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You're reading: Death in police custody: Official and unofficial versions

According to the official version posted on the Zaporizhya police site, Pozdeev was taken from the police temporary holding unit to the Komunarsky District Police Station in Zaporizhya for an investigative experiment some time on Sept. 29.  With their customary disregard for the presumption of innocence, the police state that the young man had been arrested for carrying out 13 thefts. 

They also assert that the investigative activities were outside the police station in the presence of formal witnesses and that they were recorded.  Pozdeev was only then, they allege, returned to the police station to draw up official documents. “20 minutes later the suspect became unwell. He fell and began gasping for breath.” According to this version, an ambulance was called immediately, the doctors arrived, and the young man died around 20 minutes later, in the ambulance.

Media reports give a different version. One of the very first reports on Oct. 1 said that doctors had told their correspondent unofficially that the ambulance doctors had pronounced the young man dead when they arrived at the police station.  They had allegedly tried to resuscitate him but without success.  They did not notice obvious signs of beating on Pozdeev’s body but told their colleagues that for around an hour the police refused to let them leave demanding that they wrote in their records that the young man had died in the ambulance, not before their arrival.

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