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  2. In Arkhangelsk, a convict was beaten before being released from a colony after his mother’s complaints

In Arkhangelsk, a convict was beaten before being released from a colony after his mother’s complaints

Elena Zholobova
Eduard Bykov with marks of beatings on his face
Source: SOTA

24-year-old Eduard Bykov was beaten in the evening of October 18, two days before his sentence in correctional colony No. 1 in Arkhangelsk finished. SOTA reports this, citing lawyer Andrei Krekov. According to him, the young man was beaten because he had refused to persuade his mother to withdraw complaints about the failure to provide medical attention to him.

According to lawyer Andrei Krekov, Eduard Bykov was beaten by the detachment's "supervisor" by order of the head of the operating department: he took the young man to a dry room, severely beat him with his feet, hands and available objects, after which he brought him back to the operating unit to "make a report."

Krekov added that all of his ward’s movements in the colony that evening should have been recorded by installed video cameras, and video recordings were going to confirm that Bykov had been halting and creeping.

The reason for the beating, according to Krekov, were complaints to the prosecutor's office and the Federal Penitentiary Service's regional directorate about the failure to provide medical attention to Eduard Bykov, filed by his mother. In September, a young man had an episode of bronchial asthma, he called his mother and said that he was ill, and the infirmary did not help him. The woman's attempts to call an ambulance to her son in the colony were unsuccessful.

After the complaints were filed, according to the lawyer, there was an attempt to force Bykov into talking to his mother, telling her that all the necessary help was being provided, and convincing her to withdraw the complaints.

Гематомы и ссадины на теле Эдуарда Быкова

Bruises and scratch marks on Eduard Bykov’s body. Source: SOTA

After her son was beaten, Eduard Bykov's mother filed a statement with the Investigative Committee, and the young man had his battery-induced injuries verified at the forensic examination bureau immediately after his release. The doctor documented numerous bruises and scratch marks on his body, but assessed them as injuries that did not cause harm to his health.

The human rights advocate believes that the recent public disclosure of torture in the penal system does not affect the initiators of these tortures.

"This all is happening against the background of how the whole of Russia saw only three weeks ago what was happening in Regional TB Hospital 1 in Saratov. All these investigations, all these videos absolutely do not affect them, they continue acting in the same way. The only difference is that they have not recorded the beating on their MDVRs this time," Krekov said.


In early October, the Gulagu.net Project published several videos of prisoners being tortured and sexually abused. Vladimir Osechkin, the head of the project, said that the organization had received and exported more than 1 thousand video files from Russia; according to him, they confirm systemic torturing in Russian colonies and pre-trial detention facilities in Irkutsk, Saratov and Vladimir Oblasts.

After that, the Russian Investigative Committee (RIC) stated opening seven criminal cases under articles on sexual assault and abuse of office with force on the facts of torture and sexual abuse against convicts in a tuberculosis hospital in Saratov Oblast.

Sergei Savelyev, who served time in prison himself and had access to recordings from MDVR of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia’s employees, has been collecting the videos for three years and has given them to human rights advocates. He is currently in France, where he has asked for political asylum.

On October 23, it became known that Savelyev was put on the federal wanted list under a certain article of the Criminal Code. According to RT, citing their sources in law enforcement agencies, a criminal case against Savelyev was opened under the article on the illegal receipt of information comprising a state secret in early October. According to the security forces, he has been put on the wanted list because of parole violations.

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