Ildar Dadin: deadly torture in Karelian prison

«If they again start to torture me, beat me and rape me, I will hardly last more than a week».
November 02, 2016

Dadin, the first person sentenced for violation of Article 212.1 in the Russian criminal code, says in a letter to his wife Anastasia Zotova that he is subjected to cruel torture.

«Nastia, if you decide to publish the information about what is happening to me, then try to spread it as quickly as possible. That will increase my chances to stay alive», Dadin says in the letter.

It was published this week by news site Meduza and has triggered wide resonance. Several representatives of different authorities, among them the Public Observatory Commission and the human rights ombudsman, are now on their way to the prison, 7x7-journal reports.

Ildar Dadin was brought to the penal colony on 10th September and was immediately subjected to violent behavior from the prison employees. That made him start a hunger strike.

The Karelian prison colony No 7 is located near the town of Segezha, Republic of Karelia, and became internationally known after Mikhail Khodorkovsky was locked up there for more than two years.

In his letter, Dadin writes that:

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«On 11th September, prison leader Kossieyev came to me together with three colleagues. They all started to beat me. All together this day, they beat me four times, about 10-12 people at the time, they kicked me. After the third round of beating, they pushed my head into the toilet».

«On 12th September, prison employees came, tied my hands on my back and lifted me up from the handcuffs. Such kind of position gives terrible pain in the wrists, and it also twist the elbow joints and triggers a wild pain you the back. This way, I was hanging for half an hour. Afterwards, the took of my pants and said that they would bring in another prisoner and that he would rape me unless I quit the hunger strike. Then they took me to the office of Kossiyev where he in the presence of colleagues said that «They still have not beaten you much. If I order my colleagues, they will beat you far harder. And if you try to complain, they will kill you and bury you outside the fence». After that they regularly beat me, several times per day. Constant beating, harassing, humiliation, insults, unbearable conditions of detention - all of this is happening also with other convicts.»

«I beg you to publish this letter, because there is a real information blockade in this prison - and I do not see any way to get through. I am not requesting a transfer to another prison: I have repeatedly seen and heard how they torture other prisoners, therefore my consciousness does not allow me to run away from here - I intend to fight in order to help others. I do not fear death, I am only afraid not to withstand and give in».

The Segezha prison is located only few kilometers from the border to Finland. It officially has capacity for up to 1342 inmates, of which 300 can be under condition of «strict regime».

Meanwhile, Aleksandr Ruzanov, leader of the regional Public Observation Commission, says to 7x7-journal that he has talked with the leader of the prison colony and that he has got confirmations that everthing now «is in order».

«What they write on the internet - it is all truly a stir-up», Ruzanov says. «I believe that he [Dadin] did not write anything, probably it is all made for him by others», he adds.

«Unfortunately, it is not possible to let you journalists to the site to let you see for yourselves. If you saw it with your own eyes, you would get another impression of these guys».

ldar Dadin was arrested on 3 December 2015 and subsequently sentenced to three years of jail. The sentence was later reduced to 2,5 years. He is the first person sentenced for violation of Article 212.1 in the Russian criminal code. Article 212.1 was adopted in July 2014. It describes «repeated violations of the rules of public gatherings».

The sentence says that Dadin had violated rules of public gatherings up to 30 times in the period 2012-2014. Among the rallies were protests against the 2012 presidential elections, Russian LGBT laws, the war in Ukraine and more.

Town of Segezha, Karelia: Photo: Gleb Yarovoy, Semnasem

 

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