Human rights defenders regularly receive information from prisons of Mordovia about beatings of convicts. About last case of violence with convicts we’ve told in details in previous material.
Knowing that in Republic of Mordovia Public Monitoring Committee doesn’t want to pay to attention to obvious facts of human rights violations, we’ve decided to make our ways to Mordovia on October 5 2014. Director of noncommercial partnership «LEGAL BASIS» Aleksey Sokolov, attorney Roman Kachanov and experts of Fund «For convicts’ rights protection» Larisa Fefilova and Olesya Saenko went there to conduct independent investigation as a part of the project «Public service of penitentiary control».
On October 6-8 2014 members of human rights group tried to meet with suffered convicts according to art. 89, part 4 of the Penal Code which states meetings of lawyers and others with prisoners.
Activists could visit 4 correctional facilities which are located in Zubovo-Polyansky area of Republic of Mordovia: the penal colonies № 17, 10,18, 22.
Everywhere administration of those colonies obstructed human rights defenders in meetings with convicts. Statements of experts were not studied in time on different grounds: sudden absence of warden due to some meetings or simply departure somewhere. As for the penal colony № 22 warden went on funerals and nobody knew when he would be back.
Human rights defenders were forced to wait for days when officer would study their statements, at the end of working days experts left the facilities having not used their lawful right to see convicts.
Only attorney Roman Kachanov could meet with convicts but only after phone call to the Federal Service for Execution of punishment with complaint for illegal actions of jailers. As a result he got a meeting but in the second part of a day where there was almost no time to talk to convicts.
In the penal colony № 22 defenders couldn’t ask convicts at all because administration refused to allow meeting experts and attorney as well on the ground of absence of warden. This colony is known among defenders as torture chamber.
As for the rest — Roman Kachanov could question only 7 inmates and took photos of bodily harm of them. All the convicts proved a fact of beatings by jailers.
As we found out, physical abuse of convicts is applied constantly, the reason might be even usual glance of jailer or bad mood of him either.
However, defenders have information about beatings the penal colonies № 12,1 and 11 but because of jailers human rights group couldn’t ask all willing to say about violence in Mordovia.
During independent investigation we stated that state bodies didn’t conduct checks upon all the facts. Officers of Investigative Committee didn’t spend their time to question convicts about it. Here is inaction of authorities.
Officers of prison service in Mordovia spy upon defenders. Human rights defenders were followed by a car with workers of penitentiary system. In the morning that car waited for defenders and all day long they kept an eye on them.
Photos of defenders were sent to the colonies — of Roman Kachanov, Larisa Fefilova and Aleksey Sokolov. They found those pictures in the front office of one colony, apparently someone left them.
Why do they do it? We don’t have a clue. However we know for sure that officers of penitentiary system of Republic of Mordovia violate law and human rights, apply physical force towards convicts and don’t scare that they will be brought to justice. In one colony of Ozernyi jailer said after remark about law violations — «Mordovia is not Russia» and she stated it twice.
Maybe it’s true and prison staff live by their own rules and comply with their documents if they are afraid at all.
Summarizing the results human rights defenders prepared an appeal and statement which were sent to state bodies of Russia in Moscow. There will b inspections about found law violations. Defenders hope that offenders in uniform will be bring to justice.
We’d like to mention that member of Mordovia Public Monitoring Committee — Sergey Maryin notified defenders about planned visit of the penal colony № 5, 22 together with another member -Larisa Sidorova.
Upon arrival members there instead of public inspection there was diploma delivery ceremony for one convicts after what Larisa Sidorova saying that she was busy left to Saransk.
Inaction or direct disregarding messages from defenders and Sergey Maryin about tortures application in the colonies is considered to be discredit of public control or attempt to hide crimes of jailers.
Human rights defenders of the Urals.