I, as a human right defender meet with prisoners in Sverdlovsk penal colonies, keep personal reception with citizens and provide legal consultations. According to prisoners, situation in some Sverdlovsk penal colonies is very complicated and as a rule human rights of prisoners are not respected.
Generally problems are the same everywhere:
- Beating: as a rule by plastic bottles filled with water in order not to leave bruises and scratches. Now prisoners are beaten with baton or legs.
- Medical Staff ‘s refusal to document beating and to provide treatment for prisoners.
- Punitive measures from colony administration to prisoners who try to protect their rights by sending complaints to human defenders organizations.
- Impediment for sending requests and complains from prisoners who complain about prison personnel. Prison staff «lose» or tear letters with complaints, sometimes even in the face of prisoners.
- Punishment cells: making fake reasons or sometimes at will of the Head without official papers.
- One-man cells (not legally) for people who try to complain.
- Transfer to other regions far away from relatives. As a result prisoners lose their connections with close friends and relatives and have problems to fit in new place without help of close people.
- Food and personal stuff are taken away from prisoners. During search of prisoner official documents are not provided. Afterwards all things are gone.
- Slave labor. Using Art. 106 Penal Code of Russian Federation ( works without payment) in different premises, in other words prisoners are forced to sign documents that he wants to work more than two hours. Judging by words of prisoners, there are a lot of facts of enforcement for hard and dangerous works without payment or prisoners with serious diseases who cannot maintain this work. These facts can lead to worsening of symptoms or total incapacity for work.
- Extortion from prisoners under the guise humanitarian aid
- Substandard work of public prosecution office staff who just write documents without examination.
During 6 month in 2012 public prosecution office examined 418 claims of prisoners, where only 39 claims were found proven and satisfied.
Here simple statistics of public prosecution office.
The most colorful examples.
January 2012. Mass hunger-strike in penal colony-52 (Vostochny, Sverdlovsk region). The reason of hunger-strike — colony administration, having violated the law by putting two 60 years seriously ill patients into punishment cell right from hospital bed. Administration refused to admit on the territory of colony V.A Bashkov and A. H. Kalaev -members of Public monitoring committee. 11 September 2012 only court hold that measures were illegal.
February — March 2012. Prisoners cut veins, bellies as a sigh of protest against transferring them to penal colony-62 (Ivdel’). Prisoners referred their actions to torture and mass violence. Penal colony-62, Ivdel’, Sverdlovsk region.
April 2012. Mass riots in penal colony-55 (hospital, Ivdel’). Official explanation of Main Department of the Federal Penitentiary Service -shortage of beds. Opinion of Hunan Rights defenders is extortion and beating from prison personnel. Prisoners transferred from Orenburg didn’t want to pay and opposed to it. Members of Public Monitoring committee and human rights defenders visited colony, questioned among victims. Also V. Bashkov on the 16, April 2012 told General of Main Department of the Federal Penitentiary Service S. Hudorozhkov about severe situation in penal colony-55 which is operated with extortion, corruption and tyranny. This claim left not examined and 16 April 2012 was marked with mass riots.
June 2012. The accused was beaten in pre detention center (Yekaterinburg). He got to so called «pressing room» where co-prisoners made him confess a crime and give himself up to the authorities. After that the accused refused to protect his rights, to meet defenders because he was scared. Besides he pass through his lawyer that he is threatened to be raped if he is going to communicate with defenders. «Pressing rooms» are still existing in predetention center -1 in Yekaterinburg.
July 2012. Mass beatings of prisoners at entry to penal colony-47 (high security) by prison staff in Kamensk-Uralsky.
August 2012. Penal colony-3 (high security), Krasnotur’insk. Three officers beat prisoner who after that climbed on light post trying to commit a suicide jumping from there. Meanwhile another prisoner was on hunger-strike for two weeks, because after jail «shakedown» his watch and shaving stuff were gone. This prisoner wrote a claim of refusing to eat (it’s also gone), he didn’t go to eat all the time.
August 2012. Penal colony-52, Vostochny. The prisoner tried to hang himself. According to preliminary estimates, the reason was threatening and moral coercion by colony staff.
September 2012. Penal colony-18, Sos’va, prison personnel took away tea, sherbet, sweets and another food from prisoner, he didn’t draw up a protocol, he said he got all things till clarification. But in one month he brought documents saying that food was thrown away because prisoner bought it illegally. According to prisoner, that officer made this document and signed it on his own.
September 2012. Mass irregularities were detected in penal colony-62 where prisoners are kept into one-man cells, beaten. In high security prison officers put into service three prison cells where two prisoners at time are kept without sanction. These cells are illegal.
October 2012. In penal colony-8 (Gari, Sverdlovsk region), prisoners’ cigarettes are gone . It turned out that prison personnel made jail search, took it. There were no papers about set-off, there were no also prisoners during search. For ten days they were in hunger-strike demanding to give back their cigarettes. After our visit prisoners got it back, stopped hunger-strike and they started eating.
November 2012. Prisoners of penal colony-62 (8-10 people) in punishment cell cut their veins protesting against violations from prison staff.
The most complicated situation in penal colony-62, Ivdel’. We receive many claims about torture, beatings, slave labor from there. We sent pile of complaints to public prosecution office about Gusev’s tyranny and his staff but we didn’t get real responses. The head of colony, Gusev feels free to do everything he wants and it seems he is covered by someone because he tortures prisoners. He makes so-called «breaking human» by physical and psychological pressure and involve into it not only personnel but «prisoners-activists».
In August 2012 human rights defender Shaklein visited colony and tried to meet with beaten prisoner, but staff gave him a hypertonic crisis.
24, October 2012. We made attempt to meet with prisoners, but deputy head Svyatoduhov didn’t give permission and refused to sign any papers. This day we didn’t see the head of colony. The same day we sent claim to public prosecution office and in one month we got answer where says that Svyatoduhov didn’t see us at all. But our request was registered in colony and administration can’t escape punishment.
November 2012. The head of penal colony -62 Gusev didn’t let lawyer Kachanov to meet with prisoner twice. Gusev said that after every visit of lawyer Kachanov, he sent claims to Chamber of Layers where he doubts whether Kachanov has agreements with his defendants. All explanations that agreements with lawyer are lawyers’ secrecy were left without attention. Speaking with Gusev, he admits facts of disregard of law by him says he can do it because he rules this colony. Kachanov thinks that he is not welcomed there because prisoners might be under physical pressure and lawyer can be witness of it.
24, December 2012. the head of colony Gusev again refuse to let us: Kachanov and me to visit prison for conducting legal consultation. As an explanation Gusev stated that we have to notarize request of relatives to our organization to help their relative who is in prison.
For lawyer Kachanov there are additional demands: he has to show letter of attorney from people he made agreement with, in order to provide legal help. Here are absurd definitions by the Head of penal colony-62, A. I.Gusev.
What is it -ignorance of the law or rude violation of law?
We will sue.
17, December 2012. Sverdlovsk court held that actions of Gusev (the Head of colony-62, Ivdel) were illegal (obstruction to work of Public Monitoring Committee) in penal colonies-62, 63 and in pre detention center -1. Possible it will not influence career of Gusev, it is usual thing to break the law for authorities in Russia.
Human rights defenders and members of Public Monitoring Committee keep fighting against tyranny and disregard of the law.