The European court of human rights received complaints from 31 Russian citizens who had reported being bullied and sexualyl abused by their cellmates because of their low hierarchical status in the colonies. This was reported on June 27 by human rights fund "Public Verdict".
Complaints were made by 31 convicts of 10 correctional facilities located in Kemerovo, Kostroma, Nizhniy Novgorod Oblasts, Krasnoyarsk Krai, and the Republics of Mordovia and Tatarstan. They have a low hierarchical status in places of detention, in prison jargon they are called "the downcasts".
— Convicts from «the downcasts» had to sleep only on special bunks (other prisoners were not allowed to sit on them), and, on the other hand, were not allowed to sit on other bunks. In the dining room, they had to sit at a separate table and use only special utensils with holes. They could not cook together with "normal men" and store food in common refrigerators. Often they were fed rotten and spoiled food. They were beaten and sexually abused for violations, — the ECHR quotes "Public Verdict".
The Russian Federation has to prove to the ECHR that it is trying hard to put an end to treating prisoners like that and to demonstrate the decisions of courts and actions of law-enforcement agencies for such cases.
The ECHR has given the status of anonymity and confidentiality to the complaints and has forbidden the Russian authorities to disclose any information that can help identify the prisoners.
In March 2019, «Novaya Gazeta» published a video of torture from Yaroslavl colony No. 1, where the prisoner Pavel U. was forced to finish smoking a cigarette of a prisoner with a low status. Thus, they wanted to lower the social status of Pavel U., whom they bullied.