Aleksey Sokolov: «the Untouchables»


the issue of the magazine «For convicts’ rights protection» has been published recently. This magazine is published by Russian Movement «For human rights» and Fund «For convicts’ rights protection».

Inside: Aleksey Romanov (leader of the musical band «Voskresenie»): «At prison I learnt how to protect my rights»; Chronicles of spring riots; «Convicts-activists» in penitentiaries; Amnesty:  instructions.

This magazine is issued with a small print-run and spread for free. Human rights defenders of the Urals give it to inmates every time they visit them.

The main topic of this issue is a problem with «activists» who fulfill orders of prison administration. They torture and murder inmates, extort money from them etc.

Here is article of Director of Association «Legal Basis» Aleksey Sokolov which is called «Who fights with whom or the Untouchables». This article says about arbitrariness of «activists».

Convict Ispolkomov, serving sentence at the penal colony-12 in the Sverdovsk region, saw beatings of another convict.

He was being beaten by senior inmate  on-duty and his assistant. Those are so-called «activists» who have different positions in the facility and fulfill unlawful orders of the prison administration. They do it in order to keep «order and discipline».

Sections of «discipline and order» in 2009 was revoked by order of Ministry of Justice. But it doesn’t mean it happened in fact. It’s not a secret that administration still uses «activists».

Convict Ispolkomov decided to keep silence. Having used his right to phone call, he called to the Federal Service for Execution of punishment and informed them about incident. He thought that officers would stop them.

We don’t know whether officers from Service took measures or not but life of Ispolkomov has changed a lot.

After his call he got disciplinary punishment (3 days in punitive confinements), after it he was transferred far away from his relatives. According to him, he didn’t go through disciplinary committee which should have made decision about his transfer. He got only order on punishment and he was not allowed to read it. He refused to sign it.

Now he cannot understand what had happened: he was serving his sentence without incidents; relatives were visiting him; he was about to get release on parole. Once he tried to get in the way of «activists», he immediately got additional punishment.  

So we have two questions so far: who fights with whom in the Federal Service and are «activists» really so untouchable in penitentiaries?

Members of Public Monitoring Committee would say yes to the last question.

Here are some examples of «chaos» by «activists»:

(all the information is on the web-site of Human rights defenders of the Urals):

the penal colony-46. Nevyansk. May 2013. Group of inmates protesting against beatings refused to leave squads’ premises.

Thus, riots took place there. General Khudorozhkov admitted that prison  administration had endued some inmates with authority.

-the penal colony-47. Kamensk-Uralsky. August 2014. Convict A. was raped by «activists». According to A. situation in there is awful. Humiliation, beatings and torture are just a small part of that horror which each innate experiences. Criminal proceedings have not been initiate yet.  

the penal colony-2. Yekaterinburg. November-December 2014. Among defenders this facility is known as the crullest colony. Convict told about «chaos» in there.  

the penal colony-63. Ivdel. 2104. For many years «activists» have been «working» there. They rape, torture inmates but it remains unpunished.

Once former «activist» decided to tell everything defenders. After defenders addressed to the Federal Service for Execution of punishment, Investigative Committee etc., this convict turned down his testimony saying that he had lied.

the penal colony-5. Nizhny Tagil. Tortures and beatings are common there not only by «activists» but also by officers. Inmates are usually enchained to prison grille for several days. It is favorite torture in the facility.  

Defenders have been talking about it and «activists» for a long time. They informed General Khudorozhkov but no changes. The last incident happened in the penal colony-12 in Nizhny Tagil shows that people who complain get additional punishments like transfer, solitary etc.

Defenders keep an eye on them and inspect every time.

All the defenders have the same opinion: as long as General holds his office, there won’t be any changes.

Aleksey Sokolov, Director of Association «Legal Basis» and expert of Fund «For convicts’ rights protection».

Human rights defenders of the Urals




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