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Screams From Omsk Penal Colony

The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) promotes cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and free speech.




WaYNaKH Online has received a disquieting email from the relatives of Chechen and Ingush prisoners held in a penal colony in the village of Beregovoy in Russia’s Omsk oblast. In November 2010, the relatives appealed for help because of reports of torture and wide-spread ill-treatment at the penal colony. Apparently, there has been no change in the dismal prison conditions since the end of 2010, however.

A Chechen prisoner who is serving a 14-year sentence at the penal colony told his relative that prison guards subjected the prisoners to torture and physical abuse. The inmate has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, but is not sure he will survive because of tuberculosis, kidney infection, and his weak physical condition. The prisoner asked to convey this message to human rights organisations:

“We have been deprived of any possibility to report the information about these events to officials or media. We consider it a miracle that we are able to transmit this desperate cry for help to the public. We realise that after this message gets out, our lives will be in danger. But we have no more strength to suffer such inhumane mockery and torture. Please help us!”

In November 2010, the inmates reported daily torture, beatings, and abuse. Prison guards have broken the bones and ribs of prisoners, drowned them under water, smothered them with gas masks, and tortured them with electric shocks. Moreover, prison guards have pierced the kneecaps of prisoners with screwdrivers, torn their nails off, undressed prisoners and set the dogs on them, and subjected prisoners to public rape.



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