the penal colony № 18 in the Republic of Mordovia.
On 30 October 2014. an interservice team of the Federal Service for Execution of punishment in the Republic of Mordovia applied a physical force towards prisoners in the course of search activities.
On 8 October 2014. beaten prisoners were visited by attorney R.E. Kachanov. Note that it was difficult enough to get inside of the colony. In the morning officers said that there were no warden and it meant nobody could signed an admission pass; then there light was gone and there was a problem to get in due to technical reasons. Only after human rights defenders’ complaint to the Federal Service for Execution of punishment of Russia, attorney could manage to meet with convicts but he was very short of time that’s why he questioned only several convicts and drew up some acts.
On 29 October 2014. On the web site of the Federal Service for Execution of punishment appeared a message about results of conducted inspection in the penal colony № 18. There they didn’t deny an application of force towards convicts: «Due to a fact that 14 prisoners upon search activities put up a resistance, an interservice team applied special means to them…»But somehow they didn’t keep records of that «resistance». Data about whether convicts were questioned or not is missing too.
Having analyzed a message on the site and put together materials which defenders possess, the following picture is shaped up:
A resistance to lawful demands of officers are: a convict undresses too slowly, does squatting too fast, conducting searches in places which are not meant for such kind of activities.
Here are versions from convicts:
«…I couldn’t undo my button, they stared beating me, saying that I did it too slowly. Then they stopped, I undressed. When I undressed, they ordered me to do squatting 15 times. Once I began squatting, officers again began beating me, saying that I did it too slowly. I fell on the floor, they beat me with batons and legs. They beat me on all my body — on hands, legs, butt except head. Now I have numerous bodily harm. When I had a shower, I found on the chest a trace from shoe.»
«… Later during 15 minutes officers took one convict with whom I was at the same cell. I heard their screams which are specific for beatings. They took me either to the solitary. There were 15 officers more. I stepped inside. They said: «Undress for search«. I took off my stuff. They yelled: «Drop all stuff on the floor«. Someone hit me with a baton. Then:»Grab underwear and run away«.
«… They ordered me to get naked in the corridor…»
«… After officers searched down my cell, two other officers took me to the solitary. There they ordered to take off underwear to do squatting. I did it. Then they began beating me with no reason. Firstly, they hit me in the kidney, that’s why I have a pain there, I fell down. 8-9 officers beat me on all over my body. Once they kicked me in the head… That moment I was screaming and suffering from severe pain…»
Rhetorical question: where is videotaping? We want to remind officers of the Federal Service that videotaping is done not only by individual dashcams but regular cameras which are located in the cells, the corridors and yards. Each camera failed to tape that day?
the penal colony № 22 in Republic of Mordovia.
This facility is known among human rights defenders as «torture chamber». Earlier there were convicted foreigners, but not long time ago this colony was changed for prisoners under high security regime. Defenders constantly get messages about beating happening there.
Defenders visited this facility after such messages but they couldn’t get a chance to see convicts.
For two days defenders and attorney were said that warden is absent. But versions were different on where he was … from information that left for funerals to vacation time of him, or something like .. wait for him here, he is at the meeting.
Generally officers refused to accept even a statement on meeting, they didn’t let us. At the moment there are no objective reasons why. All those situations let jailers say that there were no beatings.
Meanwhile, very interesting order to dismiss criminal complaint on beatings in the penal colony № 22 was received by Fund from Zubovo-Polyanoskiy investigative department . Judging by text of this order, there chief deputy is… convict M.Y.Morozov. And finally, I think that it’s not a secret that the most important people of the case wasn’t questioned at all.
Due to the difficulties to get to any facilities of Mordovia and lack of time, defenders couldn’t inspect all the colonies that were planned. I’m afraid we will get exactly the same answers like about the penal colony № 22.
As director deputy of the Federal Service — V.V.Tsaturov said, inspection upon facts was finished yesterday, the next week we will receive a report with results. Tsaturov assured us that if we are not satisfied with results, then the Federal Service representatives will be ready to meet with us.
While human rights defenders are waiting for results, Fund «For convicts’ rights protection» receives the following information:
- Convicts who had been subjects to beatings, constantly under pressure by jailers and officers of the Federal Service in the Republic of Mordovia with aim to make convicts turn down their testimony;
- none of officers questioned prisoners;
- convict Ch.V.Gasiyev (whose head was broken because of beatings) was transferred to the penal colony № 7 where he was detained into solitary for 6 months.
- It’s said that jailers did this transfer with the purpose to make a convict stop cooperate with defenders in their independent investigation.
- in the penal colony № 17 officers applied physical force on 30 September 2014.
During investigation for the cases of application of force towards convicts defenders found a tendency — special means are used as «educational process». It’s not acceptable in civilized society. Impossible to bring up a person by beating him.
We should remember that released convicts get back in society and what kind of people they will be, our security depends on also.
Larisa Fefilova, expert of Fund «For convicts’ rights protection».
Photo: film «Factory of tortures or Pedagogical experience».