Eighteen prison officials fired in Saratov after another torture video surfaces
Following the release of more footage showing inmates being tortured at a prison hospital in the Saratov region, the local department of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) fired 18 of its employees. This was reported by the acting department head, Anton Yefrakin, on Wednesday, November 10.
Yefrakin reported that another 11 employees were subject to the highest disciplinary action. “We will do whatever it takes to understand and draw the appropriate conclusions, I’m sure that in the future this won’t happen again,” Yefrakin said, as quoted by Interfax.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the reports of torture during a press briefing earlier in the day on Wednesday. He said that checks are still ongoing, but underscored that “the system has reacted.” Peskov added that paying attention to each separate incident of torture is the “prerogative” of other state bodies, not of the Kremlin.
In early October, the human rights group Gulagu.net (No to the Gulag) published three video clips showing 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 released more footage evidencing torture at the Saratov prison hospital on November 9. The rights group’s founder, Vladimir Osechkin, promised to release more videos and documents in the coming days that contain the surnames of FSIN staff involved in torturing inmates.
Gulagu.net obtained the videos from whistleblower and former inmate Sergey Savelyev, who identified himself after fleeing Russia and seeking asylum in France. In late October, a Russian court authorized Savelyev’s arrest in absentia on charges of illegally accessing computer information during his time in prison. Russian police officials have put his name on a wanted list.
Update. Later on Wednesday, Gulagu.net reported that Russian prosecutors have terminated the criminal case against Sergey Savelyev.