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More than 400 inmates file complaints over abuse in Saratov prison

Source: TASS

More than 400 inmates in Correctional Facility No. 13 (IK-13) in the Russian city of Engels (Saratov region) have written complaints about the use of violence against them, says their lawyer.

The inmates’ lawyer, Snezhana Muntyan, told the Russian state news agency TASS on Monday, October 25, that the statements concerned alleged beatings and extortion that took place inside IK-13, as well as allegations about the use of torture in Regional Tuberculosis Hospital No. 1, a medical institution run by the Saratov department of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN). “There is no information about rapes in the prison colony yet,” the lawyer added. 

On Tuesday morning, the Public Monitoring Commission (ONK) for the Saratov region reported that they had collected another 195 complaints from IK-13 inmates about the use of violence. Without citing any sources, the human rights project Gulagu.net claimed that “in fact, more than 500 people have already reported torture” at the tuberculosis hospital. 

Earlier, on October 19, Gulagu.net reported that at IK-13, according to an unnamed source, “hundreds of inmates refused to go to work” in an act of mass disobedience. The FSIN denied these reports. In turn, public monitors said that “in one of the sections there was a brawl among prisoners” and that they stopped it themselves.

On October 22, Russia’s Investigative Committee opened two criminal cases concerning the “disorganization of activity” at Correctional Facility No. 13 (under Russian Criminal Code article 321, section 2). 

In early October, Gulagu.net published three video clips allegedly evidencing the torture and rape of inmates at the penitentiary service’s Tuberculosis Hospital No. 1 in the Saratov region. The hospital’s leadership was fired and investigators opened several criminal cases on charges of sexual assault and abuse of power.

Gulagu.net obtained the videos from whistleblower and former inmate Sergey Savelyev, who identified himself after fleeing Russia and seeking asylum in France. On October 23, reports emerged that Russian police officials had added Savelyev to a wanted list for allegedly violating his parole. 

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