A group of prisoners in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk penal colony are complaining of systematic torture and bullying in the prison. A video message with statements from the prisoners was sent to the Public Monitoring Commission, a prison rights watchdog, on 8 August. Among the prisoners was Aslan Cherkesov a native of Kabardino-Balkaria.
According to online news site Graniru.org, about 50 convicts have are involved in the complaint.
Graniru.org writes that the prisoners complained of being tortured in different ways including strangulation, being hanged by their hands and feet from the ceiling, being jumped on, and waterboarding. They were also reportedly threatened them with rape.
Cherkesov is serving 20 years for the 2010 murder of Russian football fan Egor Sviridov in Moscow.
Following the murder, Russian President Vladimir Putin brought flowers to the grave of Sviridov. The murder sparked widespread outrage amongst Russian nationalists, provoking a spate of attacks and stabbings of migrant workers from Central Asia and the North Caucasus in a number of Russian cities.
Cherkesov claims that prison staff are attempting to bring him to suicide. He says that he receives regular injections of psychotropic drugs, claiming he can identify everyone who participated in his mistreatment.
On 9 July Pravo.ru which monitors human rights conditions, reported that the Russian Human Rights Council will investigate reports of torture and beatings in the Krasnoyarsk, citing the chairman of the council, Mikhail Fedotov.
‘We will take part in the verification of these reports. The Krasnoyarsk office of the Federal Penitentiary Service has always I been outstanding, therefore such a message seems to come from nowhere. Everything must be checked carefully’, he said.