Moscow Student Rearrested After Brief Release From Detention Following Torture Claims

Azat Miftakhov, a postgraduate mathematics student at Moscow State University who says he was tortured under detention on bomb-making accusations, has been rearrested after a brief release from custody.

Miftakhov's release from a pretrial detention center in the Moscow region on February 7 came two days after a human rights group said it had seen evidence of torture on his body.

Miftakhov's lawyer, Svetlana Sidorkina, said Miftakhov had been released on February 7 without being formally charged, but was detained again several hours later by Moscow regional police.

It was not immediately clear whether formal charges were filed against him upon his rearrest.

Valery Borshchyov, a member of a Russia-based nongovernmental group called the Public Monitoring Commission, said on February 5 that he and other members of his organization visited Miftakhov in pretrial detention and saw signs that he'd been tortured with an electric-powered screwdriver on his neck and other parts of his body.

According to Borshchyov, who is also a co-chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Miftakhov said he did not know who his torturers were at the detention center because they were wearing civilian clothes.

Borshchyov has said the Public Monitoring Commission will ask the Moscow prosecutor's office to investigate Miftakhov's torture complaint.

The 25-year-old Miftakhov 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 unsuccessfully to force him to confess to the charges.

Based on reporting by Interfax, TASS, MBKh Media, and Dozhd