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Human rights commission reports on torture at Karelian penal colony

Several convicts serving their sentences at penal colony number 7 in Karelia told the members of the Presidential Human Rights Council of the abuse that they were enduring at the hands of prison employees. The Council put up a statement on its website written by board members Igor Kalyapin and Pavel Chikovy who visited the penal colony.

The report reads that the HRC members found that Dadin's hands were scarred, which served as indirect confirmation of the prisoner's claims of being hung by handcuffs.

In an interview with Council officials, other prisoners confirmed the torture described by Dadin. The convicts spoke of being unjustly put into solitary confinement, lacking medical care, being beaten, and being tortured.

Accord to the report, the colony's employees of the colony, in an attempt to prevent the Council from learning the truth, advised the prisoners not to "talk too much". Council members were forbidden from using recording devices during their interviews with prisoners.

On the eve of the Council members visit to the colony, eight prisoners climbed onto the roof of the institution with a banner reading "People, help us." Those prisoner's involved in the protest were promptly transferred to the penal colony number 1, so as to ensure that they have no opportunities to meet any human rights commission members.

Council members were also unable to access surveillance camera footage made on those dates when Dadin and other prisoners, according to prisoner testimony, were being abused. Federal Penitentiary Service representatives, the report pointed out, tried to convince the human rights group members that footage is stored for a maximum of 30 days, as opposed a year, as stipulated by Russia law.

Following their visit, commission members recommended that Ildar Dadin be transferred to another colony, and asked that the torture of prisoners and their containment in cooler chambers cease at penal colony number 7 and that the correctional institutions of Karelia be better surveilled.

Dadin was imprisoned for organizing one-man protests - the first to be punished under new amendments to Russia's criminal code. In December 2015, he was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.

On November 1, 2016, Meduza published a letter written by Ildar Dadin to his wife Anastasia Zotova. In the letter, Dadin reveals the torture that he is enduring at the hands of prison authorities at penal colony number 7 in the town of Segezha.

After an investigation, the Federal Penitentiary Service claimed that there were no signs of torture on Dadin's body.

Dadin letter had a wide resonance. With the prisoner met with Russia's Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova. Dadin refused to be transferred to another colony, saying that he is responsible to the other prisoners.

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