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In Karelia, a criminal case of former wardens of Penal Colony 9 was taken to court

Yulia Polushina
Screenshot from the video on the Tell the Truth YouTube Сhannel

The Prosecutor of Karelia has confirmed the indictment in a criminal case of Ivan Savelyev, the former warden of the colony No. 9, and his former deputy Ivan Kovalyov and taken it to court. The Zona Prava (‘Zone of Law’) Human Rights Organization reported this with reference to Roman Masalev, the victims’ lawyer.

Earlier, Deputy Prosecutor of the republic Sergei Gubin sent the criminal case of Ivan Savelyev and Ivan Kovalyov, accused of abuse of authority by using violence, back to the Investigation Committee "for further investigation".

Roman Masalev told Zona Prava that Gubin refused to take the case to court, having doubted the fact of torture and that the victim and his interrogator from Tajikistan knew Russian well enough. According to the lawyer, Gubin "could not deal with this case at all", since he previously headed the commission for Penal Colony 9, which concluded that torture in the colony was not proven.

On September 24, 2019, Mediazona published the article "I was hanging like a chicken leg" with stories about torture in Penal Colony 9. It retold the stories of six convicts in the institution including Anzor Gubashev, who was convicted of killing Boris Nemtsov. They said that the prison staff had "put pressure" or beaten them, and the head of the colony, Ivan Savelyev, had known about the torture or taken part in it.

The Karelian Investigation Committee opened a criminal case on the fact of abuse of authority by using violence against employees of Penal Colony 9 of Petrozavodsk in October 2019. A video published in social networks and media, in which two employees of the colony are beating a convict with their hands and feet, was the basis for it.

Savelyev was arrested six months after the video was published, but soon the preventive measure was varied to a restraining. He refused to admit his guilt. The preventive measure for Ivan Kovalyov, who was first placed under house arrest, was also varied to a restraining in November 2020.

The management of the Federal Penitentiary Service promised to dismiss Savelyev, but instead, during the investigation, he was transferred to a position of the head of a prison hospital in Medvezhyegorsk and then dismissed from office until the court ruling.


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