Chechen inmates in Mordovian penal colony complain of abuses
By Ruslan Isayev
CHECHNYA - More than fifteen convicted Chechens held at penal colony IK-5 in Mordovia in Russia's Privolzhsky district, have written a letter to Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, complaining about the conditions in which they are being detained.
The inmates claim that they are brutalized by the prison authorities, that they have been severely beaten, and that this is being done on the basis of their ethnicity. The letter says that "it is all accompanied by expressions like ‘you’re all gangsters, and your president is a gangster, too'."
Unable to endure the daily beatings, one of the Chechen prisoners slashed his wrists, but his life was saved.
The prisoners addressed their appeal to the President of the Chechen Republic because they had heard that that all Chechens would be returned to the republic to serve the rest of their sentences.
This is not the first time that the situation in the colony has become the focus of public attention. According to one report, the colony’s commandant, Oleg Shalnov, has now been dismissed from his post, and a decision has been taken to transfer the Chechen prisoners to another penal colony in Nizhny Tagil. However, its detainees say that the situation there is even worse than in Mordovia.
It is not yet known how the authorities have reacted to the letter, but independent human rights defenders are preparing to dispatch a team to see for themselves the conditions in which the imprisoned Chechens are being held.
The IK-5 strict regime penal colony is located in the village of Lepley in the Zubovo-Polyansky region of the Republic of Mordovia. It is intended for former law enforcement officers.
According to a report by the Federal Russian Human Rights Ombudsman in 2006, the largest number of complaints from places of detention that year came from the Komi republic, Mordovia, Krasnoyarsk, and the districts of Amur, Kirov, Sverdlovsk and Tyumen.
(D/T) RELATED ARTICLES:
· Journalists are shown the new Chernokozovo (PW, May 17 2007)
· Inmates are abused in Mordovia's IK-5 penal colony (For Human Rights, November 13 2006)
· List of prisons in Mordovia (Arestant.msk.ru)