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Human rights defender: Brutal beatings continue in Atlyan Juvenile Penal Colony

13 December 2012 

Source: (info)
Observers have reported incidents of beating of juvenile prisoners at the Atlyan Juvenile Penal Colony. Information about the incidents was obtained by human rights defender Nikolai Shchur, a member of Chelyabinsk Public Oversight Commission during a visit to the colony.

Rosbalt news agency notes that at the Atlyan Juvenile Penal Colony became well-known when, on 27 October, seven men and two women sought to break through into the guardhouse of the penal colony. The staff on duty and specially trained prison officers detained the attackers. A criminal investigation was opened on the grounds of use of force against a prison officer. According to Nikolai Shchur, those who had arrived at the penal colony from “outside” had wanted to protect prisoners at the colony who were being beaten from reprisals.

“In October 18 boys (yes, they are children in every way, just children who have been sentenced to prison and committed crimes) who the "tough lads" of the facility wanted to teach a lesson, asked the administration to put them in a safe place as they feared reprisals,” relates Nikolai Shchur. “Since the penal colony's solitary confinement only had 9 places and they needed to isolate twice as many as that, they put them in the medical unit. But the "tough guys" decided to get at them there and planned to storm the medical unit. The boys in the medical unit barricaded themselves in, dismantled the beds and armed themselves with bars, preparing to defend themselves. And then the aforementioned "drunkards" from outside the colony arrived just in time. Who called them, we don't know. The drunken troublemakers saved the boys from reprisals through their own actions. The incident ended with all of the October ‘tough guys’ being moved out of the zone.”

Shchur went on to say that in conversations a number of juvenile prisoners told human rights defenders that similar events had happened on 7 December, but with a smaller number of people involved. At the request of the human rights defenders, the penal colony’s doctor photographed the bruises, cuts and other injuries of Georgy Pestrikov and Andrei Vorobev. According to the juvenile prisoners, they hid in the medical unit, but a dozen other prisoners forced their way in and beat them with metal bars taken from the beds.

“We demanded that they be immediately moved to secure cells in solitary and are kept under constant observation by both security and a psychologist,” Nikolai Shchur stressed.

The human rights defenders have already reported the incidents at Atlyan juvenile penal colony to the Chelyabinsk region human rights ombudsman, Aleksei Sevastyanov.