responsibility for the murder case of the investigator [Yevgenia Shishkina]. In January 2020, 3 persons dressed in civilian clothing tortured me for three hours with an electric shock.”
In the interview with TV Pirveli, Sumbayev’s defense lawyer, Ivane Norakidze noted that “our expectation, that Sumbayev would be subjected to torture in Russian prison, has unfortunately been confirmed.” Norakidze stated that Sumbayev has been regularly subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment.
Georgian law enforcers arrested Sumbayev in November 2018, prompting Russia to demand his extradition. Moscow accused him of cybercrime and murder. Sumbayev was extradited to Russia on October 24, 2019, upon then Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani’s decision, amid strong protest by local CSOs and opposition.
Tsulukiani then argued that “Georgia is not a shelter for potential criminals, no matter which country they are from (including Russia),” adding that “the European Court of Human Rights does not reckon that Sumbayev may be subjected to inhuman treatment once being extradited to the Russian Federation.”
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