Razvozzhayev Torture Allegations Brought to UN

Leonid Razvozzhayev. Source: ITAR-TASSRussia human rights advocates have handed over information about the alleged torture of opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev to the United Nations Committee Against Torture, Interfax reports.

According to Valery Borshchev, a representative of the Moscow Public Observation Committee (ONK), “the UN committee is interested in this information. Questions regarding Razvozzhayev are going to be given to the official Russian delegation as soon as November 12.”

Borshchev noted in particular that the committee had been informed of physical and psychological torture confirmed by the ONK after visiting Razvozzhayev in Moscow’s Lefortovo pre-trial detention center.

The activist, who is accused by the Russian government of organizing mass riots, says he made a false confession after being tortured for two days and told his children would be killed if he failed to comply.

In what quickly became an international scandal, Razvozzhayev was kidnapped in Ukraine last month after seeking political asylum and sent back to Moscow in a private plane. The identity of the kidnappers is unclear. On October 22, Moscow’s Basmanny Court sentenced him to two months in Lefortovo. His lawyers were not allowed to attend his court session.

The kidnapping came following a heavily criticized film aired on state-controlled television channel NTV called “Anatomy of a Protest 2.” The film accuses Razvozzhayev and two other prominent opposition activists of colluding with a Georgian parliamentarian to change Russia’s state leadership.