ICR investigator found “no violation” in scandalous video of torture in colony year ago
The video showing prisoner being tortured by officers of the Yaroslavl correctional camp No. 1 (IK-1), which was published on July 20, caused a public outcry and the initiation of a criminal case by the Investigative Committee. However, a year ago, an ICR officer found no exceeding of official powers in the video, thus justifying the torture.
A year ago, on the application of the victim’s lawyer, the ICR checked the episode with the brutal beating of prisoner Evgeny Makarov in June 2017 in the Yaroslavl correctional camp, which caused a nation-wide public outcry, Novaya Gazeta reports.
The pre-investigation check was carried out by Investigator of the Investigation Department of the Zavolzhsky District, Radion Sergeevich Svirsky, who was 22 at the time. The publication notes that a month before the incident in the colony, Radion Svirsky had graduated from the law faculty of the Yaroslavl State University and taken the oath.
Radion Svirsky reading out the oath. May 2017 Picture: Press service of the Investigative Committee in the Yaroslavl region
The check was not formal, Novaya Gazeta reports. After reviewing the statement of prisoner Makarov’s defense and the detailed explanation of the victim, Investigator Svirsky questioned the Federal Penitentiary Service officers mentioned by Makarov, forcing two of them to undergo a polygraph test. In addition, according to Svirsky, he gained access to a CD with bodycam recordings, which showed the events of June 29, 2017 in IK-1's morale-building class (the law says officers of the Federal Penitentiary Service must carry a turned on bodycam).
As a result, the investigator found no violation in the prison officers’ actions. As concluded by Svirsky, who denied the initiation of a criminal case, “based on the results of watching the video, there are no facts of exceeding of official powers associated with an unreasonable application of physical force in relation to E.A. Makarov on the part of the institution staff.”
After watching the recording, the investigator also recognized the application of physical strength and special means to Makarov “justified and lawful,” since according to the explanations of the Federal Penitentiary Service officers, the inmate committed unlawful actions connected with violation of the rules of enduring the punishment.”
According to Svirsky, in this case, the use of physical force and special means by officials in relation to Makarov was “within the officials’ authority” and “adequate to the current situation.” The fact that Makarov suffered “minor bodily injuries that did not cause harm to health” indicated the objective nature of their generation under the circumstances set forth in the explanations of the Federal Penitentiary Service officers who beat the prisoner.
Investigator Radion Svirsky’s refusal to notice violations in the illegal actions of Yaroslavl IK-1 employees was confirmed by Head of the Investigations Directorate in the Zavolzhsky district of Yaroslavl, Lieutenant-Colonel Anton Morozov.
However, after the video came to light on July 20, 2018, the Investigative Committee in the Yaroslavl region did initiate a criminal case of Exceeding Official Powers, pointing to the “obvious signs of exceeding of official powers by the correctional camp staff.”
The 10-minute video shows fifteen officers of the Federal Penitentiary Service beating Makarov with batons on his heels and fists on his head (“Look, his leg is swelling,” “My arms are already numb!” “Changing of guard”); each time the prisoner faints, the officers pour water from a bucket on him, and the torture continues.
After the video was posted, the Federal Penitentiary Service appointed a service check with the participation of a commission of the Service’s Central Office, categorically condemning such actions of the employees in its press release. Yesterday, Obshchestvenny Verdikt Human Rights Foundation reported that the ICR officers had detained one of the participants in Makarov’s beating, an employee of the colony Maksim Yablokov, however, an Investigative Committee representative later refuted this information.
Video: Evidence. Employees of IK-1 FSIN in the Yaroslavl region torturing a prisoner
Initially, the defendants in the case had been charged with embezzlement through swindling in the amount of 225 million rubles ($3.3 million). In the final version of the indictment, the article was changed to 1.5-billion-ruble ($22.45 million) embezzlement.