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Yaroslavl court reduces sentence for former prison official convicted in torture case

The Yaroslavl Regional Court has reduced the sentence handed down to former prison official Sergey Efremov, who was convicted in January 2020 in the torture case concerning inmate Evgeny Makarov.

On December 2, the court reduced Efremov’s sentence from four years to three and a half years in prison; the rest of his sentence remains unchanged, lawyers from the rights organization Public Verdict told the Telegram channel Yaroslavskoye Delo. 

According to Public Verdict, Efremov could be released in December 2020 due to time already spent in custody. The organization’s lawyers are preparing to appeal the sentence due to procedural violations.

On January 15, Sergey Efremov became the first suspect convicted in the torture case regarding Yaroslavl’s Prison Number 1. He was found guilty of abuse of office and sentenced to four years in prison. He was also banned from holding leadership positions in law enforcement for the duration of two years and stripped of his rank of captain.

The criminal case against the staff at Yaroslavl’s Prison Number 1 was opened in 2018 after the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta published a video of prison guards torturing inmate Evgeny Makarov. The video was recorded in 2017. According to human rights defenders, the guards struck Makarov 865 times on his legs, heels, and back. Reportedly, the video was recorded in an “educational work class” at the prison. 

In November 2020, a court acquitted the prison’s acting warden, Dmitry Nikolayev, and his deputy, Igit Mikhailov, in the torture case. Another 11 former employees of the Yaroslavl prison received sentences ranging from three years to four years and three months in prison. Taking into account time already served, six of them were released in the courtroom.

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