An MMA star has posted a sickening image of a friend bleeding from the stomach after allegedly trying to disembowel himself after being questioned by police over an arson attack.
Undefeated UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov claimed police had tortured his childhood pal Akim Kuliev, who was accused of setting fire to a government building in Dagestan, southern Russia earlier this year. The region is at the centre of separatist activity.
Kuliev, who was detained on 4 November, refused to sign a confession and ripped open his own stomach with a piece of broken tile, according to an Instagram post by Nurmagomedov.
The Dagestan authorities confirmed that 32-year-old Kuliev had injured himself but did not comment on the charges against him or the interrogation, Crime Russia reported.
Acting governor Vladimir Vasilyev has promised to investigate after Nurmagomedov's post went viral.
Kuliev's relatives claim he was tortured for 20 days by police who hoped to extract a confession for the fire.
'We saw the ambulance driving up to the police station. No-one told us that they were coming for Akim. When the door opened I saw him, covered in blood," his wife, Elada told OC Media.
"We managed to get to the hospital before the ambulance. While he was in surgery, a police squad arrived at the hospital, there were 50 of them. We were not allowed to enter."
Along with four others, Kuliev was accused of starting a blaze at the Rutulsky district administrative building in September. He was arrested and, according to relatives, had drugs planted on him.
Elada said: "Some of them, right in front of my eyes, put drugs into my husband's pocket. And then they called their witnesses, turned on the camera, recorded me, my husband and our children as if it was all scripted and began to conduct the second search."
He was held on drugs charges, weapons charges and committing arson. His family deny he had any involvement in the fire and say they have CCTV footage to corroborate his alibi.