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Saturday, August 27, 2005


Torture 'rampant' in Russian jails

From The Independent:

Leading Russian rights activists have accused the authorities of indifference to abuses and torture they said were rampant in Russian jails. They called for legislation allowing public oversight of detention facilities.

Lev Ponomaryov, the head of the All-Russian Public Movement for Human Rights, likened Russia's prison system to the Soviet Gulag. "Without doubt, the policy of [prison officials] is aimed at making punishment more severe, crushing each convict ... and morally and often physically destroying them," he told a news conference.

In an annual report based on monitoring prisons in 40 out of Russia's 89 regions, his organisation said prison officials routinely beat and tortured inmates. The report said the convicts also were subjected to cruel punishment for no reason and systematically humiliated.

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