Check showed no violations in detention center after prisoners went on hunger strike
According to the supervisory body, the conditions to which detainees are subjected in cells meet the requirements.
The Altai Region Prosecutor’s Office and the Public Supervisory Commission have conducted a check in the Barnaul pre-trial detention centers No. 1 and 2 (SIZO-1 and SIZO-2) after receiving complaints of prisoners. As it is said on the supervisory body’s site, the conditions in the cells meet the requirements. It also says that the eight prisoners who had previously gone on a hunger strike receive daily medical care. At present, their state of health is satisfactory.
At the same time, during a conversation with the prisoners, prosecutors found out that their complaints were not related to the conditions of detention — rather, they expressed disagreement with the investigators’ actions as part of the criminal case, of which all were the defendants.
The first reports on the protest, in which prisoners of the Altai region pre-trial detention center took part, emerged back in August this year. Eight protesters had held a hunger strike for a week, and one of them had even sewed his own mouth. As the local media reported, it was thief in law Nikolay Kuzmin (aka Mladenets), once influential in the region, who did this. The Federal Penitentiary Service confirmed the information about the hunger strike, but denied the act of self-mutilation.
According to arrestees’ relatives, Kuzmin and a number of prisoners are charged with Art. 210 of the Russian Criminal Code (Creation of a Criminal Community and Participation Therein). Meanwhile, the name of the gang leader is not specified, neither are its activities.
Later in September, it was reported that as much as four arrestees of the Barnaul pre-trial detention center had allegedly tried to commit suicide by cutting their wrists during a trial. However, the wounds did not cause serious harm to their health.
A few days later, five persons under investigation refused to eat; three more followed suit in early October. At the same time, two of them sewed their own mouths for effect. In written explanations, they pointed out that the hunger strike was connected with the fact that the investigating authorities violated their constitutional rights, and the Altai Region Prosecutor’s Office does not take measures on this matter.
It is noteworthy that according to the message of the Altai Region Prosecutor’s Office of November 2009, Nikolay Kuzmin was sentenced to 9 years in a strict-regime colony for illegal sale of narcotic and psychotropic substances as part of an organized group. Back then, Kuzmin was recognized only as a participant in the drug gang, whose role was to ensure security and create conditions for the comfortable functioning of the illegal business. It is interesting that, disagreeing with the verdict, Kuzmin sewed his mouth in December 2009, but the court and the investigation were adamant. It is possible that Mladenets was once again placed in remand center for the time of investigation into the new episodes of his past criminal activities.
Saburova believes that the Russian authorities violated articles 2 and 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, guaranteeing the right to life, as well as the right to freedom and personal inviolability.