Hit, kicked and bruised: beatings at Russian women’s prison caught on video

 
A Russian prison official has been jailed for at least two months after footage of him punching, kicking and pulling the hair of female inmates was leaked online, sparking outrage and calling the country’s penal system into question.
 
The videos, which were filmed in 2008 at a prison in Russia’s eastern Amur region, shows a prison official, identified as deputy warden Sergei Zychkov, viciously beating his female detainees in a cell. Posted on October 24 2011, the graphic footage quickly caused a scandal in the blogosphere, prompting Russian authorities to open an official investigation into the case. Three days later, Zychkov was arrested on charges of abuse of power.
 
WARNING: THESE VIDEOS CONTAIN DISTURBING IMAGES
 
A prison official identified as deputy warden Sergei Zychkov punches, kicks and pulls the hair of a female detainee. Video posted on Youtube by MrArtur113.
 
According to Russian media, when asked about the beatings, Vitaly Karnyayenka, the chief warden at Amur’s women’s prison was taken by surprise, saying “I think this video is a fake”.
 
Video posted on Youtube by MrArtur113.
 
Russia’s penal system, however, has long been notorious for these types of abuses. In 2003, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) published a report that found women in Russia’s prisons were often forced to live in overcrowded, unsanitary and violent environments. Some inmates told stories of being deprived of food, of being beaten by guards or other detainees, or more alarming still, of torture.
 
Video posted on Youtube by MrArtur113.
Contributors

“I think some of Russia’s prisons can be compared to World War II era concentration camps”

Lev Ponomaryov is a Russian human rights activist and politician. He serves both as director of the Moscow-based organisation For Human Rights and as deputy chairman of the board of the Foundation for the Protection of Prisoners' Rights
 
I think some of Russia’s prisons can be compared to World War II era concentration camps. We hear reports of inmates being beaten, tortured and raped. Prisoners also have very little recourse in such instances of abuse, because it’s nearly impossible to lodge a complaint or alert anyone on the outside.
 
Guards are rarely the ones to actually beat their prisoners. More often than not, they will order ‘aktiv’ – prisoners sentenced to long-term sentences for violent crimes such as murder or rape – to mete out physical abuse. In exchange, the ‘aktiv’ are rewarded with special privileges.
 
Many of Russia’s prisons are like black holes – one of the only ways for us to gather information about what’s happening on the inside is from former detainees, or relatives of inmates. Our organisation works hard to collect whatever information we can, and occasionally we’re able to force the authorities to fire or open a criminal case against abusive prison staff.
 
Despite these victories, the system hasn’t changed. As soon as we get rid of one bad guard, another is hired to replace him. I think this is because abuse is essential to Russia’s penal system. Almost every region has at least one ‘torture’ camp which is used as a way to suppress or threaten vocal or unruly prisoners.
 
Finally, I also believe that part of the reason why these sort of abuses are allowed to persist is because Russian society just doesn’t care. When I’ve discussed violence in prisons on radio talk shows, people reacted by saying, ‘Let them all die there’”.
Post written with freelance journalist Ostap Karmodi.

Comments

This culture reminds me the

This culture reminds me the time of second world war and i feel annoyed after watching this video.

women getting beatings in Russian Prison

First let me say, My heart goes out to those women victimized. Not only by the prison officials and other inmates who saw pleasure in this act of violence, are we the people to blame as well? Knowing that this behavior is being done and no one hears the cries of the women or the famlies, are we the ("society") stop caring for humanity or a persons right. We spend so much time and energy judging one another, when it's not our place to judge that's God's job thats who we see in the after-life or what ever higher power you claim. Let's remember that no one should throw rocks at any glass houses, because you just might hit your own. Being locked up in prison like an animal doesn't mean you are an animal. We all have done something bad once in our life time but never got caught for it. So before you take judgment on the women & the men who are in the prison system. Keep in mind that the system does not always work. Ask yourself this question? ("would you want any of your children or maybe it's your parents being treated like this"). What would you do? Yes we can show what happens but if nothing is done to stop this senseless behavior we are no better than the ones that got locked up, the only difference is they got caught. This sort of behavior is not just in Russia, it's in every country around the world. No I am not saying that I agree with the crime that lead them down this path what I am saying is we should care about the prison in which we pay heavy taxes to maintain and run with proper authority, not to abuse or commit violence against the prisoners. People stand up let your voice be heard to stop this from continuing to happen years after years, lets stop it now & forever.

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