prison director sacked after torture scandal

prison director sacked after torture scandal

Published on :

Vladimir Putin has sacked the director of the vast network of Russian prisons, the Federal Penitentiary Service. No official reason has been given, but the presidential decree comes a few weeks after a scandal caused by the dissemination of videos showing rape and torture in prison.

The images published in early October by a whistleblower, now a refugee in France, aroused significant emotion in Russia. Because if the prison system is very regularly marred by torture scandals, this time the unbearable videos of rape and beatings, filmed in the prison-hospital for tuberculosis in the Saratov region, have caused a real shock wave.

To read Rape and torture in prison: the poignant testimony of a Russian whistleblower

These acts of torture on prisoners were committed by other detainees collaborating with the prison authorities, a widespread practice in some Russian prisons.

If the authorities first issued an arrest warrant against the whistleblower, before abandoning it, several investigations have been opened after his revelations. In the process, 18 people were dismissed: the prison director, his deputies, but also officials of the local prison system.

To read: Russia: wave of dismissals after the torture and rape scandal in prison

At the end of October, more than 400 prisoners of this penal colony had complained of violence, torture or acts of humiliation against them, according to a lawyer who follows the case.

For observers, the dismissal of Alexander Kalashnikov is linked to the dissemination of these images, even if the decree, published on the Kremlin website does not mention the reason. He was replaced at the head of the Federal Prison Service by Colonel General of Police Arkady Gostev, also Russian Deputy Minister of the Interior.