Tortures in Russian prison colonies
Gulagu.net human rights project has received 40 gigabytes of footage of tortures and rape of prisoners in Russian prison colonies. According to Gulagu.net founder Vladimir Osechkin, “the secret archive of the intelligence services” was given to human rights activists by a programmer who had access to the computers of the Federal Penitentiary Service in the Saratov Oblast for five years during his imprisonment. In September, Gulagu.net already published five photos with scenes of sexual abuse and tortures in a prison hospital in the Saratov Oblast. Videos of the rapes of three prisoners in the hospital have now been published.
The prisoners, according to Osechkin, were abused by secret agents of the FSB and the FPS. Tortures and rape were filmed on official video recorders. Human rights defenders, Osechkin added, have evidence of the involvement of officers of the Main Operating Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service, as well as operational administrations of the Main Operating Directorate of the Irkutsk Oblast, the Saratov Federal Penitentiary Service of the Saratov Oblast and the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Vladimir Oblast, in the torture. Gulagu.net plans to publish this evidence in several stages.
The Federal Penitentiary Service has launched an official check following a publication about tortures of prisoners in the hospital. “In order to verify the veracity of the information, a group of officers from the central office has been sent to the Saratov Oblast by the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia director Alexander Kalashnikov”, Interfax reported, citing the press service of the Federal Penitentiary Service. The inspection, the Penitentiary Service stressed, is under the special supervision of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia leadership.
The Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case under the article on violent acts of a sexual nature committed by a group of persons by prior conspiracy.
“We have to check everything first”. This is how Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded on October 5 to journalists’ questions about the tortures and rape videos. “If the authenticity of the materials is confirmed, of course, this is a reason for a serious investigation”, Peskov said, stressing that “first we need to quickly but calmly sort everything out and establish the authenticity of these materials”.
“There were no complaints during the conversations with the prisoners”, said Denis Sobolev, chairman of the Saratov Oblast Public Observation Commission. Members of the POC, according to him, had visited the prison hospital several times in the past six months, where, according to Gulagu.net, recordings were made, but no one told them about tortures and rape. Regional ombudsman Nadezhda Sukhova also said that there were no complaints about tortures from the prisoners.
The website of Gulagu.net project suffered a DDoS attack following the announcement about a “secret archive of the intelligence services”. According to the founder of Gulagu.net, the cyber attack was the revenge of the FSB and FPS for exposing their secret methods.