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Here are all the reported torture cases in Russia's prison system, so far this year

Источник: Meduza
Yuri Tutov / PhotoXPress

People in Russia are tortured all the time. By prison guards, police officers, investigators, FSB agents, and others. They’re beaten with fists, clubs, bottles of water, kicked, handcuffed, tied up, electrocuted, suffocated, strangled, gassed, and waterboarded. They’re starved, deafened, and forced to shit themselves. But it’s impossible to say how many people are tortured in Russia — there are no reliable statistics here. Victims are afraid to come forward, and the authorities often refuse to open criminal investigations, even when people speak up. Meduza as compiled a list of all reported torture cases in Russia this year, relying on information published by journalists and human rights organizations. The list is incomplete, of course, but the several dozen cases we found should help readers grasp the scale of the problem.

According to reports by journalists and human rights activists, more than 50 people have been tortured in Russia’s prison system, so far this year, leading to the deaths of six people. At least 15 victims were electrocuted, and a dozen were suffocated or strangled. The most common culprits have been police officers and prison guards, but many of the most shocking cases have involved agents in the Federal Security Service.

Sources: the human rights groups “Committee Against Torture,” “Zona Prava,” “Territoriya Pytok,” “OVD-Info,” “Za Prava Cheloveka,” and various public monitoring commissions; the news outlets Interfax, Mediazona, Novaya Gazeta, Rosbalt, Dozhd, Radio Liberty, Ekho Moskvy, Kavkaz.Realii, and Verstov.Info; and Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee.

This data was compiled by Maria Semintinova and Alexander Borzenko, designed beautifully by Alexey Prilepsky and Nastya Grigorieva, and translated by Kevin Rothrock